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The Numbers of Hope

Online Bible Study
with Max Lucado

Max's 3:16 study has been entirely rewritten and re-filmed for 2022, with a more focused and deeply personal look at the most-loved verse in the Bible —John 3:16.

Could you use a dose of HOPE?
Together, let’s dive deep into Scripture to uncover all the meaning and promise behind the most famous verse in the Bible...  a twenty-six word parade of hope.

Could you use some hope?

Join Max on a five-week journey in the weeks up to Easter to uncover all the meaning and promise behind the most famous verse of the Bible...  a twenty-six word parade of hope.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
- John 3:16

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A note from Max

Hi Friends,

I have long been fascinated with the most well-known verse in the Bible: John 3:16. 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

Could a single sentence contain more significance? Consider the weight of its words: “God . . . loved . . . world . . . perish . . . eternal life.” 

Each phrase deserves a deep dive. Each term warrants its own conversation. Each word merits its own chapter. 

Hence, the book 3:16. 

When it released in 2007, we had no idea it would be so well received. It’s been read by all ages, translated into twenty-five languages and used in countless settings. Numerous bookstore chains, church denominations, and entire congregations spent focused time examining this life-giving promise. Prisons. Small groups. Personal studies. 

Stories came from readers around the world who found faith in this “twenty-six-word parade of hope,” whose words have been framed, T-shirted, tattooed, monogrammed, and bannered. 

Every time I recall these words, they are as fresh and as stunning as my first encounter with them. The mind-bending awareness of God’s limitless love, his incalculable sacrifice, and the priceless teaching at the core. How can we not review it again and again? I want this generation, and all who come after, to look closely at the key promise of God and choose the gift beyond all gifts. 

John 3:16 invites us to get to the root of the human story. We tend to do the opposite. We focus on the fruit. Am I well-employed, well-paid, well-built, or well-received by people in my world? Valid questions, for sure, but John 3:16 bids us to go deeper. 

Who is God? 

Why does his love matter? 

Do I matter? 

What is meant by “perish”? 

Eternal life? Is it available to me? 

John 3:16 takes us upriver to the headwaters of human existence. Once we find our source of life, it’s easier to stay on course. 

I invite you to turn the page and engage with these wonderful words of Jesus. Though spoken more than two thousand years ago, they are as relevant as this morning’s headlines. 

He loved. He gave.
We believe. We live. 

It’s that simple. It’s that vital. 

Shall we get started?  

~ Max Lucado

If you know nothing of the Bible, this is the place to start. If you know everything in the Bible, this is the place to return.

Max Lucado, 3:16 The Numbers of Hope

Will you join Max and the community around the world?

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Join the study leading up to Easter

You'll receive FREE access to all 5 sessions

Session 1: The Most Famous Conversation in the Bible

In a world of no second chances, one shot, and better-get-it-right-the-first-time, it’s hard to conceive of what it could mean to be born again. Nicodemus may not have understood it in the moment during that most famous conversation, but what he received from Jesus that night was hope. A hope to start over, be new, be clean. A chance to actually be born, again.

Session 2: Hope for the Hard Heart

You’ve heard it said that “it is better to give than to receive.” When it comes to humans and love, the saying could be similar: “It is easier to give love than to receive it.” Allowing God to love us when it isn't earned or deserved can be more difficult than hardening our hearts toward that love. So, let’s soften our hearts and receive this freely-given gift!

Session 3: The Heart He Offers

Some say Jesus was just a good teacher, a good leader, and a good person all around; he said and did some wonderful things . . . and that’s the end of the story. But if you truly believe the words of John 3:16—that Jesus was God’s one and only Son—then it changes everything. You believe Jesus was not only a good guy but that he was the guy. The Son. The way. The truth. The life.

Session 4: Heaven's "Whoever" Policy

In this life, to get where you want to go, you typically have to be somebody; very little is offered to just whoever. Perhaps this is why the policy in John 3:16 seems too good to be true: “Whoever believes in him shall not perish.” Whoever? Really? We all know when something seems too good to be true, it is too good to be true. But not so with the offer Christ makes—the offer of who gets to receive his eternal life.

Session 5: The Last Word on Life

When it comes to envisioning what heaven and hell are really like, our imaginations fail us. They cannot fathom the majesty of heaven, just as they cannot fathom the bitterness of hell. This session looks at the harshness with which Jesus talks about hell as well as the profound promise of an eternity with God.

Praise for 3:16

Over 1 million copies sold & translated into 25 languages

Franklin Graham

"John 3:16 is one of the most powerful verses in Scripture. I can’t think of another verse that the gospel hinges on so clearly as John 3:16. Over the years, this verse was displayed behind my father’s platform at all his Crusades. Max Lucado’s 3:16: The Numbers of Hope is refreshing and insightful. May the powerful Gospel message of this verse bring hope to all who read."

Rick Warren

"My friend Max Lucado has done it again! He’s taken the most beloved passage of Scripture, unwrapped its deepest truths revealing the greatest expression of God’s love. 3:16’s message of hope will show you how much you matter to God. This is a must-read for anyone."

Chris Tomlin

"At the heart of our worship is the message of John 3:16. The story still inspires—out of God’s great love was born great sacrifice. In 3:16, Max makes new and fresh one of the oldest and deepest truths of our faith. I cannot help but sing and shout and dance from a grateful and humble heart when I think of what God has done for me and all of humanity. How great is our God!"

Mary Graham

"Max Lucado brings words, and now numbers, to new life. The truth in 3:16 is life changing, and nobody makes it more relevant for today and compelling for the future than our friend Max."

What to expect in OBS

Weekly emails

Check your inbox every Monday. You'll find your weekly video, testimonies, and other important information there!

Free videos

Watch the video sessions with Max any time between Monday and Sunday - on your own or with a group! 

Personal study

The 3:16 study guide is your recommended companion. Journal through the workbook and respond to questions at your own pace.


Join conversations with participants from around the world in Max's community Facebook Group or in the group forums after the videos.

What better verse to savor as we celebrate the miracle of the resurrection.
Because He died, we LIVE!

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