In the city of Chicago on a cold dark night, a great blizzard was setting in. A little boy was selling newspapers on a busy corner. People hurried quickly past him to their warm homes where they'd be in out of the cold. The little boy was so cold . . . and he wasn't selling very many papers. Fighting against the wind he walked over to a policeman and said, "Mister, you wouldn't happen to know where a poor boy could find a warm place to sleep tonight, would ya? See, I've been sleeping in a box over there . . . Sure would be nice to have a warm place to stay!"
The policeman stooped down to speak into the little boy's ear and said softly, "Little fella, you go down that street. And when you see the first big white house, just knock on the door. When someone comes to the door, you just say 'John 3:16' -- and they will let you in." So he did! Numbly, he walked up the steps to the front door and he knocked. When a lady came to the door, he looked up and said, "John 3:16." The lady said, "Come on in, son!" She took him in and sat him down in a big rocking chair in front of a great big old fireplace and then she left. He sat there for awhile and then he thought to himself, "John 3:16! I don't understand it – but it sure makes a cold boy warm!"
Later she came back and asked, "Are you hungry?" He said, "Well, just a little. I haven't eaten in a couple of days and I guess I could stand a little bit of food." So she took him into the kitchen and sat him down to a big table – just full of tasty food. He ate until he couldn't eat another bite. Then he thought, "John 3:16! Boy, I sure don't understand it, but it sure makes a hungry boy full!"
The kind lady took him upstairs to a bathroom and a big old bathtub full of steaming water. He sat down and just soaked for awhile. So warm and clean, he said quietly, "John 3:16! I sure don't understand it . . . but it sure makes a dirty boy clean! You know, I've not had a bath I guess in my whole life! The only bath I ever had was when I stood in front of a big old fire-hydrant when they flushed it out."
The lady came back into the room and got him. She took him and tucked him into a big old feather-bed. Then she patted the covers up around his neck – kissed him good-night and turned out the lights. It had been a long bone-chilling day! As he lay in the darkness, he listened to the howling wind and watched the snow still blowing past the street-lamps. He thought to himself, "My, John 3:16! I just don't understand it – but it sure makes a tired boy rested!"
The next morning he awoke to a smiling face. The lady was there to take him downstairs. He was met by the warm aroma of frying bacon. She sat him down at the big old table. Never could he remember so much food.
After the meal she sat him down to the same big old rocker by the fireplace. Then she took down a big old Bible! Kneeling down on her knees, she looked up into his little face. Her voice was cheery and tender as she spoke. "Dear boy, has anyone ever loved you enough to explain the meaning of John 3:16?" He said, "No Ma'am, I don't guess so. The first time I ever heard it was last night when the policeman told me to use it come to your house."
Then she opened the Bible to John 3:16 … and she began to explain to him, Jesus! Right there in front of that big old fireplace, the little boy heard for the first time about the awesome love of God. He heard that there was a dark and awful day when the Lord Jesus suffered all alone for him while paying for our sin. The lady said we must believe on Him, Jesus the Savior who died for us poor lost sinners. Then the Lord arose miraculously from the dead. The little orphan's eyes glistened as his throat felt tight. He wondered, "How can this be?" Then his little fist moved to brush across his eyes. And a great big tear streamed right past his lips. The lady choked and paused but then continued, "Dear child, there is a loving Father way up in Heaven. He wants to share His beautiful home with you -- someday." Her lip trembled but she continued on to explain the incredible news. At last he said, "Thank you! I do believe Ma'am! I'm believing in Jesus with all my heart!"
As the coals crackled before him on that wintry morning, he pondered from his exciting new position in that big old rocker. Happiness filled his soul as he whispered, "My, my, John 3:16! I sure don't understand it -- but, well . . . it sure makes a lost boy saved!"
You know friends, I have to confess that I don't understand it all either.
How was it that God was willing to send His Son to die for me?
And how could Jesus ever agree to do such a thing?
Once my heart was cold with selfishness, empty of meaning, and dirty from sin. I was tired just making it through another day. I was just so lost!
But thank God!
Somebody loved me enough to share with me the meaning of John 3:16. I learned about Jesus Christ.
And now I believe in Him with all my heart!
Yes, John 3:16 has really changed my life!
Thanks Bro. Chuck