Jesus did not come to condemn the world.
That means He did not come to condemn you.
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17).
That’s good news.
Jesus came to save you.
Of course, you know what that implies, right?
It implies that you need saving.
You’re in deep trouble, though you might not realize it.
What trouble? Well, the reason why Jesus did not come to condemn you is that He doesn’t have to. Unbelievers have already condemned themselves.
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).
If you don’t believe in Jesus, there’s no need for judgment. There’s no need to collect evidence, to call witnesses, or for a jury to deliberate. The sentence is already passed…by you! You’re already condemned. God didn’t do it to you. You did it to yourself.
And because of that, God sent Jesus to rescue you.
That’s not an easy message to hear. But if you’re an unbeliever, it’s the message you most need to hear.
That’s the difference between the lovey-dovey Jesus of the popular imagination and the realistic Jesus of the Bible.
The fictional lovey-dovey Jesus goes around pretending that everything is OK. Life will turn out roses no matter what you do, or say, or believe. Just shut your eyes and your ears and ignore the world and pretend that everything is fine.
By contrast, the Biblical Jesus shakes you to your senses with a heavy dose of realism. He doesn’t go around pretending everything is OK. It’s not. The world is not OK. Neither are you. Things are not as they should be.
Jesus loves you, but this is an urgent, earnest love, one that has no illusions about you and the danger you’re in. Jesus loves you. But it’s the love of an ER doctor trying to stop you from bleeding out. It’s the love a soldier pulling a comrade out of the burning wreckage of a Humvee.
Jesus came to save you because if you do not believe, you’re condemned already. You did it to yourself.
But there’s hope. The sentence is passed, but so long as you’re alive it can be reversed. Jesus made a way.
“He who believes in Him is not condemned” (v 18).
If you believe, there’s no condemnation for you. Instead, you’re “saved” (v 17). You get eternal life. You spend forever with God.
Ever meet someone who makes life harder than it should be? Who is the source of their own trouble? Who is their own worst enemy? If you’re an unbeliever, that’s you. You’ve condemned yourself. Will you stop? Will you let Jesus save you? Will you believe?