“Glory… Grace… and Truth” – Huh?
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His Glory, Glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of Grace and Truth.” (John 1:14)
Glory…. full of Grace… and Truth… if you’re like most people you probably recognize that the above passage is saying something very important, perhaps profound. But just exactly what that is seems a bit lost to you. It’s not that you don’t know what the words mean, but that they are being used in such an odd way.
Glory, you may associate with self adulation, or maybe it calls to mind Bruce Springsteen and his 1985 hit “Glory Days.” Or perhaps you think of a beautiful sunrise or sunset – something “glorious”. Grace may make you think of a ballerina or that “Thank you” Christians say before a meal. Truth… well that’s a puzzle, especially these days when everyone seems to claim a “personal truth.” Actual universal Truth seems almost passé.
To understand this passage we must first appreciate the context in which it appears. Until the coming of Jesus an individual’s righteousness before God was determined by one’s perfect obedience of the Mosaic Law…. only hitch was, no one could keep it perfectly, no one was truly holy. But the prophets told of a future Messiah, the Redeemer to come which would set everything aright.
Jesus is that Redeemer! When John the Baptist identified Him He said “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). But Jesus made holiness possible by paying the consequences of human failure and sin and giving to those who acknowledge their sinfulness, place their trust in Him, and obey Him as Lord, His very Spirit to dwell within them… to give them a new heart, a new nature — a nature that fulfills all the demands of the Law.
The glorious God Himself became man, graciously died for us, rose again, and gives believers a new heart and eternal life which none of us deserves. He said “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6). When we accept the truth of our need for Him He opens to us the Way to Life everlasting.
John the apostle now understood this and writes his gospel account.
“…the Word [Eternal God] became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
Praise God for this Gift of Christmas!