Happy 3:16!

Every year on March 14 my mom, a math teacher, celebrates Pi Day with her students. They usually have a contest for who knows pi to the most digits, and they eat roundish foods after figuring their circumference and area.

And then there is Mole Day, which can be celebrated on both June 2 and October 23 (as Avogadro’s Number is 6.02×10^23, and it’s how you measure a mol (pronounced like “mole”) of something). We had fun with that in high school chemistry.

Of course, you don’t have to be a nerd to “celebrate” today. Today is March 16, which here in the States we write as 3/16. The morning DJs on K-Love, a Christian radio station my family listens to, challenged their listeners to make this 3/16 a John 3:16 day. I’m sure everyone has seen the reference, but allow me to share the whole verse:

John 3:16

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

Football alone has made John 3:16 probably the most famous verse in the Bible, and with good reason. These words of Jesus to Nicodemus contain the gospel in a nutshell. But a surprisingly large number of 3:16s in the Bible are also key verses.

Of the 66 books in the Bible, 14 don’t have a 3:16. Either the third chapter has less than 16 verses, or there is no third chapter. Of the remaining 52 books, John 3:16 along with the following nine – all from the New Testament – make my top ten 3:16s.

Luke 3:16

John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’

1 Corinthians 3:16

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

Galatians 3:16

Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring; it does not say, ‘And to offsprings’, as of many; but it says, ‘And to your offspring’, that is, to one person, who is Christ.

Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.

1 Timothy 3:16

Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is great:
He was revealed in flesh,
vindicated in spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among Gentiles,
believed in throughout the world,
taken up in glory.

2 Timothy 3:16

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.

1 Peter 3:16

Yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame.

1 John 3:16

We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us – and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.

Revelation 3:16

So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth.


2 responses to “Happy 3:16!

  1. If you want a quick guide to all of the 3:16s, try this link at Confessing Evangelical: http://www.confessingevangelical.com/?p=993

  2. This passage with Jesus and Nichodemus is also this Sunday’s lectionary Gospel reading… so I’m preaching John 3:1-17… fun stuff!

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