'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.' He meant that is: 'Do not wonder that I am going to be lifted up that you may be saved.
This seems best to the Father and He Himself has so loved you as to give His Son in behalf of slaves, even ungrateful slaves.' And He does this though a man would not even do it for his friend, nor would one readily do it for the sake of a just man; as Paul made clear when he said: 'For scarcely in behalf of just man does one die.' But he spoke at greater length since he was addressing the faithful, while in our context Christ spoke more briefly-since His words were addressed to Nicodemus-yet more emphatically.
Indeed, each section of His statement has great force. By the words 'so loved' and 'God [loved] the world' He indicated the extent of His love. The distance between was great-infinite, rather-since He who is immortal, infinite, immense, limitless has loved those made of earth and ashes, weighted down with countless sins, always offending, ungrateful.
Again, His next words are likewise full of meaning as He continued: 'So that he gave his only-begotten Son.' That is, it was not a slave, not a messenger, not an archangel that He gave, He declared. Indeed, who would show such solicitude for his child as God showed for ungrateful slaves?
Daily readings from the writings of St. John Chrysostom