In our last study, we learned the first benefit of loving Jesus – we share His glory. In this, the second part of our study, we learn the second benefit – we enjoy His grace. Verse 14 says, “And we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” He adds in verse 16, “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”
Here we find the most beautiful word in the New Testament. The word in English is “grace,” but in Greek it is charis. In Modern Greek it means “charming.” Know anyone like that—someone who’s very charming?
We have had many friends with that trait. Bob Dunlap, a former police officer who has now gone to be with Christ, was a very charming man. Whatever you needed – help when moving, help to finance a worthy project, or just a kind word or chuckle in a Bible study, Bob was ready to give it. That’s why he was loved throughout the community. Bob was truly a charming man! That’s the idea of this word, except John takes it to a new level The word means “grace, favor, and undeserved kindness.” Think, for example, of someone who’s earned your anger, but instead of retaliating, you’re kind to them. That’s grace.
I can think of one time when I was gracious. Our daughter Heidi was 6 years old at the time. She and Rebecca got up early, as was their habit to do. It was probably 6:30 in the morning and my day off. So I wanted to sleep in. But the girls knew it was OK to get up and watch something on TV, as long as it was on the approved list. Suddenly, we heard a loud boom from the family room! I ran to see what happened, and there in the middle of the floor was our TV set with its face smashed in. Heidi was frantic, not knowing what to do. She kept saying, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Daddy,” sure she was going to be punished. She tried to turn the TV set on its stand so they could see better and accidentally knocked it on the floor. But I couldn’t punish her for that. Instead I hugged her and said, “Don’t worry about it, Honey! You’re more precious to me than a TV set. I’m just glad you’re OK.”
But she did worry because later in the day as we were riding in the car, she asked me, “How much is a new TV, Daddy—$4?” That’s how much she had in her piggy bank. “No,” I said. “More like $400. But you don’t need to worry about that, Honey. It isn’t your job to pay for things when there’s an accident. That’s my job as your daddy.” At which point she snuggled up to me and said, “I love you, Daddy.” And I said to her, “I love you, Heidi.”
By the way, you know the only thing I regret looking back on that? That I wasn’t gracious in a thousand other ways was well. Because that’s the greatest gift you can give another person and the best way to show them that Christ is real. For it’s in Him, John says that grace and truth have been “realized.” That doesn’t mean there wasn’t grace in the Old Testament. Or no one would have been saved. “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord,” as did Abram, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and all the other Old Testament saints. The most prominent thing about the law was its unflinching judgment and warnings of death. Whereas Jesus is “full of grace and truth…and of His fullness,” John adds, “we have all received.” Isn’t that true? Wasn’t He gracious to you long before you loved Him? Now you know to ask Him and thank Him for your daily bread. But He has always been good to you, every single day of your life! Amen?
Notice also how much grace is available to you! John says: “Of His fullness we have all received.” It’s infinite, for Colossians 2:9 says, “In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,” so that whatever belongs to the Father, belongs to Him, for He and the Father are One. Furthermore, John says what we get is “grace upon grace” meaning the supply never ends. You ask for grace in time of need, He gives it to you, and more grace instantly fills the vacuum like the widow’s oil in the days of Elisha. It kept flowing as long as she had vessels to hold it. It’s grace after grace after grace with no end. That’s why God said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you,” and why He urges us to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Notice one more thing before we move on. Notice that He is full of both grace and truth. Why does John mention that? Because you can’t have one without the other! To receive His saving grace, you have to believe the truth about Him—that He is the eternal Son of God who was in the beginning with God and shares the very essence of God with the Father. For as gracious as He is, He can’t give you His saving grace unless you’re willing to believe the truth about Him! But once you do, amazingly gracious things happen to you.
As we learned last week, whoever receives Him, to them He gives the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, which means all your sins—past, present, and future—are forgiven forever, your name is written in heaven, and an everlasting home is reserved for you in God’s kingdom. Talk about grace. That’s the summit of grace! How it all works, no one fully understands. But that it works, I know for sure because it’s happened to me, and that’s something no one can take away from me. So if you’ve never asked before, ask Jesus to give you the faith to believe in Him today, and His promise is, “He who comes to Me, I will never, no never cast out.” (John 6:37) You share His glory. You receive His grace, and in our next lesson we’ll discover that you also see His face. Join us for that study!