16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Ellicott’s Commentary helps us to understand verse 17 a bit better. Lets take a look: To condemn the world gives to the English reader a stronger impression than that of the original Greek. The word (κρ?νω, krino, the Latin c(k)erno, and the English dis-cern) means originally to separate, and in the moral sense to separate good from evil. Passing from the act to the effect, it may mean to absolve; but as the usual effect of separation is to exclude the evil, the word has attached to itself more frequently the idea of condemnation. Our word judge, which has itself something of this double meaning, is probably the best rendering in this context.
This helps to reinforce verse 16 which we all know so well, that the mission of Jesus was to save and not judge (at least not yet). Even now, we are not different from the so many people who expected the Messiah to come with might and judgement and be the one who would physically free them from the oppression of countless years of being ruled over. We still miss that salvation came through love and sacrifice. We miss that one of the main purposes of Jesus’ death and resurrection on the cross was to make us righteous in God’s sight, to come and separate the good from the bad in our lives! I’m finally beginning to understand better why Jesus tells us not to be so focused on the speck in our friend’s eye when we’ve got a giant splinter hanging out of ours! His blood and his Spirit helps us to judge what is good and evil and to help us steer clear in this present life.
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
Identify anything that is making you weary or burdened and give it back to God. You might like to physically represent this by clinching your hands then opening them.