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Continued from Christmas Thoughts – Part 1:
John continues his excitement after remarking that John the Baptist was a witness of Jesus. He states:
Once again John stretches the mind of those with ears to hear and eyes to see. Notice his expression: “…from his (Jesus) fullness we have all received, grace upon grace…” In other words all the resources – the fullness – of the Godhead are within the incarnate son of God and from that reserve those who follow him all (not some, not a special class, not those perhaps considered “super Christians,” but every single one who follows after him) received a heaping helping of the grace of God – grace upon grace.
John continues with what some might consider an incoherent coupling – Moses and the law aligned with Jesus and Grace and Truth. That is an unfortunate understanding. Nowhere in the New Testament, including the writings of Paul, is the law viewed negatively. The law is actually considered God’s first grace gift. The law can and has been impaired, but then so has grace. When the law is seen as a way of salvation it is misused. When grace is seen as license it is abused. For John the advent of Jesus is God piling up on his first gift – the law. As Gerald L. Borchert expressed it,
So John, moved to heights of exhilaration, reveals at the beginning of his gospel that God’s step one – the law, was given through Moses. Moses of course was one whose communication with God was closer than any man since Adam. Yet even he was only allowed to see God’s back and not his face. But then the dam bursts and John states without reservation that though no one has ever seen God; the only God who is at the Father’s side – literally in the bosom of the Father – has made this very God known. How did this happen? John says Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ. The emphasis is even more emphatic in the original; it literally says that Grace and Truth “Came to be.”
Consider that announcement this Christmas morning when the family is gathered around reveling in the joy and delight that Christmas morning brings. When small hands and cherubic bright faces are romping around the tree squealing in delight at the “grace gifts” they have received and you are thinking about the credit card bills that will be due in January. Think about your heavenly Father fully aware of the price that would be due a few decades after Christmas morning, yet the joy and delight he rejoiced in knowing that though the price was immense, the reward was you and me and multiplied millions – so many that they cannot be counted adopted into his eternal family.
Perhaps more importantly though, John and the other gospel writers have left all of us who are Jesus’ followers with clear instructions that we are to do the same. Christ indwells his people in the person of the Holy Spirit; God’s tent is still pitched in this old, broken world in the form of us who are followers of Christ. Our responsibility is to allow his Spirit to so fill us that all those who know us will see us as people so full of his grace and truth that they too will not only want to but will actually begin to follow the one who was more than a carpenter.
May you have a wonderful and Grace-filled Christmas season!
 Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Vol. 25A, John 1-11 (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002), 123.