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)
Grace and truth, these two words almost sum up what Christianity is about. And Jesus Christ sums up what the Bible is about (Matthew 5:17).
When John says the Jesus is full of grace and truth he is not simply telling us that there is a lot of these attributes in him. Jesus is grace and truth, he epitomizes them, we don’t use the words ‘grace’ and ‘truth’ as a way to define Jesus, he gives meaning to these words. Apart from Jesus we do not have adequate ways to comprehend what either grace or truth really is. Keeping in mind that Jesus is God, consider these words from Leon Morris:
The Gospel According to John (Leon Morris,1995), p259.
God has revealed truth in creation (Romans 1:20), in the law given to Moses (Romans 7:7) and through the prophets, but God’s ultimate revelation of truth is Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21):
“So truth is not the teaching about God transmitted by Jesus, but is God’s very reality revealing itself — occurring! — in Jesus.” Truth understood in this way has a special connection with the cross. As the Gospel comes to it’s climax Pilate asks, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). No answer is given in words, but the Passion narrative gives the answer in deeds.
The Gospel According to John (Leon Morris,1995),p260. (The sub-quotation is from Bultmann.)
As the revelation of truth in Jesus occurs at the cross, so too is this a revelation of grace. Apart from the cross of Christ we have only a shallow understanding of grace. As Ephesians 1:4-7 shows, God’s grace has been active since before the creation of the world and without this innate attribute of God we would live in continual fear (if we lived at all!).
Praise God that in Jesus we are assured not only of truth but also of grace.