There once was a Father with teenagers, lots of them, too many to count. The Father loved his children, every single one of them. As you can imagine, the most “important” thing to teenagers was having a vehicle to drive, they simply “couldn’t live without one”. Since the Father knew that his children would never be able to purchase a car on their own, he decided to provide a car for each of his children.
Although the Father was extravagantly generous he did put a few simple conditions on receiving the new car. He loved each of his children, so he requested that in order to receive the car each child would have to come personally to him and ask for the keys so that he could enjoy the “moment” with them. Anyone who became a new car “owner” would also be responsible for caring for and cleaning their new car. Finally, because he loved even his children who might reject his generous offer, the father requested of each child who came to him to request “their” keys that they agree to use their cars to “serve” their brothers and sisters who had not taken advantage of his generous offer.
Over time, many of the Fathers children received their new cars. Others decided they would try to purchase one on their own. Some resented the Father for “manipulating” them with his “free offer”. Others were content to walk.
Some of the “new drivers” drove recklessly and didn’t care for their “free cars”. Others were so cautious about damage that they never really enjoyed driving…they just polished their shiny cars in the driveway. A vast majority of the new drivers formed “car clubs” where they gathered to study their drivers manual, give thanks to the father for their cars, and plan ways to best serve their brothers and sisters who chose not to accept the offer from the father. Over time, the car clubs became more about “deep manual study”, car cleaning training, and riding around with other car owners. Some of the “car owners” did remember to serve their non-driving brothers and sisters. Sometimes their cars got dirty going to some off-road place to pick up a stranded non-driver. Sometimes they were so busy running errands for their brothers and sisters that they missed car club. Sometimes car club members looked down on them for all their contact with non-drivers. However, through their service and efforts, many non-drivers saw the benefit of being a “driver”. Many former non-drivers even requested a new car. That made the Father very happy.
16 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. 17 God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again John 3;16-17 (the message)