John 3:16 New Living Translation
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
1 John 3:16 New Living Translation
“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
This letter by the Apostle John was untitled and not written to any particular church. It’s thought to be sent as a pastoral letter to several Gentile congregations.
I thought it would be interesting to place these two verses together, since the author is the same. The theme in each verse is essentially the same; Jesus voluntarily & willingly gave up his own life in exchange for our sins. That is God’s prime example of what love is. It isn’t simply a word or a feeling, but an action taken by someone. Christ showed the world his love for mankind by laying down his own life for their sins.
The notion of giving up your life for others isn’t that we die in another’s place, but rather that we serve others with no thought of reciprocation. To die for someone is in many ways easier than truly living for them, for that would involve placing another’s desires before your own. The world focuses on the autonomy of man, going it alone, doing for oneself without anyone else’s assistance. Surrendering your own wants and desires in favor of someone else’s is portrayed as weak. It’s survival of the fittest or so they seem to think. God operates a whole different way. Love is over all and loving others more than yourself is the example we are to follow. The others we are to your brethren in the faith. They will know we are followers of Christ if we have love for our brethren. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible.