“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.” — John 3:16
The Most Popular Verse
Have you ever asked why is John 3:16 such a popular Bible verse? It may be the most well-known Bible verse worldwide.
If you watched pro sports in the late 70s and 80s, you might remember seeing a face in the crowd wearing a rainbow-colored wig. His name was Rollen Stewart, and he was famous for displaying John 3:16 on large signs and in bold print on his T-shirt. He also had a great knack for being in the right spot in the crowd to get on TV with his large John 3:16 sign.
More recently, you might remember how much press Tim Tebow got when he wrote John 3:16 on the black anti-glare patches under his eyes and had the best game of his college career. Or the publicity surrounding the death of Aaron Hernandez, who had written John 3:16 on the wall of his jail cell. Sadly, he had written the reference in blood shortly before he hung himself. Also, did you know that FOX cancelled a John 3:16 Super bowl ad from being aired in 2011?
What is it about John 3:16? Preachers talk about that verse all the time, and have been for who knows how many years. People memorize it, and for some it’s the only Bible verse they have ever memorized. John 3:16 is frequently used on shirts and posters for a variety of reasons. It’s a verse that just keeps popping up in the public eye.
This verse was plucked out of a great conversation between Jesus Christ and a religious leader named Nicodemus. As the conversation unfolds, it is obvious that Jesus is speaking about spiritual things and Nicodemus is focused on the physical. Nicodemus comes to Jesus as a religious expert, but Jesus has to explain to him how someone can have eternal life with God. Jesus Christ took the time to explain the vastness of God’s love for all people and how much it cost Him. You should read John 3:1-21 for the whole story.
May I suggest that John 3:16 is so popular for these reasons:
1) It declares the DEPTH of God’s love, not just for a few, but for all people.
2) It declares God’s love is ACTIVE through a gift offered to each of us — the gift of eternal life, bought and paid for by Jesus.
3) It declares the HOPE available by accepting God’s gift through Jesus.
John 3:16 – The Love, The Gift, The Promise.
— Brian D Miller, Peterborough Petes hockey club head trainer
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