“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:16-17). Check out The Message .
What does it mean…one and only? On the surface, we understand this description of Jesus as God’s only Son. At least, that’s how I’ve always understood those words. But this explanation always bothered me a bit. Maybe it didn’t seem right because of scriptures such as this one:
“You are all sons of God through faith in Jesus…” Galatians 3:26.
You could argue that our sonship is different. Very true. We are sons and daughters because of Christ, but we are His children. That means God has more than one.
Many times a Greek word cannot be translated into English with just one word, so translators use two or three English words to reach the intended meaning. This is what has happened in John 3:16.
The Greek word is Monogenes. And this word means unique, one of a kind, precious, beloved. (Key-Word NIV)
How do these definitions change the meaning of John 3:16?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His unique, one of a kind, precious, beloved Son.”
There has never been a baby born quite like Jesus.
Fully human yet fully God and destined to die so that we might live.
I have a feeling that even though heaven rejoiced on the day God’s unique son’s tiny lungs filled with air and He let out His first cry, that moment was bittersweet for the Father.
For He gave His one of a kind, precious, beloved Son to a mean, cruel world, because He loved us and He knew Jesus wasn’t like us nor Him. He was the perfect unique combination born to do what needed to be done for all eternity.
Much love, joy, and grace,
Andy Lee is a wife, mother of three, author, speaker, and blogger. She inspires her readers to step out into their call whether to a neighbor or nation to find purpose and joy using the gifts God has given them. She lives on the North Carolina Coast with her favorite people in the whole word, her family. She loves chocolate, geraniums, coffee, and Jesus.