Max Lucado: America's Pastor Tackles John 3:16

CBN.com  Best-selling author and pastor Max Lucado examines the most famous verse in the Bible. The 26 words of John 3:16 comprise the most well-known verse in the Bible: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, calls this verse “the Bible in a nutshell,” and even small children can recite it from memory. It is one verse all Christians can agree on – uniting believers across denominational lines and theological rifts. 


Lucado calls John 3:16 “a 26 word parade of hope” and “the Hope Diamond of the Bible.” He encourages us to consider the unequalled appeal of this verse.

“Think of it, this verse is brief enough to write on a napkin or memorize in a moment, yet solid enough to weather 2,000 years of storms and questions.”

And he follows with a heart-felt challenge.

“If you know nothing of the Bible, start here. If you know everything in the Bible, return here. We all need the reminder.” 

Lucado believes that the message is so vital that he has focused his new book entirely on that Biblical passage. Lucado encourages Christians to view this verse with fresh eyes, and he invites seekers exploring faith to consider the unparalleled claims of John 3:16 in which Jesus summed up His life: He loves. He gave. We believe. We live.           

Lucado uses John 3:16 as a starting point for addressing some of the most central issues of life and religion.

“John 3:16 begins with God, ends with life, and urges us to do the same,” he writes. Some of the life and death issues Lucado tackles include:  

1) Is there any chance of a second chance? 

2) Why is this world so hard? 

3) Have I exhausted God’s love? 

4) Life has let downs. How can I know that Jesus won’t be one of them? 

5) Does God have a place for people like me? 

6) Don’t all roads lead to heaven and God?


Lucado, originally from West Texas, was dubbed “America’s Pastor” by Christianity Today in 2004. When he was 16, Lucado spent hot summer nights digging ditches and drinking beer, but soon he began to wonder if there was more to life than what he was doing. A required Bible course during his sophomore year at Abilene Christian University changed the course of his life. He was fascinated with the professor’s portrayal of Jesus and became convinced he wanted to be a follower. He moved to Miami and met Denalyn at a singles event at church. They married in 1981, have three daughters, and he has pastored Oak Hills Church since 1988. In 1985, Max mailed his first manuscript, On the Anvil, to 15 publishers who all rejected the book before it was finally published by Tyndale.

Loading Webform
Give Now