Updated: May 28, 2021
On March 16th, I was struck with a memory. One evening, ten years ago, a worship leader I served with came to church with some exciting news. He and his fiancée had set a date for their wedding. That date was March 16, 2003. Now I never remember my friends’ anniversaries. I don’t even remember the months my siblings were married, much less the days. But this particular date stuck with me even after all these years. You may be wondering why, so let me tell you. Three sixteen was significant to my friend because of John 3:16. He was very excited that the date of his wedding reflected one of the key verses in Christianity. His excitement was contagious. We were, of course, quite excited for him as well.
Fast forward ten years.
I was at another friend’s house on March 16, 2013. I told her that it was my friend’s ten year anniversary, and that I couldn’t forget the date because of his excitement at being married on 3/16. At that moment, her father walked into the room. Now her father is a professor of intercultural studies at Biola, thus a very smart man. He also has a quirky and mischievous sense of humor. He asked what we were excited about and I explained about three sixteen, my friend’s anniversary, and the Bible verse. He laughed and said there were near 66 three sixteens in the Bible and proceeded to look them up for me to prove it.
Genesis 3:16 speaks of the woman’s pain in childbirth. Leviticus 3:16 tells of a priest burning fat as a sacrifice to God. Judges 3:16 relates the tale of Ehud’s sword. Job 3:16 recounts the tale of Job bemoaning his birth. Proverbs 3:16 says the woman will have a long life. Ecclesiastes 3:16 reminds us that there is wickedness everywhere. Lamentations 3:16 laments with the grinding of teeth on gravel. Habakkuk 3:16 tells of rottenness entering the bones. Romans 3:16 states, “Ruin and misery mark their ways.” Hebrews 3:16 reminds us of those who heard the message and rebelled. James 3:16 tells us to avoid envy and selfish ambition. Revelation 3:16 records Jesus’ words to the lukewarm church which he intends to spit out of his mouth. Not all the three sixteens are like John’s.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Thank you, Rich Starcher, it is a pleasure doing Bible study with you!