The Other “John 3:16”
We’re accustomed to seeing signs that read “John 3:16” at sporting events. And athletes such as Tim Tebow, now a New York Jet, discretely display this verse on their eye black during football games. (For those who don’t follow sports, “eye black” is the grease put under one’s eyes to reduce the glare of the sun or stadium lights.) All of this has made John 3:16 the best known Bible verse in America. If you’re reading this, you can probably recite it. Go ahead, give it a try. Let me get you started: “For God so loved the world that….”
There is another John 3:16 that few people know and few people recite, but it is one we should all read and remember. It is from 1 John, and it says, “We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.” This tells us what love looks like, and 1 John gives it some legs by immediately asking, “How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?” (3:17). Great question—one we should all be asking!
We probably haven’t memorized a Bible verse since fifth grade Sunday school. I would encourage us all to memorize 1 John 3:16-17, because it is pointless to talk about love unless we know what it looks like in our lives.