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.15 (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.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. – John1:14-18
John is still in the introduction to his gospel in verses 14-18 when he lays out more truth in 131 words than can be fully expounded upon in many volumes. But, alas, I have only a few words I can write about this today. Powerful truths that we are exposed to here:
God became flesh and lived among we humans. For we who have been Christians most of our lives, this is old hat. That’s often the problem with us, powerful truth becomes old hat. So, think about it a minute. The Creator actually became flesh like you and me and lived among us. As my Pastor says, the gospel trajectory is always from God to us, not us working our way to God. He comes for us because he is for us, 100%.
And, John, along with Peter and James, were able to see his glory.
Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. – Luke 9:28-31
Then John subtely drops another bombshell. “He who comes after me ranks before me, brecause he was before me.” Wait! John was born before Jesus. Remember when Mary went to see her cousin Elizabeth who was then pregnant with John the Baptist? Mary was going to tell Elizabeth the news about the announcement from the Angel. When Mary entered the room, John did a happy dance in the womb of Elizabeth. He had been conceived months before Jesus and yet John is here saying he was before me. John recognized what Jesus made plain later when he said, “Before Abraham was, I am.”
So, John, still in the introduction to his gospel, is identifying Jesus as the eternal I am, the third person of the Trinity.
The law came through the mediation of Moses where the Lord revealed his name and central in that revelation was “steadfast love and faithfulness.” The New Testament equivalent is “grace and truth.” The law that Moses mediated could not reveal grace and truth, that came through Jesus Christ.
Finally, no one has ever seen God (the Father); the only God (Jesus, the Son), who is at the Father’s side, he (the Son) has made him (the Father) known.
So here we have the eternal I am becoming flesh, living among us, revealing his glory, revealing grace and truth, and most of all he has made the Father known. So, in the Scriptures, we see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ and are changed into his image by the Spirit of the Lord.
How about a Happy Dance in the Spirit?