Take the two letter word SO out of John 3:16 and we’ve got a problem. Yes, it would still be accurate to say that "God loved the world." But doesn’t that sound a bit flat? It lacks charisma. It lacks passion. It sounds ordinary… like "I love beans" or "I loved that movie" or "I love the chicago cubs."
But if I were to say "I SO love beans" you would look at me funny. Because that would be SO weird and you would want to sit SO far away from me after dinner. To SO love beans means to go above and beyond the normal efforts to be around beans, to be absorbing beans, to be thinking about beans, to be writing poetry about beans, to dream about swimming in a pile of beans. I hope you get the point.
When we SO love someone, we really really really love that person. Isn’t that SO? We will do whatever we can to give SO love. It is more than a fact. It is a drive, a motivation. SO love is an extreme love, a radical love, a love that is pursued to any end at whatever cost. SO love is SO much more than regular love. SO love is SO amazing! SO love is SO full of life and sacrifice and giving and joy and abundance and power and determined grace. Remember, God didn’t just love the world. God SO loved the world. He more than loved. He SO loved. God was willing to do whatever he possibly could SO that we could have eternal life.
SO that’s why Jesus came. SO that we would not perish. SO that we could be reborn. SO that we could know how he SO loved us.