Familiar but Never Worn Out

John 3:13-17

Do remember the saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt”? It has been applied in many situation, especially as an admonition to “superiors” not to get too close with their subordinates. It is sort of funny how we will often give more respect to those we do not know than those we do.

Think about the word “cliché,” meaning a word or phrase that is so “overused” or perhaps a better was it so say “so familiar” that it has lost its uniqueness, its impact or its meaning. That is not to say that the meaning is not just as powerful or true as when the words were first uttered.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16 shows up everywhere: on t-shirts, bumper stickers, coffee mugs, tattooed on every conceivable body part, used as the basis for Christian doodads such as key-chains and necklaces. Some professional “wrassler” years ago made a mocking reference to it when he “defeated” an opponent who claimed to be a born-again Christian. So it is everywhere.

I ask you, what impact does John 3:16 have in your life? I am not talking about salvation, but rather what does it evoke in you? Do you hear it and just pass over it or do you fully grasp the enormity of it? Or, has it become such a “duh-yeah” moment, so matter-of-fact that it no longer gives you an “Praise-God” moment?

Like it or not, in this modern world, this scripture passage have been heard so much and the human heart (even that of many Christians) has become so indifferent that these words come dangerously close to being clichéd

If this is the case, stop for a moment and think of this: God, the Creator of all there is, the One who created your very life and who sustains your life, the One who has every reason to smite mankind for its rebellion chose rather to come to us in the form of his Son – His Word made flesh, Jesus. He lived among us, preached forgiveness, reconciled us with God and, taking our sin upon Himself, won salvation upon the cross. He took the nails and the stripes for us. He died and rose again FOR US. He died and rose again not only for those who believe but for all mankind: for those who crucified Him and those who mock Him and deny Him today.

In that light do the words of John 3:16 seem so trite? I hope not, for nothing about God is trite and nothing about the suffering of Christ for us is trite, clichéd, worn-out or hackneyed.

Merciful God, I give you thanks for my salvation won by Christ on the cross at Calvary. I thank you for the gift of faith and the promise of eternal life with you. May I always live in awe and appreciation for what you have done for me. AMEN.