THE END FOR WHICH GOD SENT HIS SON.
John iii. 17. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
AN expectation generally prevailed among the Jews that their Messiah would interpose on behalf of their nation alone, and bring all other kingdoms into subjection to them. Our Lord took frequent occasions to rectify this mistake, and to show, that he was to be the Savior, not of one people? only, but of the whole world. In this discourse with Nicodemus, he introduces this important subject in such a way as to inform his mind, without shocking his prejudices. Having explained to him the nature and necessity of regeneration, and shown him, by reference to a well known type, the way of salvation, he declares, that the whole world, Gentiles as well as Jews, were to participate the benefits of his coming; and that God, in sending him into the world, had as much respect to the welfare of the benighted heathens as of his chosen and peculiar people. To elucidate the words before us, we shall show,
I. That, supposing God to send his Son into the world, it was far more probable that he should send him to condemn the world than to save it–
That God should ever send his Son into the world at all is such a mystery as must for ever fill the whole universe with amazement. But supposing him to make known his determination to do so, the probability certainly was that it should be for our destruction rather than our salvation–
1. Consider what was the state of the world at the time he did send his Son–
[Had he seen the greater part of mankind lamenting their fall, wishing earnestly that some way could be devised for their recovery, and struggling, but with unsuccessful efforts, to get free from sin, we might have supposed that God would exercise mercy towards us, and open a way for our restoration through the sacrifice of his Son. But when the whole mass of mankind were up in arms against him, when not one of the whole human race (except a few whose hearts he himself had touched) desired reconciliation with him; yea, when all were utterly averse from it, and desired nothing so much as to live in sin with impunity, and wished for no better heaven than the unrestrained indulgence of their lusts; for what end could God send his Son, but to execute upon them the vengeance they deserved?]