Grace and Truth

The Gospel of John begins by introducing key themes that are expanded in the body of the book - LifeLightWitnessTruth, and Grace. Jesus is the Light of the World, the source of Grace and Truth, the True Tabernacle, and the only born Son of God who dwells in the “bosom of the Father.” The Prologue concludes by declaring that he is qualified to interpret the unseen God since he alone has seen Him.

As incomprehensible as it is to the “wisdom of this age,” the lowly man from Nazareth who died on a Roman cross is, in fact, the “way, the truth, and the life. No comes to the Father except through him!” There is no life or knowledge of the one true God apart from Jesus - (John 14:6).

Multnomah Falls - Photo by Perry Kibler on Unsplash
[Photo by Perry Kibler on Unsplash]

The introduction concludes with a significant contrast – Rather than Moses, 
JESUS IS THE ONLY ONE WHO INTERPRETS THE FATHER. John presents him as the one who reveals God and makes Him known.

  • (John 1:14-18) – “And the Word became flesh and pitched his tent among us, and we gazed upon his glory, glory as an only-born from his Father, full of grace and truth… Because from his fullness we all received, even grace over against grace. Because the law was given through Moses, GRACE AND TRUTH THROUGH JESUS CHRIST CAME TO BE. No one has seen God at any time. The only born, the One who is in the bosom of the Father, He has interpreted…

In contrast to Moses, “grace and truth came to be through Jesus.” This declaration challenged beliefs about the Law held by many Jews of the first century. The “loving-kindness of Yahweh” was and is found in Jesus, not the Torah.

The term rendered “interpreted” translates the Greek verb exégeomai, meaning, to “lead out, explain, interpret.” In the final sentence of the Prologue, it has no direct object in the Greek clause. There is no “him” after the verb “interpreted.” The clause is open-ended since Jesus is the interpreter of all things related to his Father.

The Greek clause translated as the “only born Son” expands on verse 14 - “We beheld his glory, a glory as of an ONLY BORN from a father, full of grace and truth.” He is the one who unveils and provides “GRACE AND TRUTH” to men and women, and throughout the Gospel of John, he “interprets” and reveals the “unseen God” to anyone who responds to him in faith - (John 6:46, 8:38, 14:7-9, 15:24).

He is not another in a long line of prophets. Jesus is the ultimate expression of God, His “word made flesh,” and the Father can be understood only in and through him.

The Gospel of John does not present a Messiah who is identical to the Father, but one who knows and reveals the Living-Giving God; therefore, anyone who has “seen” Jesus has “seen” the Father and received “Grace and Truth.” All things were made according to the “Word,” the Logos, and not according to the Torah or anything else.

The Mosaic Law certainly had its place in God’s redemptive plan, but it has been superseded by the “Word made flesh,” the one in whom God’s “glory” is revealed to His children.

Bryce Canyon stars - Photo by Philip Graves on Unsplash
[Photo by Philip Graves on Unsplash]

In the 
Book of Exodus, Moses was only permitted to see the “backside,” the afterglow of God’s glory while He covered him with His “hand” in the hollow of a rock as He passed by - “You cannot see my face, for no son of earth can see me and live” – (Exodus 33:17-22, 34:6-7).

In contrast, Jesus dwells in God’s very “bosom.” He has seen the Father face to face; therefore, he is the only one who can “declare” and represent the invisible God to the world - (Exodus 33:17-22).

The purpose is not to denigrate Moses or the Torah but to highlight the full and final revelation of God that now and forevermore is found in Jesus Christ. In him alone, is the loving-kindness of the God of Israel manifested most concretely.



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