John 1:14-18 GRACE AND TRUTH THROUGH JESUS
In our message last Sunday we concentrated chiefly on the
first part of verse 14. In our message today we will concentrate
on the last part of that verse and move on down through verse 18.
John wants us to know that grace and truth comes to us through
I. Jesus, a man full of grace and truth
Let us take another look at verse 14. V. 14, "And the Word
was made flesh, and dwelt among us..." The Apostle John
informed us that Jesus became a man. He was born into human
flesh as a man. He was altogether human.
But the apostle John said also that Jesus is much more than a
man. He is Deity God. He is a member of the Godhead. He is
Deity God dwelling in human flesh.
The human flesh in which Jesus dwelt so veiled the glory of
His God nature that one could not tell by merely looking upon His
human body that He is Deity God.
Yet the glory of His Deity did, in a limited way, show
through to those who saw Him in the flesh. That is, His glory
showed through at least to those who were willing to acknowledge
it. The apostle said, "...(and we beheld his glory, the glory as
of the only begotten of the Father,) "We beheld His glory..." All
who saw His miracles saw the evidence that He is more than a man.
He is God. Peter, James and John, who saw Him transfigured, saw
the glory of God shining through His flesh as bright as the
noon-day sun. They saw the evidence that He is God in human
flesh. All of His disciples who saw Him after He arose from the
grave, saw the evidence that He is the Son of God. Those who saw
Him arise into the air and go away into heaven saw the evidence
that He is Deity God.
The Apostle John then said that Jesus is "...full of grace
and truth." The word, grace, means "Unmerited favor." This is
the thing that is so vital to us. We are all somewhat like the
man whom the judge sought to comfort him by telling him that he
would receive justice. The man said, "Your honor, I do not want
justice. What I want is mercy."
We are all guilty of sin. Even though the God of heaven will
deal with us in all justice, if He showed no mercy we would be in
serious trouble. What we need is the grace and mercy of God.
The Bible says that all have sinned and come short of the glory
of God, Rom. . That means that we can not only look about us
and see sinners all around us in the world, but we can look in
the mirror and see a sinner. It is bad enough to know that we
are living in a world with sinful people, but it is far worse to
know that we, also, are sinners. To know that you have sinned
against God is a frightening thought. It means that unless you
receive the grace of God you will spend the rest of eternity in
the fires of hell.
The Apostle John said not only that Jesus is full of grace,
but he said also that Jesus is full of truth. We do not need
somebody who will give us a false gospel that will not save.
One of the most terrible things would be for somebody to persuade
an unsaved person to place his faith in a gospel message that
will not save. The sad thing is that it is being done every day.
Thousands of people are being hoodwinked into thinking that they
are going to heaven who are still lost. They will never know
that they are still lost until it is everlastingly too late.
What man needs is the truth of God. It does not matter that the
truth may hurt. It does not matter that the truth may conflict
with what our parents or grandparents say. It does not matter
that this is not what we would like to hear. What we need is the
truth of God. Our eternal destiny depends on knowing the truth
about our sins and the truth about how to be saved.
II. The witness of John the Baptist concerning Jesus
In verse 15, the Apostle John speaks again of John the
Baptist. John the Baptist is the special witness that God sent
to prepare the way for the ministry of the Christ. Back in
earlier verses John said that John the Baptist was a man sent
from God and that he was sent to bear witness of the true Light.
V. 15, "John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was
he of whom I spake..." Even before John the Baptist knew that
Jesus is the Christ, he bore witness that the Christ was about to
come on the scene. Then after he learned that Jesus is the
Christ he bore witness that this particular man, Jesus, is the
Christ. He said, "This is he of whom I spake. This is the
Christ whom I told you was coming."
John the Baptist went on to explain, (V. 15), "...He that
cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me."
That sounds like double-talk. Doesn't it? The Baptist is using
a play on words to catch attention. He said, "Jesus came after
me, He is preferred before me, and He was before me."
What John the Baptist meant when he said, "...he cometh after
me..." is that the ministry of John started before the ministry
of Jesus. John could truly say, "He is coming after me." When
John said, "He is preferred before me" he meant that Jesus is a
person who is to be honored more than himself. Jesus is a
greater person than John the Baptist. When John said, "He was
before me" John the Baptist was talking about Jesus existing
before the world was ever created. John was just using catchy
words to catch the attention of people in a effort to persuade
them that Jesus is really the Christ.
III. The benefits of God's grace through Jesus
V. 16, "And of his fulness have all we received..." John the
Apostle is speaking now and says that we have all received
benefits out of the fulness of Christ. John probably had in mind
that we who are saved have all received the benefits of the
saving grace of God through Jesus. But it is also true that all
mankind has received benefits out of His fulness. All mankind
has received His love. He provides the material necessities for
all mankind. He provides saving grace for all and makes it
available to all.
(V. 16), "...and grace for grace." What this means is that
we have received benefit after benefit. We have received
kindness after kindness. We have received goodness after
goodness. We have received blessing after blessing. This has
already been true here in this life in this world of trouble and
woe. What in the world would we do without the help of God in
our lives? Yet there are greater benefits and greater blessings
ahead. The greatest benefits of all will come after they get to
heaven. Great benefits come in this life, but the greatest
benefits of all will be in the next life.
IV. A contrast between Moses and Jesus
In verse 17 John the Apostle is again the speaker. V. 17,
"For the law was given by Moses..." Primarily, the law was given
to the nation of
world. But the point that John was making is that God used Moses
to give the law.
The whole law system of worship was given by Moses. Moses
gave not only the ten commandments, but all of the other laws.
This included all the various regulations regarding the
tabernacle, the sacrifices and the holy days.
The law could not give righteousness to man. The law could
only call attention to the unrighteousness of man. It could
point out the sinfulness of man. It could show him that he had
broken the law and had sinned against God. But it could never
cleans a man from sin. It could never forgive sin. It could not
save a lost sinner and keep him out of hell. It could not get an
entrance to heaven for any man. The law could only pronounce the
penalty of suffering on the sinner for breaking the law.
John was especially calling attention to the law system of
worship because this is the system of worship under which the
done so from the early history of the nation.
I might point out, however, that the law was never intended
to save. It was never intended to make the guilty sinner
sinless. It was never intended as a way to stay out of hell and
go to heaven. The law was always intended to convince men that
they are guilty before God and show them the need of seeking and
forgiveness through the grace of God.
The law did, by means of types and shadows, show that the
grace of God is available. The blood of various animals were
slain in order to point men to the coming Christ whose blood
would be shed on the cross for the sins of men. But the blood of
no animal ever saved anybody from their sins.
(V. 17), "...but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." The
law could condemn a man for committing sin, but the grace of God
through Jesus can forgive a man of his sin. It can cleanse a man
from every sin so that he will stand before God as though he had
never committed sin. How is the grace of God made available to
man? It comes through faith in Jesus Christ. From the beginning
that is the way that sinful man has been saved. Adam and Eve
received the grace of God through faith in the promised Seed of
Woman. God told Adam and Eve about the Seed of Woman and
informed them that the Seed of Woman would crush the head of that
old serpent, the Devil. Even under the law system of worship the
only way that men could be saved was by the grace of God through
faith in the coming Christ. The law could not save. Only the
grace of God could save through faith in Jesus even during the
days of the law.
During the personal ministry of Jesus on earth a whole new
system of worship was started. It was started by Him. Jesus
established the New Testament church system of worship. Yet even
the church cannot save men from their sin. Only the Lord Jesus
Christ can save. The grace of God has never come to lost sinners
any way other than through faith in Jesus Christ.
This is especially meaningful in our day when men have
devised so many different ways to try to get to heaven. But
Jesus has said, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no man
cometh unto the Father by me."
V. Jesus, who brings grace and truth to man
In verse 14 note that John not only said that grace came by
Jesus Christ, but he also said that truth came by Jesus Christ.
This is the same thought that is involved in verse 18. V. 18,
"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which
is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." Jesus is
the One who is able to reveal God the Father to us. He is the
One who is able to reveal the great love that God has for us.
John said that no man has seen God. That is, no man has seen
the fulness of God's glory. Not even Moses, the giver of the
law. He desired to see God's glory and asked God to let him do
so, but was never allowed to do so. God did grant him the
privilege of seeing a limited form of His glory. God put Moses
in a cleft in a great rock. Then God covered Moses with His hand
so that Moses could not see while God in all His glory passed by.
However, after God had passed by and only a remnant of His glory
was visible God uncovered Moses so that he could see that portion
of God's glory. Not Moses, nor Isaiah, nor Elijah, nor Ezekiel
nor any of the other great prophets of God ever saw God' full
glory -- not even John the Baptist, who was the forerunner of
Jesus, was able to see God.
But Jesus Christ is the Eternal Word of God. He is one of
the Godhead. He is the Light of God to the world. He is Only
Begotten Son of God. He is said to be in the bosom of the
Father. This is a term which indicates the closest and tenderest
of relationships. He was on the throne of God with God the
Father before the world was ever formed. He was there with God
until He came to earth in the form of man. Now He has returned
to heaven and has taken His place at the right hand of God once
more. There is one difference. Now there is a man on the throne
of God. That man is Jesus Christ, the God-man.
Jesus is the One -- the only One -- who can reveal God to
man. Jesus knows all there is to know about God. He knows the
real truth about God and God's will for man. He knows every
truth of God. When He speaks He speaks with the full authority
of God. Whatever Jesus speaks is the truth of God.
Every man, woman, boy and girl upon the face of the earth
need to call on the Lord Jesus Christ and trust in Him for the
salvation of the soul. Nobody knows the love that God the Father
has for lost sinners better than Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Every saved person needs to listen to Jesus and let Jesus
direct his pathway in life. Jesus knows what is best for man and
will direct man in the way of truth and righteousness.
There may be somebody here this morning who is unsaved. If
so, would you come today and call on the Lord Jesus and ask Him
to save your soul? Come today.
There may be some saved person here this morning who feels
the need of turning his life over to the Lord letting the Lord
have His way. If that person is you, would you come during this
invitation and let the Lord have His way with you?