And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
– John 1:14
John’s account of the incarnation is simple: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” The great mystery of God is wrapped up in that simple sentence. It reveals God’s great love for us, God’s desire to be known by us, and Christ’s willingness to come to meet us in our sinful state of estrangement.
It is important for us to take note of John’s word that Jesus brought “grace and truth.” It is tempting for us to understand Jesus as a bearer either of grace or of truth, not of both. One seems to reflect a liberal view of faith, the other a conservative view. One seems to speak of justice and law, the other of forgiveness and acceptance. One seems more concerned with holiness, the other more concerned with hospitality. Which is correct? Of course the answer is they both are.
Just as Jesus’ incarnation bound the human with the divine, so too his work binds grace and truth. This means on the one hand that God’s truth is unshakeable and on the other hand God’s grace is sufficient. God’s desire is nothing less than that we live holy, good, even perfect lives, but God does not approach us with an impossible standard by which we must prove our worthiness. Instead, God comes to us with love and grace, and he offers forgiveness, reconciliation, and a grand vision for life. He sees in us things we cannot see, and through his grace he calls forward the best and finest in our lives.
Good Father, I confess Jesus as my Lord and follow him through your grace and truth. Amen.