The Savior of the World

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“And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” (1 John 4:14)

This unique title of the Lord Jesus Christ assures us that when the Father sent His Son away from the glories of heaven down to a world lost in sin, it was not just to be the Messiah of the Jews, or to assume David’s throne as King of Israel, or to punish the wicked Gentile nations.

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17).

In fact, this special title is used only one other time in the Bible, and it was used by Samaritans rather than Jews when they came to know Jesus as He ministered among them for two days. These people were mostly of Gentile background with a mixture of Israeli blood who had become adherents of a quasi-Jewish religion that was also part pagan.

But they were actually looking for a Savior, and their testimony after meeting Jesus was: “Now we believe . . . and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42). They perceived that He had come to bring salvation to lost sinners in every nation, not just to Israel or Samaria. As He said later, “I came not to judge the world, but to save the world” (John 12:47).

And so He commanded His disciples “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations” (Luke 24:47). He became to the Father “the propitiation . . . for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2) when He offered up His life as a sacrifice for sins, then died and rose again. We who have believed on Him as our personal Savior are now to be His witnesses “in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). HMM