Original photo by Jesse van Kalmthout
Daily Reform, John 3:14-17, 34
From the Reformer
In the gospel of St. John, chapter 3, is plainly and directly shown the difference of the persons, in the highest and greatest work that God accomplished for us poor human creatures, in justifying and saving us; for there it is plainly written of the Father, that he loved the world, and gave to the world his only begotten Son. These are two several persons—Father and Son. The Father loves the world; and gives unto it his Son. The Son suffers himself to be given to the world, and “to be lifted up on the cross, as the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness, that whosoever believed in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” To this work comes afterwards the third person, the Holy Ghost, who kindles faith in the heart through the Word, and so regenerates us, and makes us the children of God.
—Martin Luther, Table Talk
Pulling It Together
God has fully given himself to the world. There is no greater gift he might have given. It is not that Jesus was given so that you might know forgiveness of sins alone—but that you might know him. Jesus would “call you friend.” That is his purpose: that you know God and thereby be free (John 8:32). The Father has not only sent his Son but leaves his Spirit in you too, to encourage you, inspire you, and remind you of his presence and peace. God gives the fullness of himself to you; he holds back nothing.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers