At Club (the youth group I work for), we’ve been walking through a talk series spelling out gospel. The whole series comes from this sweet video from Dare 2 Share (go look up “Gospel” on youtube.com, it’s the top of the list) and this guy in the video spells it all out:
O – our
Two days from now I have to give a talk about “Everyone.” But what is there even to say?
I could go with the default John 3:16, but the thought of that kind of makes me cringe. Yes, God does love the whole wide world and all the people on it so much that He sent Jesus to die. But I hate that such a beautiful thing like that verse has had its meaning corroded by culture, and that we have heard it so frequently that it has almost lost its significance.
God sent His one and only SON. To die.
That’s so nuts.
And it’s not so crazy that He did it for the really awesome people of the world, like Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr or Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela (somewhat ironic that the majority of my examples are deceased), but for the baddies too. For the OJ Simpsons and the Jon Benet killer and the child abusers and the meth addicts. And for me and my nice neighbor, who I don’t really know but always waves at me when I’m getting into my car in the morning. Everyone.
Everyone. It encompasses all the people I have ever come into contact and the billions of people I will never ever know exist.
So… as a moment of confession, I’ll have you know that I’m more than a little embarrassed to admit this, but I have over 1,000 friends on Facebook. I don’t know when that happened or particularly how, but somehow over the past five or six years of my life, I kept meeting and running into people and by being friends with them on Facebook, I could theoretically stay in touch. Whether or not that has been the case is negligible, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
Anyway, I was looking through my list of Facebook friends… and I was momentarily mentally boggled by the sheer diversity of people on there. I have Greek friends, Canadian friends, Peruvian friends, Honduran friends, Cuban friends, Italian friends, Mexican friends, Romanian friends, Russian friends, Korean friends, Israeli friends, Palestinian friends, Egyptian friends, Irish friends, Spanish friends, Albanian friends, an Icelandic friend, Pakistani friends, USAmerican friends from almost every state… and if my little Facebook world can encompass such crazy diversity, how much bigger and more outrageous and crazier is the term “everyone?”
And regardless of how I met any of those 1,000+ people (yikes, I really am embarrassed about how enormous that number is), I am 100% confident that the same God that I worship and follow is crazy about them. He loves them. Every single one of them. No matter what they’ve done, who they’ve hurt, or how they see Him. And if He’s crazy enough to love all of them, then the ~ 7 billion humans living on this planet must also be fully loved by Him. That His Son died not just for me, not just for my friends, but for those 7 something billion people all over this earth.
I look back to John 3:16 with that perspective and all of a sudden the world that God so loved doesn’t seem so generic. It doesn’t seem so ambiguous. The world is full of people with names and faces and personality quirks and weird looking feet and all the stuff that comes with being human. And God loves every single one of them. Enough that He sent His only son so that we could all become His kids.
How stinkin’ cool is that! That is definitely good news of great joy for all people. For everyone.