Digging Deeper posts are intended to help us go farther into God’s word than a simple surface reading
and are designed to help us discover new tools in the process.
Curious as to why we Dig Deeper? Here’s Why!
14 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. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
1) Who is “the Word” and how do we know?
2) What does it mean that Jesus was “full of grace and truth”?
3) What is the significance of the comparison in verse 17?
A trip to www.studylight.org is in order here.
We will get super cozy with this site as we study Scripture together!
Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom!
It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.
Want to know more about a specific word in a verse?
Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!
Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage?
Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))
The Findings for Original Intent
1) The Word is Jesus Christ. How do we know? If you zoom out to look at the whole chapter, you see in verse 1 that “the Word” was there in the beginning, was with God, and was God. Verse 14 tells us that he became flesh (that is, became human) and lived among us. Even though John used “the Word” here instead of directly using a name, we see clearly that the only one who could fit those descriptions is Jesus. Because John’s audience were excellent students of the Old Testament, he’s bringing out an even deeper truth that really hit home with them and their rhetoric. The Jewish people often spoke of God Himself as ‘the word of God’, for example in Exodus 19:17 it is often translated as, “Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet the word of God.” Amazing, huh?!
2) Doing a word study, we can see that “truth” means to us the same as it meant to John’s original audience—truth (what is true, truly, verified). “Grace” means “graciousness of manner or act.” It also means “undeserved favor.” So Jesus was full of truth, but he acted graciously. Whereas we humans tend to lean toward truth-without-grace (harshness) or grace-without-truth (being so gracious that we don’t tell the hard truth), Jesus Christ was full of both grace and truth, all the time.
3) In this verse, the law is contrasted with grace and truth. The law came through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Looking at cross-references, we are led to Romans 5. In those verses we see the law and Adam’s sin contrasted with Christ’s obedience and grace-filled sacrifice. It is clear that the gospel of grace and truth is far superior to the law!
Some Applications for Our Everyday Lives
1) If Christ is God’s Word to us, then He is the way that God communicates with us and shows us who He is. Am I looking to Christ to understand God the Father? Am I viewing my understanding of the God of the Old Testament through the lens of Jesus?
2) Do I tend to lean more toward grace or truth in the way I speak to and deal with others? How can I be more like Christ and be full of both?
3) Am I stuck in legalism, trying to earn my salvation for favor with God? How can I surrender to the freedom that is found in the truth and grace of the gospel?
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!
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