Jesus is talking with Nicodemus about the New Birth. He has just told Nicodemus that the New Birth comes through faith in the Son of Man dying so that His people might live. He now explains further what He means.
God loves the world
This sending of Jesus to the earth to provide life for God’s people shows God loves for the world. This idea would have been extremely offensive to Nicodemus. As a Pharisee, Nicodemus believed that God only loved righteous Jews. All Gentiles and sinners were hated by God. Here Jesus is telling Nicodemus that God’s love extended beyond the Jewish people and beyond those who kept the law. God loved the prostitute and the Gentile as much as He loved Nicodemus.
Jesus declares that He is the Son of God
Jesus explains to Nicodemus that the Son of Man is the Son of God. Jesus is the Son of God Who has become a man. He has come to be the Way to God for all of God’s people around the world. By declaring that He is the “only begotten Son” He is showing that God has many sons, but there is only One Begotten Son. Jesus’ death will bring billions into the family of God as His adopted children. Again, Nicodemus is viewing salvation through a biological family of Jews. Jesus is here declaring that salvation is through the New Birth into the family of God no matter your family of origin.
Jesus’ death demonstrates God’s love for the world
The love of God was seen in that Jesus did not die for righteous Jews, but that Jesus died for ungodly sinners from every tribe tongue and nation. God does not love people for their works; God loves people because of His grace. God’s grace and love are seen in Jesus’ death on the cross for sinners.
We must believe in Jesus Christ to be born again
In order to live we must believe in Jesus Christ. Whoever believes in Him will be born again. This would contradict everything Nicodemus believed. Salvation was not from being a Jew or keeping the law; salvation comes to all who will look to Jesus in simple faith.
The people of God is comprised of all those who are born again
The bottom line of John 3:16 is that the people of God is comprised of those from every tribe, tongue, and nation who believe in Jesus Christ. They become part of God’s family through the New Birth. It does not matter who you are or what you have done, if you repent of your sins and believe in Jesus you will be born again and be a part of the people of God.
What are you trusting in for salvation?
Are you born again?
Do you love the sinners in this world?
Are you willing to give your life so that dying men and women might live?