Most famous verse

This coming Sunday we will hear John 3.16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” This has got to be the most famous verse in the new testament. I have seen it plastered on billboards and painted on a barn. I think I must have first learned John 3.16 at vacation bible school where we would get prizes if we could say the verse for the day from memory. So where have you encountered this verse before? Any strange places? Do you think it deserves its reputation as being the best-known verse?


  1. Actually, I do think it deserves its reputation, but not because it’s up on billboards or signs. It really is a very concise statement of what God wants for the world, and how God accomplishes it. It’s pretty simple…and yet, we sometimes have ways of making it very complicated…

  2. Yes,and we not only can make being a Christian more difficult than it is with our added expectations, we ironically can flatten some of the words. So “eternal life” becomes “going to heaven when I die,” instead of living now in the grace of God. And “believe” can be flattened to mean my assenting to certain facts about Jesus being true, instead of belief as trusting in Christ presence throughout my day’s work and play.