People have long studied the meaning of numbers found in the Bible. For example, the number “7” is believed to point to completeness or perfection, the number “6” is said to symbolize man and his weakness and so on. Numbers are found throughout Scripture and it is said that, on average, a number is found in 1 in every 5 verses of the Bible.
Some believe that there are hidden codes in these numbers and they have written extensively about what these codes reveal. All manner of theories have been spun up from these “codes”. These theories range from entertaining to funny to downright frightening. Certainly there are well intended scholars who have tried to unravel such codes, but many who engage in this activity have agendas, some of which are evil in their intentions.
Putting aside the idea of hidden secret codes in Scripture, there is no denying how many numbers there are in the Bible. And that is BEFORE chapter numbers were added beginning in the 12th Century and verse numbers in the 16th Century. With chapter and verse divisions, then the numbers found in the Bible swell exponentially. There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible and 31,102 verses. That’s a lot of numbers!
Yet, with all the numbers found in the Bible, there are two that stand out in most people’s minds: 3 and 16. You can hardly watch a sporting event without seeing someone in the crowd holding up a sign reading “3:16”! At the height of football star Tim Tebow’s career, he often used black grease under his eyes to reduce glare that included “3:16” embedded in it. From t-shirts to billboards to ball caps, everywhere you look you will see “3:16”!
Of course this is a reference to the so called “golden verse” of the New Testament, John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (NKJV). People who know little, if anything, about the Bible know John 3:16. What better place to start?
However, there are many more “3:16’s” in the Bible…in fact, there are 49 of them! And while they may not be as well-known in the world as John 3:16, these verses include powerful teaching to help guide our lives as well. In the month of December, we will have eight different lessons taken from “3:16” verses in the New Testament. Included in this series will be a study of John 3:16 on the Sunday before Christmas. We are going to see that the other “3:16” passages teach us about:
The Power of Jesus (Luke 3:16)
The Church with a Temperature Problem (Revelation 3:16)
Confessing the Great Mystery of Godliness (1 Timothy 3:16)
A Home for the Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16)
God’s Great Gift (John 3:16)
Faith in the Name of Jesus (Acts 3:16)
Resolved to Study God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16)
Holding On to the Prize (Philippians 3:16)
December is a very busy month for all of us, but I hope that you make assembling with the saints every Lord’s Day to study the “3:16” passages your priority.