John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (NRSV, emphasis added)
Jesus is full of grace and full of truth. Jesus is not half or fifty percent (50%) grace and half or fifty percent (50%) truth. Jesus is full of grace and full of truth. Jesus is hundred percent (100%) grace and hundred percent (100%) truth. Christians want to have a balance between grace and truth somewhat like the adage, “when you use one hand to smack a child, then you use the other hand to pull the child close.” Fortunately for us, Jesus is not like that. With Jesus, grace is one hundred percent (100%) and truth is one hundred percent (100%).
The word grace, Charis in Greek, is a word that reaches back to the Hebrew word Hesed. Hesed is such a powerful word. Hesed is the defining characteristic of God in the Old Testament. Meaning God defines Himself using the word Hesed. In Exodus 33 [please read], Moses was pleading with God because he wanted to see God’s face. God agreed; He chiselled a place in a rock, placed Moses there, and passed before him. Ex.34:5-6 “Then the Lord came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh. The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.” That is Hesed. But because of how limited the English language is, it is this one word that is translated into so many words in an attempt to capture it.
Hesed is a very difficult word to understand in English. It is sometimes translated as mercy, and sometimes as love. The King James Version of the Bible translated Hesed in fourteen different ways. In fact, the King James Version of the Bible invented a new word loving-kindness, putting two words together all in a bit to capture the meaning of the word Hesed. But the best working phrase [sentence] that captures Hesed is this; “Hesed is when The One from whom I have a right to expect nothing gives me everything – Hesed”. The essence and character of God is full of grace. When The One from whom I have a right to expect nothing, gives me everything – profound! No singular word can capture this description. Hesed means grace but it is beyond grace. It means favour but it is beyond favour. Even the compound word loving-kindness cannot fully describe what Hesed means. Love and mercy are also a subset of Hesed.
Truth is a Person – He, Jesus. Not truth as a right or wrong answer, or truth as the correct words, but truth as a Person. A living, breathing, bleeding, dying, resurrected Person – Jesus. Truth that you come to know personally and have a relationship with, not between the passages of a textbook. Truth that you come to love and make a part of [integrate with] your life. Knowing the truth is not necessarily about being right. Knowing the truth is about being righteous, having right standing with The Truth, a relationship with the Person of The Truth.
Prayer: Father, I ask that You will open the eyes of my understanding to all that You are saying to me. That I may see the glory of the Son, full of grace and truth, in Jesus Name. Amen!