John 1:17 part 2
“Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
We saw yesterday that God is a God of grace. Verses 16-17 are showing that God has always been a God of grace; the “grace and truth” through Jesus Christ is a continuation (and fulfilment) of the grace that God showed His people when He rescued them from Egypt and gave them the law.
Jesus fully reveals the covenant love of God. Let’s do a quick tour of Exodus… God’s people are in slavery. God rescues His people and takes them to Mount Sinai. In Exodus 20, He gives them the 10 commandments, which are their response to His covenant commitment to them to be their God. In Exodus 32, Israel breaks the covenant and the commandments by making a golden calf to worship. Moses intercedes for them; he pleads with the Lord for forgiveness for them and that the Lord will continue to go with them. Then, in Exodus 33:18, Moses asks the Lord, “Show me Your glory.”
The Lord’s answer is “I will make all my goodness pass before you and proclaim my name” (Exodus 33:19). That revelation is in Exodus 34:6: ” The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness…'”
Remember, this happened after Israel had sinned and broken the covenant but God still reveals to Moses His _steadfast love and faithfulness._ “Steadfast love” is unchanging and loyal love and kindness, even when His people sin – it is grace. “Faithfulness” is truthfulness – God will not lie. He is the God of truth.
This is where John gets the phrase “grace and truth.” In the middle of Israel’s sin, God reveals His “steadfast love and faithfulness.” Into a sinful, dark, rebellious world, Jesus comes, God in the flesh, to bring to sinners God’s steadfast love and truthfulness, or grace and truth.
For those who have received Him (v12), Jesus brings us into God’s covenant love. Even though we still sin every day (like Israel), He still pours His covenant love upon us – grace upon grace. We are forgiven, we are clothed in righteousness. Even though we still sin, He is still faithful to His promises; He is the God of truth who will not lie or break His word, and He will preserve us, even when we fail Him.
So “grace and truth” or “steadfast love and faithfulness” have come to us in Jesus Christ. Let’s thank Him for His amazing grace. Let’s rejoice that, even though we are sinners and we still sin, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
May the Lord encourage us with these things today.