This Remains the Reason For Our Joy Today!
This passage is full of joyful exuberance. For the Christ, the One who had been promised and anticipated for generations has come among us. By God’s choice alone, “The Word had become flesh and dwelt among us.” (verse 14) And this remains the reason for our joy today.
Today’s passage, as translated here, implies that because of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, the grace that came through Christ has been added to that which came through the Old Testament. The coming of the Christ has built upon the old grace and surpassed it. All that is good in the Old Testament remains good, but with the coming of Christ the Grace of God, which began in the Old Testament has been fulfilled, completed, once and for all.
What does this mean for us in our faith. It means that we continue to draw graces from our readings, our meditations, and the prayers that we draw from the Old Testament, but that the “fullness of the Truth” has come to us with the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. It is in imitating Christ that we come into the fullness of God’s grace in our lives.
Jesus is the Word of God. While the Old Testament revealed the law, “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (verse 7) Jesus, in his life and words, revealed God to us in the flesh. He showed us the face of God. Through Jesus we have come to know God, not from afar, not as the Lord on high, but personally. In him we see the face of God and we have come to see his truth expressed clearly, in both his words and his deeds. With Jesus we experience the fullness of grace in his teachings, his mercy, and in his forgiveness. With his death and resurrection, God’s will was fulfilled. As Christians we are to be the instruments of this grace in the world here and now. How? By loving one another as he loved us. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” That is what Jesus, the fullness of grace, did for us, and that is what we are called to do for others. That is the responsibility of a Christian who lives in the fullness of grace.
Lord, teach us to see your grace in all things. Help us to grow ever more knowledgeable of your grace so that we can teach it to others with our lives, not just our words. We pray this in your name, Jesus. Amen!
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