so adv 1. In the way or manner indicated. 2. to the extent or degree indicated or suggested. 3. very or extremely. 4. very greatly. 5. most certainly…
Immediately before speaking the familiar words of verse 16, Jesus had expressed the horror that salvation would entail, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” Reading how God so loved the world takes an added dimension when it is placed in this context.
Go back to your Bible, and as you read, substitute the word “thus” or the phrase “in this way” for “so”. The depth of the love of God takes on a new weight when considered in this light. Rather than the abstract God so loved the world, we are confronted with Because God loved the world, the Son of Man must be sacrificed on their behalf. We’ll never read ‘so’ in the same way again.
Grace and peace to you.