Condemn

Condemn: (v) to express complete disapproval

I am the John 3:17 of fame.

In other words, nobody really recognizes me as a top-notch scripture. But when I am perused by those who are in search of something a bit more intuitive, I await with a treasured thought or two.

Even though John 3:16 is the famous verse that tells us that “God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth shall be saved,” it is actually John 3:17 that explains how the gig works.

If there were only a John 3:16, God could sit up there in heaven and act like Amazon, waiting for people to call in their orders, follow the catalogue numbers, funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
punch all the right buttons and deliver them salvation.

But God’s customer service is actually much better.

That’s what John 3:17 is about. It reads this way:

“For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.”

You see, I’m not so sure I’d want to be saved if I felt condemned.

I’m not so sure the threat of condemnation would frighten me into the arms of God. After all, I have a rather independent nature, and if I only read John 3:16, I might just walk away and say, “Screw you.”

But John 3:17 lets us know that God does not condemn us–that the purpose of Jesus was to create empathy and connection.

So while the world pounds away with its John 3:16 agenda, I’m going to hang around and remind people that they’re not condemned, they’re not judged, and that Jesus came to do more than bleed.

He came to let people know that they are treasured.

 

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Begotten

Begotten: (v) past participle of beget: to procreate or generate offspring.

Dictionary B

“His only begotten son.”

It is a phrase within a verse from the Good Book which describes the master plan of a loving God who is trying to redeem the people He created.

Perhaps the most unfortunate situation in the world is the misunderstanding that bubbles up over the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Some people, in a desire to create the solemnity of holiness, generate the image of a half-god, half-man–or all-god, all-man–individual, who was present in flesh but mostly absent in true humanity.

There are others who try to turn Jesus into a common Jewish prophet or teacher–someone who expounded with great wisdom and suffered the consequences of his idealism.

There are even those who insist there is no historical evidence that such a human ever walked the Earth.

But the source of all the misconceptions is always grounded in a desire to promote an idea which suits us instead of a truth which saves us.

Maybe Jesus was exactly who he said he was.

Maybe God, who was able to forge a Universe, was also able to initiate a human life which was completely susceptible to difficulties and struggles, while internally inspired by the freshness of heaven.

Why not?

If God wanted to make Himself totally human, why couldn’t He?

There are only two reasons He couldn’t: either He didn’t, or He doesn’t exist.

And since Jesus made it clear through his words that he was the Son of Man, the “didn’t” reason is unlikely.

So we are left with a choice:

Is Jesus a human being who was also begotten of God, or is it all just a horrible Middle-Eastern joke? 

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