(From the song “For God So Loved the World”)
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
John 3:17 NIV
REVIEW: Jesus can help us when we believe in him.
When I was 10 years old, my best friend was John. One day we were playing in his basement, throwing around a Nerf frisbee. Nerf frisbees were frisbees made of lightweight sponge material.
Even though the toy was made to be played with indoors, it could still do damage. I learned that when I wound up and flung it as hard as I could. It sailed past my friend and struck a red wine glass on a shelf behind him. The wine glass was part of a matching set of three, displayed by his father. The glass, jostled by the frisbee, sailed to the ground.
My eyes got big and my mouth dropped open. What would my friend’s dad say? What would he do? Would he be mad?
It was Saturday, so John’s dad was home, working outside in the yard. My stomach felt like there was a porcupine in it as I told him what had happened. My eyes blinked back tears.
John’s dad came downstairs looked at what happened. He turned and said in a gentle voice, “That’s ok, don’t worry about it.” He then got a broom and swept up the broken glass.
From that day onward, every time I went to my friend’s basement, I saw two wine glasses displayed instead of three. Those two wine glasses reminded me of my recklessness and my friend’s dad’s kindness. He could have yelled and demanded that I pay for a replacement. But instead he was kind.
He didn’t condemn me. Even though I deserved it.
When Jesus came, he didn’t come to condemn us. He didn’t come to yell at us or tell us everything we do wrong. Instead, he came with love. His purpose is to save us. To save us from our sin, to save us from death. To “clean up our mess” like John’s dad cleaned up the broken glass.
PARENTS: Can you recall a time you did something wrong and expected to get into to trouble, but instead received mercy and grace? Describe how you felt when you received that mercy.
KIDS: What do you think of me playing with a frisbee in the house? What do you think of my friend’s dad? Do you think he’s nice?
PRAY: “Thank you, Lord, that Jesus came to save us, not to condemn us.”