Chapter and verse divisions aren’t part of the original texts of the Bible. The chapter divisions were added around 1227 by Stephen Langton, the Hebrew Bible was divided into verses by Rabbi Nathan in 1448, and Stephanus developed the verse system for the New Testament in 1555. While the divisions aren’t “inspired,” they are very helpful for locating and memorizing passages.
Sometimes passages share the same chapter and verse numbers, making them easier to recall. While all Scriptures are God breathed (we know that from a 3:16), some passages are perhaps more pivotal than others. Here we take a look at some impactful 3:16 passages, and rank them in order of importance. You might be surprised which passage takes the top spot. First, lets take a look at some Honorable Mentions:
While not cracking my top ten, these 3:16’s are very worthwhile. Perhaps they might make your own list:
“John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Jesus wasn’t just a good teacher or a prophet. According to the testimony of John, Jesus had the authority to spiritually baptize people – something only God could do.
“Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.”
Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of the promises God made to Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3. He is the source of all blessing. And since we receive our blessings in the present age through the promise of Genesis 12:3c, Jesus is of great blessing to each of us.
1 Timothy 3:16
“By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.”
Here we are given further testimony to His identity. This Jesus is one very special Character.
1 Peter 3:16
“and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.”
Written to Jewish Christians who were suffering intense persecution, these words remind believers to do no evil, even in the midst of persecution, so that persecutors will be shamed into recognizing the goodness of Christ Himself.
2 Peter 3:16
“as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.”
Way to go, Peter – two honorable mentions! This second one is a little difficult to understand without realizing Peter is talking about Paul. Peter admits that Paul’s writings are sometimes difficult to understand, but affirms them as Scripture.
“So Moses numbered them according to the word of the Lord, just as he had been commanded.”
God cares about the details. God wanted the people of Israel numbered as they entered the promised land, so Moses gave as a great example of obedience by numbering them as commanded. Moses showed us that obedience in the little things that we might not understand is still important. Later in the book of Numbers we discover why the numbers were important.
“Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.”
“She” is wisdom, personified. Wisdom is the fear of the Lord (Prov 1:7, 9:10). God never promises temporal wealth and prosperity to believers, but having the proper perspective of God goes a long way to contentment and the kind of honorable lifestyle that lends itself to success in one’s endeavors.
“It shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,” declares the Lord, “they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again.”
What an intriguing passage this is. Indiana Jones will be disappointed, but the nation of Israel will not. God promised a restoration of Israel, not just physically to the land He gave her, but a spiritual restoration as well. One day, Israel will dwell in the land in peace and fellowship with her Messiah.
Next up, the Top Ten List.