For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV)
In the city of Chicago, one cold, dark night, a blizzard was setting in when a homeless boy approached a policeman and asked if he knew of a warm place to sleep for the night. Knowing that the boy would probably die of exposure if he didn’t find suitable shelter the policeman said, “You go down the street to that big white house, knock on the door and when someone answers say ‘John 3:16,’ and they will let you in.”
The boy did as he was told. He knocked on the door. A lady answered and with chattering teeth the boy said, “John 3:16.” The lady smiled and invited him in. He was led into the living room and offered a seat in a split bottom rocker in front of a crackling fire. The boy was left with his thoughts. He didn’t understand what was going on but he knew one thing, John 3:16 sure made a cold boy warm.
A while later the lady returned and asked, “Are you hungry son?” “Well just a little ma’am. I haven’t eaten for a couple of days, and a bit of food would be nice.” The lady took the boy to the kitchen, sat him down, and served up a meal unlike anything he’d ever had before. He ate and ate until he couldn’t eat any more. Then he thought to himself, “I don’t understand it but John 3:16 sure makes a hungry boy full.”
The boy was then taken upstairs to a steam filled bathroom. It was the first real bath he’d ever had. As he sat soaking in the tub, he said out loud, “Wow! I don’t understand it but this John 3:16 makes a dirty boy clean.”
After he’d toweled down and got dressed in a clean pair of pyjamas he was taken to a room with a big old feather bed. Climbing in he pulled the covers up around his neck then lay looking out of the window at the swirling snow and icicles forming along the edge of the wooden frame. He thought to himself, “John 3:16, I don’t understand it but it’s sure restful when you’re a tired boy.”
The next morning he woke up with the aroma of eggs and bacon wafting into the bedroom. In no time at all he was seated at the kitchen table and wolfing down another delicious meal. When he’d had his full, the lady invited him through to the living room and offered him a seat in the split bottom rocker in front of the fire. Sitting across from him the lady picked up her Bible and asked, “Do you understand John 3:16?” He replied, “No ma’am, I’m afraid I don’t. The first time I heard it was last night when the policeman told me to come to your door and use it.”
Smiling, the lady opened her Bible to John 3:16 and began to tell the boy about Jesus. It wasn’t long before he decided to give his heart to Jesus. He didn’t really understand everything about John 3:16, but he knew it made a lost boy feel safe and loved.
I’m much like the boy. I don’t really understand why God was willing to send His Son to die for me and it’s hard to comprehend how Jesus would agree to do such a thing. But I know this, John 3:16 sure makes life worth living.