“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Messiah when He came to live among us, John wrote, was “full of grace and truth.” This particular combination of qualities is significant:
Truth is God’s revelation to us; the content of what is right and what is wrong. Grace is God’s undeserved goodness towards us, without which none of us would ever approach Him. Thus is it instructive that Jesus could be described as “full of grace AND truth.” He was not full of truth only: letting us know everything that is wrong with us without giving us a way out; nor full of grace only, letting us get away with whatever, but never holding us to the ultimate standard of right and wrong. Rather, He came both to show us God’s unchanging truth, and to reveal God’s grace to us which would allow us to come to Him in truth. Jesus was full of both grace AND truth towards us, always in perfect balance. He would tell the adulterous woman in John 8, “neither do I condemn you” (grace), but He also admonished her: “Now go and sin no more.” (Truth)
As Jesus’ followers we should strive to walk in His steps. This means that we should be full of both grace and truth. We are not merely to show grace with no regard for truth and godliness. Nor are we to be full of truth only with no grace for flawed people.
Is there someone with whom you have been sharing hard truths, but perhaps you need to show them a more gracious, loving attitude?
Is there someone towards whom you have been very “gracious” and forgiving — but it is time that you also shared some difficult truths with them?
It can be hard to keep that balance towards everyone; but that is what we have been called to do as followers of Christ. Ask God for the wisdom to follow in His steps: “full of grace and truth.”