“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17, NLT).

Most people know the verse before this one. It’s memorized by every Sunday school child, put on plaques, cross stitched on samplers and featured on church signs everywhere. You don’t usually see verse 17 on those plaques or signs, but what it says is equally important and they should go together.

The Amplified Bible adds these clarifying words after judge: to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on. Jesus came to save the world, not to weigh, measure and find wanting. We are no longer under condemnation, but saved by his life, death and resurrection. This verse tells us Jesus is the Savior of everyone, though many don’t know or believe. Not believing doesn’t change who he is or what verse 16 beautifully expresses—God so loved the world.

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