“World” in the Gospel of John

John 3:16 – 17

Jesus, the emissary from above, has come into this world (1:9–10; 3:16–17, 19; 6:14; 10:36; 11:27; 12:46; 16:28; 17:18, 21, 23; 18:37). His mission was an expression of God’s love for the world (3:16). This world is dominated by darkness and the prince of this world. The world in view is humanity. The coming of the emissary was to save, not to condemn the world (3:17; 4:42; 6:33, 51; 12:47), but condemnation is inevitable where the saving mission is rejected (9:39). The coming of the emissary is expressed in terms of the coming of the light into the world as the light of the world (3:19; 8:12; 9:5; 12:46). The light does not belong to the world (8:23; 17:16; 18:36) but has come to reveal the Father and his love for the world (14:31; 17:21, 23–24). His coming was to bring life to the world (6:33) by giving his life for the world (1:29; 6:51). Having entered the world and completed his mission, the emissary departs from it (13:1; 14:19; 16:28), having commissioned his disciples to continue his mission to the world (17:21, 23).

Painter, J. (1992). World. In (J. B. Green & S. McKnight, Eds.)Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.