Grace and peace to you! I hope you are blessed with sunshine on this first day of spring. It is beautiful here but still pretty chilly. Today we will be exploring the first chapter of John as we continue our grace journey. It is my prayer that you are enjoying observing all the different ways grace manifests in people, their lives and in their different circumstances as we have walked through the scriptures. Because of grace, God did not completely wipe out the earth; we saw a family taken out before a city was destroyed; God continued with the Israelites because one man, Moses, found God’s favor; we saw Gideon hiding out become the mighty warrior that God knew he could be; we have seen the redemption and restoration in Ruth and Naomi’s life; and we have seen a barren woman’s greatest desire realized just in our first six days together. What a difference a little grace can make in our lives! Today, we will look in the book of John.
John starts from verse one with the powerful declaration: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:1-5 NASB. Before telling Jesus life purpose and story, John wants to make His deity and who He was clear making sure his readers know that Jesus was at God’s side when the world was created; when the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters in Genesis 1:2, Jesus was there! It says He was the Word (logos- spoken word uttered by a living voice), the Word was with God, and He was God.
Let’s peek at today’s passage. John 1:14-18 tells us: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. (John 1:14-18 NASB)
Four times in today’s passage we see the word grace (Charis) and in two times it is pared with the word truth. For anyone joining us for the first time, here is a link defining this Greek word Charis:
First, Jesus is described as being full of grace and truth. Jesus came full of grace and truth and of His fullness, the fullness of who He was(grace and truth); we have all received grace upon grace. Moses gave the law, but grace and truth are realized through Jesus. Alrighty, so what exactly does that mean to us, or for us? I really can not say, but I can explain what it means in my heart and to me personally. Jesus came to earth carrying that which brought joy, delight, good will, loving-kindness, favor, and merciful kindness of God to us and truth. His purpose was to restore all that was lost or stolen in the Garden of Eden at the fall of man. Enmity came between mankind and God when Adam and Eve disobeyed. There was a division, a separation, sin entered because of man’s disobedience and mankind could no longer coexist with God’s Holiness. Did God stop loving mankind? No! It was His desire to be in relationship with man. God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, we still struggled keeping them all. Israel was given additional laws, not to punish or hinder their fun, but for their protection. Things that were for their best interest for having a blessed and satisfying life. Yet, man struggled with obedience.
Jesus came to earth to bridge the gap between God and mankind. It had been God’s plan from the beginning. He came and fulfilled every single bit of the law, something we could not accomplish. He came because of the loving-kindness, mercy, favor and compassion of His Father, to bridge the gap; to do what we humans could not, to restore that which had been lost at the fall of man and due to the sin of man throughout the ages. He set the example of living a sinless life full of grace and goodwill. Jesus also set an example of love and speaking the truth in love. He was gentle yet firm with people as He taught them the way to walk. Because He loved, He corrected and taught. He did so in a loving way, always direct but only getting harsh with those who were religious leaders; who knew the law and the prophets; expected the people to follow but thought themselves above it. Jesus lived in a manner that completely pleased the Father, knowing at the end of His time here on earth that He would be betrayed, beaten and killed for our sin, sickness, shame, and deliverance. This gracious man came from His gracious Father to walk a perfect path to the cross. He took for us all our iniquity and traded His life for ours; His right standing for our failures. It cost Him everything and us nothing! That is grace! Then He arose defeating the last of our enemies, death and the grave. Grace accomplished the work, it is done. Grace is available to us and freely given. We are free to choose Grace or reject it. Jesus is Grace and when we choose Him, our lives are transformed, never the same!