A friend sent me the story that follows below. I could find no author to credit, but I located the website on which it appears: Wreckless Faith. Here’s the story:
A little boy was selling newspapers on a corner as people, but he was so cold that he was trying harder to stay as warm as he could than he was selling papers. He walked up 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 you? You see, I sleep in a box around the corner there and down the alley, and it’s going to be awful cold in there tonight. Sure would be nice to have a warm place to stay.”
The policeman looked down at the little boy and said, “You go down the street to that big white house and knock on the door. When the lady opens the door, you just say ‘John 3:16,’ and she’ll let you in.”
The little boy walked down the street to the big white house, climbed up the steps, and knocked on the door. An older woman answered. The little boy thought she looked like the sweetest grandmother he’d ever seen. His eyes looked into hers and he said, “John 3:16.”
“Come on in, Son,” the woman replied
She took him inside and sat the boy down in a split-bottom rocker in front of a great big fireplace, where a fresh fire blazed and crackled. The woman went off to another room, leaving the little boy warming by the fire by himself. He sat for a while and thought to himself:
“John 3:16…I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy warm.”
Later, the woman came back and asked the little boy, “Are you hungry?”
The boy answered, “Well, just a little. I haven’t eaten in a couple of days, and I guess I could stand a little bit of food.”
The woman took him into the kitchen and sat him down to a table full of wonderful food. The little boy ate and ate until he couldn’t eat anymore. Then he thought to himself again:
“John 3:16…I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a hungry boy full.”
The woman took the little boy upstairs to a bathroom, where a huge bathtub was full of steaming, warm water. The boy sat there and soaked for a while, thinking to himself:
“John 3:16…I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a dirty boy clean. You know, come to think of it, I haven’t had a bath — a real bath — my whole life! The only bath I remember was when I stood in front of a big old fire hydrant as some workers flushed it out.”
The woman came in took the little boy into a cozy, warm bedroom; tucked him into a big, thick, soft feather bed; pulled the covers up around his neck; kissed him goodnight; and turned out the lights. As he lay in the darkness and looked out the window at the snow coming down outside on that cold night, the boy thought to himself, just before he drifted off to sleep:
“John 3:16…I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a tired boy restful.”
The next morning, the woman came into the now sun-lit bedroom, and took the little boy downstairs to the same big table in the kitchen that full of food. After the boy ate his fill, the woman took him back to that same split-bottom rocker, in front of a freshly-burning fire in the big fireplace. the woman sat down across from the little boy and picked up a big old Bible, one of those family heirloom Bibles with a hard leather cover and big gold letters.
The woman looked at the little boy and as their eyes met, she asked him gently, “Do you understand John 3:16?“
“No, Ma’am, I don’t,” the boy replied. “The first time I ever heard it was last night when the policeman told me to use it.”
The woman opened the Bible to John 3:16 and began to explain about Yeshua (His Hebrew name), the Messiah. The little boy sat listening to her read the story of Yeshua. As the woman shared the glad tidings of God’s Son sent to save us all, the boy sat there thinking:
“John 3:16…I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe.”
Right there, in front of that big old fireplace, the boy gave his heart and life to Yeshua.
You know, I have to confess I don’t understand it either…how God was willing to send His Son to die for me, and how Jesus would agree to do such a thing. I don’t understand the agony that the Father — and every angel in heaven — must have felt as He watched Jesus suffer and die. I don’t understand the intense love the Jesus had for me that kept Him on the cross until He breathed His last.
John 3:16…I don’t understand it, but it sure makes life worth living.
“For thus God loves the world, so that He gives His only-begotten Son, that everyone who is believing in Him should not be perishing, but may be having life eonian.” (John 3:16 – Concordant Literal New Testament)
For a “you-are-there” look into the last hours of Yeshua’s life, read the book, You Think YOU Have it Tough?
Blessings and joy in the journey.