John 1:14 (ESV)
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.
J.C. Ryle said, “The passage of Scripture now before us is very short, if we measure it by words. But it is very long, if we measure it by the nature of its contents.” These 29 words could be split into 5 different devotionals or sermons or lectures and it would not be so difficult to do so. Just give a brief pause of reflection to each one:
- The Word Became Flesh
- He Dwelt Among Us
- We Have Seen God’s Glory
- The Glory of God’s Only Son
- Full of Grace and Truth
If you would like some help in diving deeper into today’s verse, please visit a website that I have found invaluable over the years. It’s called Precept Austin and the page on John 1:14 can be found HERE. For today’s Dose, I’d like to focus on the final thought in the verse—full of grace and truth—and simply ask the question: What are we full of? When you “squeeze” us, what comes out? How do we come across to our fellow Christians? To unbelievers? What lens do we look through when we examine our own lives?
Pastor Tim Keller shared an observation about Grace and Truth in a sermon that I have listened to time and time again…because I needed to. He said, “If you are all truth and no grace, you are a bully. But, if you are all grace and no truth, you are a coward. John chapter one and verse fourteen shows us that Jesus was full of both. We should be, too.” As a bully, we pound our “pulpit” and sound the truth, but we lack the grace to truly care for our audience as individuals that Jesus loves and died for. As a coward, we go out of our way so as to not offend anyone, but we lack the Truth of God’s Word and therefore have no real power to make a difference. Only the Truth can set one free (Jn. 8:32), but it is a hammer to destroy the lock…not the prisoner.
It’s easy to become a bully in today’s environment, but it’s just as easy to become a coward. Jesus’ mix of grace and truth was not 70/30, 60/40, or even 50/50. It was 100/100. How can a cup be full of both water and wine without diluting either? Only through the power of the Holy Spirit. Pray every day for the Lord to “mix you up right,” and watch the power of Grace and Truth be unleashed in your life and witness for Christ!