An Unachievable Balance

January 15, 2022

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

Written by Lauren O'Neill from the Station Hill Campus

The Magnificence of Christ

John made several magnificent statements in this one short verse. First, he stated that Jesus (the divine Word) became flesh. Second, he claimed to have observed his glory—to have seen it, watched it, been close to it. Third, he proclaimed that Jesus was full of grace and truth. But how can He be both? This seems to be an unachievable balance of stark contrast.

The claims would have understandably stunned both Jew and Gentile alike. Their impact still thunders into the hearts and minds of all those who read it, approximately 2,000 years later. The audacity, to make such statements that reach back to deep historical roots and covenant promises, draw them out, and call them complete in one person: Jesus Christ.

The Magnitude of This Reality

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” We can’t grasp the incarnation of Christ as truth, except by faith. But for centuries, the Jewish narrative had unanimously pointed in one direction: the law had shown the need for a Savior, the prophets had foretold Him, and the birth and life of Jesus showed the prophecies fulfilled.

Still, the magnitude of reality shattered the constructs of expectation: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

To Observe His Glory

And they observed His glory. Glory shouldering daily chores, managing human relationships, having fun, eating food, being contained within a body of flesh. Can you imagine? When His friends saw Him reach out in compassion, when they saw Him wash his feet just like them, when they saw Him eat the bread and take the cup… they observed His glory, amidst it all.

Full of truth, still He offered the grace they needed. Full of grace, still He showed them there was only one way to be made right with God: His own life, death, and resurrection. John uniquely testified to the glory of things he had observed. Yet it causes me to consider the ways God’s glory can still be observed today.

To Live as He Did

As I tend to my family and nurture my relationships, am I serving them like Jesus did? As I make decisions about how I should spend my time, am I allowing God’s glory to be seen and shown? Are grace and truth both apparent in my actions?

He gave up everything, to give us everything. He is the Word, full of grace and truth. Emmanuel, God with us. May we live in such a way that the world observes His glory in us.

What Now?

Jesus was full of grace and truth . . . are you? Consider which one do you find easier to extend to others. When you think of God’s glory, what comes to mind? Reflect on instances in your life when God’s glory seemed especially paramount. How do you think our interpretation of God’s glory is impacted by difficult circumstances? Spend time with the Lord answering these questions.

Related Resources

Sinners Are Still Welcome