John 3:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 3:15, NIV: "that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.'"

John 3:15, ESV: "that whoever believes in him may have eternal life."

John 3:15, KJV: "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."

John 3:15, NASB: "so that everyone whobelieves will have eternal life in Him."

John 3:15, NLT: "so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life."

John 3:15, CSB: "so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."

What does John 3:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus explains to Nicodemus that the role of the Messiah is symbolized by the bronze serpent Moses made in the Old Testament (Numbers 21:4–9). To save the people from death, as a result of their own sin, God had Moses construct an image of a snake and place it on a pole. When it was lifted, anyone who looked at it was cured. In the same way, Christ will be "lifted up" on a cross, and anyone who looks to Him in faith will be saved. This not only symbolizes the fact that salvation is completely outside of our own ability, but that it has to be entirely by faith. Looking at an image held high on a pole required no "work" on the part of the Israelites. All it required was faith—but those who refused to express that faith were going to die as a result of their own sins.

Jesus refers to the life being offered as "eternal." This uses the Greek word aionios, which means "everlasting," "unending," "forever," or "ceaseless." In other words, this life is absolutely, irrevocably permanent. The end result of faith in Christ is not just a rescue from death, but a rebirth (John 3:3) into never-ending life.