CAPC Oakland

News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland

Blogging Towards Sunday, October 6, 2013

John 3:1-17

 John 3:16 shirt

John 3:16 perhaps the most quoted verse of the Bible, whether by voice, painted on the faces of athletes, or held aloft on signs.  But when you listen to it with 21st century objective ears you might hear a different message.  How can a loving God offer his son in sacrifice?  How can such a horrifically violent image portray unconditional love?

 John 3 starts with an encounter between Nicodemus and Jesus.  A religious leader, part of the group that misunderstands and opposes the teachings of Jesus, he sneaks under the cover of darkness to try to better understand this teaching that he seems to deem spot on.  Jesus responds with a curious answer – a word play – a double entendre – which means both “born again” and “born from on high”  What does Jesus mean?  How does his teaching interact with the introduction and conclusion of John’s gospel teaching: see John 1:14-18 and John 20:30-21:25. 


World Communion Sunday is a celebration observed by several Christian denominations (including our own!) taking place on the first Sunday of every October.  WCS promotes Christian unity and ecumenical cooperation by inviting congregations to be cognoscent that around the world followers of Jesus share the same common meal on this day in worship.



It’s on this day that around the world followers of Jesus of Nazareth celebrate and actualize the love of the Divine through the sharing of a meal with everyone, recognizing that we all are hungry and thirsty.  How does that reflect what’s at the heart of John 3:16 and underneath the question of Nicodemus?



  • What word, phrase or image in this text grabs you?
  • What is the larger context of John 3:16 about?
  • How have you known – or do you know – God’s radical love?
  • How can others misunderstand this promise of love?
  • How can you translate this message into 21st century-ese English here in the Bay Area?

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This entry was posted on October 1, 2013 by in Grow and tagged .
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