He is full of grace and truth. There are a couple of verses in the gospel of John that have fascinated me.
“And the Word (Jesus) 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
“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17
Grace and truth. Off the cuff these two words seem like the odd couple. When I think of grace I see a ballerina floating across the floor. Grace seems soft, gentile, beautiful, no rough edges. Thinking of truth I see a gavel slamming down and the echo of oak on oak in a court room. Those are just accumulative feelings of experience and cultural influence.
There is some truth to those definitions but not ‘the whole truth’ as they would say with right hand resting on the bible. Grace does have in it simply an essence of ‘always welcome.’ Who would shun grace, really, no matter how it is defined. Truth is not always welcome but it will prevail as they say.
Jesus is full of both…grace and truth.
I am contemplating these concepts afresh.
What is your knee-jerk, off the cuff definition of grace and/or truth?
Could Jesus have succumbed to a Charlie Brown attitude?
The Scribes and the Pharisees often would hold the football for him to kick.
Jesus never attempted the running toward the football held by the Lucy’s of the time. Instead he magically switched places with the cunning and held the football with the laces out.
He switched places with questions. He asked a lot of them. He asked the lot of them.
He didn’t do it for kicks. I don’t believe he would have pulled the ball away either.
His goal was to allow them to kick it and kick it through the uprights. His questions were always leading questions to aim the kickers to the truth. That was the “kicker” always, to place-kick the truth through the uprights.
Jesus gave the opportunity for the Scribes and Pharisees to see themselves in between the goal posts of false piety and humble confession.
When I am feeling like Charlie Brown at least I know Jesus will hold the ball still and reveal some truth about who I am. He holds the questions steady and an honest answer will kick it through the uprights.
John 8:1-12 is a good example.
Lucy, Charlie Brown, Jesus…which one would you wish to be like?
I see stuff like this every day. This was yesterday. I had to walk about fifty yards off the road to get a good shot. Sometimes the photos are captured right on to my facebook page to invite my social media friends to look with me. I will add a caption for thought or humor…words are what I do, I can’t help me self. It took me a few more deliveries to find words for these horses and when they came they read:
Strength and beauty remind me of truth and grace.
One of my favorite movies is one from the eighties called The Man from Snowy River. There are horses everywhere in this film. The artsy cinematography endows these creatures with a bigger than life air around the human plot which unfolds. Their beauty and strength are front and center and one of the lines I remember is when Spur says to his nephew Jim, “A man without a horse is like a man without legs.” Man’s best friend the canine was usurped by the equine, in this film anyway.
Well, these in the picture above put legs on my thoughts and I began to roll with the motion of a canter then a gallop mentally. These harbingers of strength and beauty got me thinking about what I feel are the parallel concepts of truth and grace. Please know again, I am not a theologian, I am a receiver of the God given creation around me. God’s artistry is often a catalyst of the transcendent messages I take in through the senses.
Truth and grace seem to be distant cousins at best on the surface of things. Hold on a sec.
Try them on individually.
The huge muscles of a horse represent the concept of truth to me. Truth is strong. Truth is fibrous. Truth is power.
Without the movement called grace, truth is just intellectual assent. Without grace, truth cannot be translated into understanding. Understanding is the application of truth.
The horses standing there were majestic and all, but if they started moving, started galloping I would have hung around for a bit.
My seventeen year old daughter noticed a few things I posted on facebook using the word grace and she shared with me the definition from the original Strong’s concordance.
Grace: God’s divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in life.
Whoa horsie! Really? That definition is gonna take us for ride, is it not? I’ll admit I sometimes don’t want God’s influence on or in my life. But who really wants to sit on a horse that doesn’t move, eh?
Spur was right…”A man (or woman) without a horse is like a man (or woman) without legs. Heeyah! Giddyup! Get along now!
“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. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 14, 16, and 17 New King James Bible