The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son,
who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14
God moved into the neighborhood.
God did not call collect from Heaven. He did not send a text message or an email. He took on flesh. Jesus took on flesh, and became fully, truly human without ceasing to be fully, truly divine.
Eugene Peterson’s translation of John 1:14 in The Message paraphrase:
The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.
Jesus, in his earthly ministry, ate with sinners, welcomed the outcast, and gave hope to lowlifes like you and me. Jesus called a group of fishermen to put down their nets and follow him. He said things like “Blessed are you who are poor for yours is the kingdom of God” and “Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you.” Jesus allowed a sinful woman to break an alabaster of perfume and anoint his feet. As the crowd around him grumbled, Jesus told this woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” He calmed a storm as his disciples cowered in fear. He took five loaves and two fish and fed thousands of people. Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come” and told the tax collector Zacchaeus “Today, salvation has come to this house.”
Jesus spoke the words of God and demonstrated the character of God.
Jesus revealed God’s grace.
Jesus came from the father, “full of grace.” Grace is one of the great Christian theological concepts. Grace is most clearly seen in God’s provision for our spiritual need by sending his Son to be our Savior.
As the old hymn declares:
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind but now I see
Grace can be seen in two powerful Jesus encounters recorded in John’s gospel:
- In John 4 Jesus approached a Samaritan woman at the well. She was rejected by Jews for merely being a Samaritan. She was rejected by her fellow Samaritans for her brokenness. She was shocked that Jesus even spoke to her. He did more than that. He showed her grace.
- In John 8 Jesus was brought a woman caught in adultery. Her peers caught her, convicted her, wanted Jesus to give them permission to stone her. He didn’t do that. He showed her grace.
Jesus looked beyond sin and brokenness and provided compassion, love, and forgiveness. Perhaps you need to encounter God’s grace. Bring your sin and brokenness to the foot of the cross. Where Jesus died for your sin. Bring your sin and brokenness to the empty tomb. Where Jesus rose from the dead to provide abundant and eternal life.
Jesus revealed God’s truth.
Jesus came from the Father, “full of grace and truth.” Truth on a basic level is the opposite of falsehood. Yet, it has deeper meaning in the context of the New Testament. Truth is a characteristic of God. We know truth because God reveals truth. Truth exposes falsehood, white lies, outright lies. Truth exposes ignorance, confusion, and deceit. Truth brings freedom, repels the darkness, and leads to holiness.
You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own truth. God reveals truth and he’s revealed it in the Bible. He’s revealed it in the life and ministry of Jesus.
Truth can be seen in two powerful Jesus encounters recorded in John’s gospel which we’ve already briefly discussed:
- In John 4 Jesus showed the woman at the well grace but he also told her: “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” (John 4:17-18).
- In John 8 Jesus showed the woman caught in adultery grace but he also told her: “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11)
Jesus looked into sin and brokenness and spoke truth. Perhaps you need to encounter God’s truth. Bring your white lies and outright lies to the bright light of truth. Bring your ignorance, confusion, and deceit to the truth-speaking Savior. Allow him to lead you to freedom and holiness.
We do not follow the Jesus Christ of pop culture or the Jesus Christ we’ve created in our own imagination. The Jesus Christ found in the pages of Scripture is the Jesus Christ of history and the One who currently sits at the right hand of the Heavenly Father. The One who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
One thought on “Grace and Truth”
Got it again! Great sermon Sunday and reading it again cements the value of it.