Parental Love from the Pit (1 John 3:1-3)

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1 John 3:1-3

In the 2002 film, John Q, a son with an enlarged heart is denied a heart transplant, because John’s health insurance will not cover the procedure. John, the father, decides to take matters into his own hands and holds the hospital hostage at gun point. When no viable donor heart can be found, John puts the gun up to the temple of his own head and says to the surgeon: “Somebody’s gotta die in order for him to live. I’m his father; it’s me!” He wants the surgeon to transplant his heart into his child, so that his child will live, even though it means he would die. Our Father in Heaven put a gun to his head. He saw the effect of sin. He sent his Son, who being God himself, went in his own volition, and experienced all the pain, misery, and agony of a brutal death, crying out from the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me (Matthew 27:46)?” This was not some type of divine child abuse. The will of the Father and the Son cannot be divided. When the Father sent the Son, it’s as if the Son simultaneously shot up his hand, saying, “I’m going!”

John the Evangelist wrote in the First Letter of John, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us… (1 John 3:1).” The adjective we translate “how great” is an idiom in the Greek, making it difficult to translate. Literally, it translates, “from another country.” If we wanted to capture it in English, we could say, “the out of this world love.” The Father’s love is interstellar, like nothing else we’ve experienced on earth.

But, why is God’s love so other worldly? John goes on to say, “…that we should be called children of God.” What is a child of God? A child of God is someone who has received Christ and received all the benefits of sonship (John 1:13). One of these benefits is to be treated just as a natural child. Just as a parent would do anything to protect the welfare of his or her child, so the Father will stop at nothing to save his child from the jaws of Hell and the tragic effects of sin. There is no greater wonder on earth than that we should be called children of God!

Click here to see clip from John Q.

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