What’s In a Verse…?

For this is how God loved the world: God gave His uniquely existing Son so that everyone who believes in Him would not be lost but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Perhaps the best known bible verse in the world, yet few people realize that Jesus is the one speaking. 

Why does that matter? Because these words are about Himself… and are outrageously bold! He’s saying that He is the Son of God, and that if you believe in Him you will have eternal life. What most of us also don’t realize is that there is so much more behind these words (and the entire Bible) then we could ever imagine. Let’s look a little deeper (emphasis on little) into these words by Jesus.

In order to be the Son of God, Jesus would have to have been conceived from God. And yes, as is always the case with the infallible Word of God, the answer resides in Isaiah 7:14 and Luke 1:35, 37. In Isaiah 7:14, the LORD foretells the virgin birth of the Son and bear in mind that this is about 700 years before Christ was born. 

“Therefore, I, YHVH Himself, will give you a sign. Watch! The virgin is conceiving a child, and will give birth to a son, and He will be proclaimed Immanuel – God with us.” 

Isaiah 7:14

Even the LORD Himself said this would be an amazing sign. A few verses before in v. 11, the LORD tells Ahaz, 

“Go ahead—ask for a sign from YHVH, your God. Ask for something big, so miraculous that you will know only God did it!”

Isaiah 7:11

In Luke 1:35 & 37, the LORD sends His messenger, Gabriel, to inform Mary of what is about to take place in her. He says,

“The Holy Spirit will come over you, and the power of the Most High will surround you. Therefore, the child will be holy and will be called the Son of God. Nothing is impossible with respect to any of God’s promises.”

Luke 1:35,37

So why a virgin birth? It starts back in Genesis 49:8-12. Through Jacob, the LORD promised that the Messiah – God with us, the Savior (Jesus) – would come from the line of Judah and more specifically through the line of David. However, fast-forward a few centuries to Jeremiah 22:30 and we see that the LORD Himself seemingly pronounces a death sentence on His own plan of redemption by placing bloodline curse on King Jehoiachin (or, Coniah), a descendant of King David, for being a detestable king, man, person. 

“This is what the Lord says: Write this man off as childless, a man who does not prosper in his lifetime. None of his descendants will succeed in sitting on the throne of David, or ever ruling in Judah again.”

Jeremiah 22:30

If none of Jehoiachin’s descendants will ever be king, how in the world would Jesus be able to inherit the throne of David as promised? Did satan win in cutting off the Messiah from having legal rights to the throne? Hell no! (pun intended)  

This is where it gets cool and why there are so many genealogies and nuances in the Bible. 

To cut to the chase, there are 2 legitimate genealogies presented for Christ. One genealogy is found in Matthew, which is focused on His divinity / royal lineage. This is the royal lineage of King David from which Joseph, Jesus’ legal earthly father, descended. However, this is the line in which Jehoiachin was also from, the line that was cursed, and therefore, would not allow for a legal King to reside on the throne. 

Enter the other genealogy in Luke. Luke’s genealogy is focused on Christ’s humanity / legal inheritance to the throne of David. This genealogy is the lineage of Mary, Jesus human mother. Mary was a descendant of Nathan – another of David’s sons – who would be a legal heir to the throne of David following Jehoiachin’s curse. Thus, Jesus has both royal AND legal lineage to the throne of David. Check mate! Again!

The virgin birth prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 is later verified by Matthew 1:22-23. Both of these verses, and countless others, also speak to the divinity of Christ as He is also prophetically called ‘God with us’. Since there was a virgin birth, Jesus was not from Joseph’s bloodline and therefore was not effected by the blood curse in Jeremiah 22:30. However, because according to Jewish law Joseph was the legal father of Jesus, Jesus did inherit the royal lineage. 

Jesus’ real Father was YHVH through the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1) and His mother was Mary.  Jesus was fully God (John 1:1) and fully human (John 1:14). This was the recipe for a perfect Savior, which is why His name is Jesus (Y’hoshua –  “The LORD saves”… meaning He is destined to give His life to rescue, save, and deliver people from their sins” – Matthew 1:21). Only God Himself could be the perfect sacrifice that could rescue “everyone” from death (if they choose so) and provide us all with the opportunity for “eternal life” (if we choose so). This is another profound claim Christ makes about Himself in John 3:16 – “whoever believes in Him will have eternal life”. In the epic chapter of John 17, Jesus, praying to His Heavenly Father, says the following,

“Father, the time has come. Unveil the glorious splendor of your Sonso that I will magnify your glory! You have already given Me authorityover all people so that I may give the gift of eternal life to all those that You have given to Me. Eternal life means to know and experience You as the only true God, and to know and experience Jesus Christ, as the Son whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth by faithfully doing everything You’ve told Me to do. So my Father, restore Me back to the glory that We shared together when We were face-to-face before the universe was created.”

JOHN 17:1-5

Verse 3 may be one of the most outrageously bold and profound statements Jesus makes. He undoubtedly claims to be equal to God the Father – YHVH. Jesus, God the Son, declares His very own name on the same level as God the Father… AND it is the belief, knowledge, and understanding of this fact by which eternal life is realized. Three chapters prior to this, in John 14:6-7, Jesus states this another way. He says, 

“I am the Way, I am the Truth,and I am the Life. No one comes next to the Fatherexcept through acceptance, belief, and faith in Me.To know Me is to know My Father too. And from now on you will realize that you have seen Him and experienced Him.”

John 14:6-7

So how is Jesus able to give eternal life to anyone who desires it? 

  • Because He IS God 
    • who became a man 
      • so he could be crucified, which provided the requirement of perfectly innocent blood to redeem us from the penalty of sin, 
        • and then rose from the dead to, once and for all, conquer eternal death.

The next time you see or read a verse from the bible, know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is infinitely more behind it than you or I will ever comprehend. 

For this is how God loved the world: God gave His uniquely existing Son so that everyone who believes in Him would not be lost but have eternal life.

JOHN 3:16

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