Tuesday 18 June 2024

What does 3:16 mean?


For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Often quoted and often misunderstood. What do these 25 words really mean?

Every loving parent would do all in their power for their offspring. And as they grow up, having nurtured them and seen them become adults, nothing tears a parent's heart more than to see their children leave the nest and fly away; either to study at a far off University, or to find a job, or to set up a family of their own.

When Jesus taught us the Lord's prayer He said, "Our Father ..."

He did not say, "Our Master, Leader, Teacher," or any other description to identify God. He called Him Father to underline the fact that He is a Creator God who created all of us; and like every loving parent He loves us so much that He would do anything for us. 

He loves us all the same, but on an individual basis each according to our needs. Just like you would if you had children and loved each one differently but the same limitless amount.

God loved each one of us so much that He gave up His only Son for us. Yes, for you, and you, and you, and everyone through the ages past and years to come.

He loved everyone so that we may have eternal life. 

But there is a condition.

In order to have eternal life we must believe in Him. The invitation to eternal life is offered to everyone; but we must respond to the RSVP.

The word "whosoever" in John 3:16 means everyone. Every person that ever lived in the past, present and future has this invitation as of right by being a child of God; our Father in Heaven.

Perhaps we should replace the word "whosoever" with our name. Try it. See how it feels.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that if Victor believes in Him he should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Nothing tears a parent's heart so much than to see one's offspring go. Yet God willingly gave up His only Son for you, and you and all of us.

And all He asks is that we return that love to Him and obey and respect His Commandments.


  1. Replies
    1. I'm not sure I understand your question, Tom.

      God bless.

  2. May our answer always be "yes" to God's invitation to live eternally with Him.
    Blessings, Victor!

  3. Great suggestion, replacing 'whosoever' with my name. I'm happy to RSVP, yes!

    1. By placing one's name in 3:16 it makes God's invitation more personal.

      God bless you, Mevely.

  4. By believing you are showing and returning your love for God.

    1. Yes Bill; that is correct.

      God bless, my friend.

  5. You explain these things very well, thank you .

  6. Hi Victor, yes, God sent His beloved Son to earth to enable us to have eternal life through believing in Him. Jesus was the Word of God made flesh, and believing in Him means believing in the Word spoken to us individually as we journey on - hearing it and acting upon it. God bless you with all He has for us in Jesus, that precious Word.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Brenda. God bless you and your family always.



God bless you.