“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14.
Herein is the identity of the Word, who became flesh, this can only be Jesus.
“…the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1b-2.
This latter phrase, “…He was in the beginning with God”, the word He, means that this “Word” (Logos) was a person, and His identity is confirmed in our opening verse 14.
“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:16-21.
As the Word was in the beginning, so shall He be at the end of the age.
“He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.” Revelation 19:13.
“…we beheld His glory…” The word glory signifies the honor coming from a good opinion, as exhibited in the character and acts of Christ while on earth.
Not just the miracles such as turning water into wine, feeding the 5000, or the resurrection of Lazarus, but His humility, grace, and tender-heartedness; things seen by the disciples, the 5000, the 500 after His resurrection, and multitudes of witnesses of His healings.
“…the glory as of the only begotten of the Father…” this glory as the Son of God is as God Himself, we see glory not just in the things He did and the character He exhibited as a Man, but God’s glory is who He is, and Christ is a part of the Godhead, not just a great Man.
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel [God with us].” Isaiah 7:14.
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6.
Gnosticism which had been creeping into the church almost from the start taught that, among other things, God could not inhabit material things like a body; God Himself refutes this in His word.
The book of John and the Epistles of John show the error of this pernicious doctrine. The Lord here is portrayed not only as God, but as a Man in references to His being hungry, thirsty, and tired.
Jesus is called, “…the only begotten of the Father…” both here and in John chapter 3.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
This is an important phrase; the “only begotten Son” is mentioned six times in the New Testament. Its importance is that it signifies that there is only one God the Son.
Truly there are many sons of God.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12.
But only One Son, Jesus, who is born of God.
We may adopt a child, or foster a child, or mentor one in Christ or in the world, but those born of us, who are begotten of us, are genetically related and this is different from all the others no matter how much you may love them.
“…and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14b.
The apostles were eyewitnesses to the glory of Jesus Christ and throughout the New Testament have attempted to express the beauty of the fullness of the grace and truth which is in Him.
William Kelley defines grace this way, “Grace is the activity of divine love in the midst of evil” and truth, “Truth is the revelation of all things as they really are, from God Himself.”
“John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, “He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me”’” John 1:15.
John the Baptist is testifying of Christ’s eternal preexistence. Physically, John did not exist until he was conceived, and by birth, he was six months older than Jesus, but Jesus Christ has existed from eternity past.
“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, “Behold, I have come – in the volume of the book it is written of Me – To do Your will, O God.’”” Hebrews 10:5.
John’s testimony in verse 15 is actually parenthetical between verses 14 and 16 and is picked up again in verses 19-36.
To illustrate this let us remove the Baptist’s testimony in verse 15 and put verses 14 and 16 together.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.” John 1:14 and 16.
When examined this way we can see that the fullness that the Christian receives is the fullness of Christ’s grace and truth.
If we go back to Kelley’s definition of grace, we find that we are filled with the ability to show divine love in the midst of an evil world.
And if truth is “The revelation of all things as they really are, from God Himself”, we begin to see the world as it really is and to learn how to function in it.
As Jesus said:
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16.
Grace then is the outworking of “…the fruit of the Spirit”.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23a.
The revelation of truth to the believer is given by the Holy Spirit.
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” John 16:13.
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” John 17:17.
“And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.” John 1:16.
“…grace for grace.” literally means grace piled upon grace.
There is a saving grace which means unmerited favor, as seen in the following passage.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9.
But the “grace for grace” is the super-abundance of grace that the Christian receives throughout their lifetime, the goodness of God poured out on them time after time.
This grace poured out upon us by our loving Father through His Spirit, keeps us, strengthens us, increases our faith, knowledge, love, and brings forth the fruit of the Spirit in us.
To see the grace piled upon grace in our lives always give thanks in all things which will highlight them and keep them in our remembrance.
“…giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Ephesians 5:20.
“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15.
If you are a parent, you know how nice it is when your children show true gratitude by thanking you. Yet God does so much with no recognition, even from His Christian children, how pleasant it must be for Him when He hears a sincere thank you.
“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17.
In the Law of Moses and the grace and truth of Christ we have two different dispensations, for the law could neither save nor reveal God to mankind, yet Christ not only saves by His shed blood but He also reveals God.
“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:19-20.
The law was intended to show men that they could in no way earn their way to heaven, by showing them their utterly sinful state and the impossibility of attaining to God’s standards of holiness.
By understanding what the law said to them, men would have been driven to their knees before God seeking His mercy for their sins. God’s mercy is clearly seen in the Psalms and in the lives of men like Abraham, Jacob, and King David.
Speaking of the righteousness which is by faith, the Apostle Paul says this about Abraham.
“He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore ‘it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.” Romans 4:20-25.
This account was given in Genesis 15 and 17 and the quote within it is from Genesis 15:6.
In Jesus Christ we have the grace of God poured out on mankind and the true God shown in Jesus.
“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God which is through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth to be a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26.
“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” John 1:18.
The Lord Jesus Christ has revealed the Father to us; everything you can discover about the character of Christ is the exact same thing as the Father.
Jesus said this of Himself.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.
If Jesus is meek and lowly, then the God who sits on the throne in heaven is meek and lowly. How can these things be?
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.” 1 Timothy 3:16.
“…[God the Father] He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:15b-16.
“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, “Show us the Father”?’” John 14:9.
We Beheld His Glory taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 5-23-12 updated on 5-26-17.
Scripture taken from the New King James version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.