Jonathan's Perspective  

Dec 13

'Grace and Truth'

John makes a profound statement that makes us sit up and pay attention to who this Jesus was who came into the world.  'And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.'(John 1:14)  I am thankful that Jesus came full of grace.  I am glad that Jesus teaches us truth.  Mostly, I am thankful that Jesus comes with both.

We need Grace first.  If we are honest with ourselves, we know our shortcomings.  We are acutely aware of the pain we have caused to our spouses, friends, family members, and colleagues.  We don't need a hammer to tell us what is wrong with us because we have already been hammered by the consequences of our failings.  What I need - and I assume you do as well - is a glimmer of hope.  I need to be met where I am rather than condemned for not being perfect.  I need grace to wrap His arms around me and let me know I am forgiven.  I need grace to say that my past sins do not disqualify me from having new relationships with God and others.  Grace tells me that my story is not over and that I have a new opportunity in Christ.  However, grace without truth is simply license - forgiveness without transformation.

Secondly, we need Truth.  If grace forgives me but leaves me where I am, it is no good to me.  I need truth to draw me forward into new life-giving relationships with God and others.  John will later quote Jesus saying that He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.  That is the second part of what Jesus brings.  Life under my own knowledge and agenda has landed me in hot water from time to time.  It is God's truth and God's agenda that I need to learn and put into practice so that I can be truly transformed.  Notice, though, that Jesus' truth comes after the grace. Truth without grace is the harsh and right judgment of God.  However, Jesus didn't come to condemn, but to renew. 

Aren't you glad that Jesus came 'full of grace and truth'?  Jesus came to meet you right where you are.  Jesus also came to teach you truth so you can walk a new, life-giving path.  We see this same beautiful combination in a description of God in Psalm 85:

Love and faithfulness meet together;
    righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
    and righteousness looks down from heaven.
The Lord will indeed give what is good,
    and our land will yield its harvest.
Righteousness goes before him
    and prepares the way for his steps. (Psalm 85:10-13)

May the wonder of Christmas embrace you with the fullness of grace and truth, righteousness and peace!

Blessed to be a blessing,

Jonathan

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