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John 3:16,17
Jesus' Opening Statement About God.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,..."

Question: What did the Father give the Son?

Did the Father give the Son to be crucified?
Did the Father give the Son to suffer a cruel death so mankind could be restored to fellowship with the Father?
Did the Father give the Son to propitiate the Father's wrath?
Did the Father give the Son to 'bridge the gap' so sinners could be reconciled to an offended God?

John 3:16 mentions nothing about the Cross, but somehow Christianity has woven the Cross into it.

Think about what John 3:16 really means!

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

The Bible says: "God is love." (1 John 4:16).
The Bible says: "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15).
The Bible says: "For God so loved the world..." (John 3:16).

Question: God, who is love, cautions us not to love the world, but yet, he loves the world. What explanation can be offered for this?

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,..."

Question: What did the Father give his Son?

God the Father is love; he is the essence of friendship, of forgiveness. When these characteristics needed to be demonstrated to the on-looking Universe, the Father called on the Son to be his exact representative. "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being." (Heb.1:3).

And so, the Father gave the Son authority to reveal what he, the Father, was like. Other supporting verses of evidence can be found in:

    1. Matt. 7:24-29 - The Wise and Foolish Builders.
    "When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law."
    2. Mark 1:21,22 and Luke 4:36 - prior to driving out an evil spirit.
    "They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law."
    3. John 10:14-18 - The Shepherd and His Flock.
    "No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
    4. John 5:27.
    "And he (the Father) has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man."
    5. John 17:2.
    "For you (the Father) granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him."

In all these instances, God the Father gave the Son authority to represent him. And as the Father's representative, it became Jesus' mission: to make God known! Shortly before Jesus was crucified, his prayer to the Father, as recorded in John 17:6, 26 reads: "I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world," and "I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known..."

God gave the Son authority to reveal to the world, to the Universe, what the Father was like. Why would this be necessary? Could it be the world had bought into Satan's lies about God, and had an incorrect picture of him? If God is portrayed as being harsh, unforgiving, unreasonable, demanding - who would want anything to do with him? Jesus came to present a correct view of God. He was qualified to do this because he was a mirror image of the Father.

Whatever the Father would do, Jesus would do likewise.
Whatever the Father would say, Jesus would say likewise.
Whatever tone of voice the Father would use, Jesus would use the same tone.

The disciples, especially Philip, requested of Jesus to see the Father. "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Jesus replied: "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!" (John 14:8,9). Philip's request is probably the request of every person who has ever thought about God. Seeing is believing! Isn't it wonderful that the Father foreknew all of this and demonstrated what he was like with unquestionable evidence? He sent Jesus "into the world not to condemn it, but to save it!" (John 3:17).

Did the Father know that Jesus would be crucified?
Did Jesus know that he would be crucified?

How could Jesus, who represented the Father as a God of love, how could he be rejected for revealing how loving, how forgiving, how friendly the Father really is? Could the answer be: Jesus was crucified by people who thought he was misrepresenting God! Jesus did not represent the model they had in mind, the one they were looking for. There was no way Jesus could be God, and his claim that he and the Father were One only solidified their belief that he was an imposter. They lacked a correct view of God, and refused to accept what Jesus said and demonstrated about God.

Could the same thing happen today? Would the same thing happen today? Would it be correct to say that if the Father had come instead of the Son, all history would have been the same?

Could it be possible today that the same scenario would be played out by those who claim to be so religiously inclined to be followers of Christ, to be called expositors of the Word, to be exalted and acclaimed by millions as an authority, and yet be totally wrong in their presentation of God? How could it happen?

Deuteronomy 13:14: "Inquire, Probe, Investigate."

Think, people! Think for yourselves!

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