The most succinct summary of the gospel message starts with, “For God so loved the world, that…” (Jn 3:16). God’s immeasurable love for the world drove Him to complete the verse with “…He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” God is clearly the subject of this verse. God loved. God gave. But notice the object of the opening phrase: “the world.” Yes, you and I are the direct objects, to use a grammar term, of God’s incredible love.
In our consumerist culture and selfish society, we feel a responsibility to drive home the point, “It’s not about us, not about you, not about me.” But putting theology and good grammar together, it is about us. It is about us. This in no way diminishes the greatness of God. The greatest being you can imagine would still fall short of the God of the Bible. He is singularly unique, holy, and off-the-charts righteous. What makes us so special is not our inherent worth by comparison or what we contribute to the relationship. What makes us special is that we are the objects of God’s unlimited love.
God is love in His essence (I Jn 4). It is His most outstanding and incomprehensible attribute. (His holiness is not so much an attribute as a definition of His singular uniqueness.) Can you imagine how deep, how high, and how wide the love of God is? Paul says that its “breadth and length and height and depth…are beyond comprehension” (Eph 3:18,19). The writers of the Bible, religious scholars through the ages, and songwriters all struggle to describe the vastness of the love of God.
And that love is directed like a lasar beam upon you. When you embrace the gospel message of Jesus Christ, you join into a marriage relationship with Christ. You join the literal bride of Christ, the universal church. It would have been foolish during the recent royal wedding for a commentator to say that this wedding ceremony and celebration has nothing to do with Kate Middleton since she is only joining the royal family by marriage. Did you watch the television coverage? It was all about the bride. Why? Because she was the object of the prince’s love and that was enough to lift her to prominence.
You are the object of a prince’s love. “The Prince of Peace, the Eternal Father, the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God” (Is 9:6). As the object of His love, you are indeed special. Not just the Mr. Rogers type special, but really really really special.