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. — John 1:14 (ESV).
The mysterious “Word” that the Apostle John has been writing about so far in the introduction to his Gospel is getting closer to being revealed. We read that the “Word” actually “became flesh” — that is, came into the world as a human being — and lived among people rather than held Himself aloof and isolated. Furthermore, John and others (“we”) actually knew Him and observed Him to the extent that they saw His “glory”. Glory is an outward manifestation of honor or magnificence, and it was such that John says that it demonstrated that He was the one and only Son of God — though we do not know from this passage specifically how that appeared to people that saw it. One magnificent example is given in Mark 9:2-10, where Jesus was transfigured into a dazzling white before the eyes of John, Peter, and James — and where the three heard the voice of the Father proclaim, “This is my Son, listen to Him” (NIV).
What I like most about this verse, however, is that we learn that this Word, this only Son of the Father, was full of grace and truth. When you are getting to know someone, one of the things most people try to discern is the person’s character. Are they trustworthy, honest, of good character, or perhaps dangerous? There is something comforting about the Son of God being full of truth — no treachery, lies, or half-truths. That means that He is trustworthy, because His word — the Word’s word — can be counted on. But even more, it is comforting that He is full of grace. That means that He is not harsh, critical, rigid, or lacking compassion. People who are gracious can see the best in others, and gently overlook or kindly speak to failings and weaknesses they see.
This is the nature of the Son of God, and this is such wonderful news to all who come in contact with Him!
First posted December 1, 2009