The first chapter of John is packed with messages that go to the very core of the Christian message. This paragraph is no exception. Here we see the witness of John, who the Word is and what the basis of His message is and was for mankind. We see the very reason why we owe the Lord such an immense debt, and one that can never be paid.
The Word Became Flesh
In he first verse of this section we see, “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.” (verse 14)
The Word as we saw in the earlier sections and previous posts, was the creator of the heavens and the earth. Nothing was made without His word and direction and all things were made through I’m. Now we see that the Word became flesh and dwelt with man. That man was Jesus Christ, the saviour of all mankind.
He did not sin for he was the Son of God and as such he was full of grace and truth. In him we have the example by which we a to learn how to live so that we can stand before God and come into his presence. In Jesus Christ we have the demotion and salvation from sin so that we can become perfect as he is perfect.
All of this came through Jesus who in the heavenly realm was the God of Creation, the Son of the Father and the Word through which all things were made and through whom we exist.
The Witness Of John
But as mentioned in an earlier post, there was required a second witness so that men would accept Him. In the law it was written that by the evidence of two or more witnesses a thing would be established. So to keep in accordance with the law, Jesus too ensured there would be two witnesses to His appearance and purpose.
John the Baptist was that witness. John came to bear witness to Jesus as being the Christ and the one who was to proclaim salvation to all of mankind. Verse 15 in this section says “John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'”
John knew his place. He knew that his purpose was to bear witness to Christ, and then Christ would deliver the message that John was preparing the people to receive. John knew that the message he was delivering was a preparation for the Lord. John was starting something that the Lord would complete.
Grace and Truth
the message that the Lord would deliver for all mankind was to bring into effect grace and truth for all mankind. Verse 17 is clear about this and contrasts the message of Jesus with that of Moses saying, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
There is an interesting contrast in these words. Moses brought the people the law, which rightly was greatly revered. The law gave the people a standard of life by which they could know how God wanted them to behave. There is great wisdom in the law and there is much that we can learn from it today. Typically when things go wrong or there is moral decline in the world today it is because man has turned away from the principles established in the law of Moses.
But we see that in Christ there was something new and different proclaimed. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. This is quite different to the law of Moses. The law brought bondage to the people for it showed up sin for what it was. The law defined the line between good and evil, but grace and truth does not do that. The law condemned man and kept his sin constantly before his face.
However under the teachings of grace and truth we see that Jesus brought about the possibility to be set free from sin, set free from the law and released from all the things that the law could not release man from. Grace and truth offered the promise of righteousness rather than bondage that was enforced under the law.
This is the tremendous promise of Christianity to which we have all been called. This is the offer that Jesus has set before all mankind and is given freely if they will listen, accept and obey his word. Accept his offer of grace and truth and come to the light that is Jesus Christ. Seek his word and know that in Jesus Christ your sins are taken away and you can stand righteous before the Lord.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng taken by Julia Freeman-Woolpert)