“The law was indeed given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.”
~John 1:17-18 (NRSV).
Splitting the differences we divine the chasm separating the Old Covenant from the New. Jesus, the incarnate Son, comes to the world—to a place and a people that had never seen God—and he reveals grace and truth; that God is not simply “Law” but, at effect, grace and truth too.
Grace and truth come from the Father’s heart, indwelt in the Godhead. It is for the very purposes of redemption that these were made known.
It was the Father’s will to make the Godhead known to the world through Jesus. God became incarnate. The Son arrived in the body, mind and soul of Jesus of Nazareth.
The Law Underpins Grace and Truth
It is foolish to consider the Law irrelevant and superseded by grace and truth. Jesus says:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil.”
~Matthew 5:17 (NRSV).
Jesus comes as the accomplishment of the Law.
But the Law, of itself, is futilely underdone and never worthy of the remotest redemptive action. It is superfluous. It is mandate without meaning; issuance without intent.
But, equally so, one cannot go without the other; the Law is primary but forever incomplete; grace and truth alone are somewhat without historical and theological basis.
The Legislature and Intent
From the cynic’s viewpoint, it’s recognised that the Law is an ass and this, most profoundly, when it’s without good precedence, sound, wise, and logical intent.
Grace and truth are the portents of intent. Without these life never makes any sense whatsoever. Jesus, then, is bringing reason—the eternal Wisdom of God—into the frame. It is God’s will that through the Son of God we’d have a frame for spiritual rationality; that peace would be possible, for the constructs of the Law have now come into proper eternal perspective.
It can be seen, therefore, that those who know the Son of God can live at peace in a disparate world, for the Son of God has overcome the world via grace and truth. Indeed, the Son of God has revealed grace and truth for the first time, and now for eternity.
It is only praise, honour and glory that are due Jesus’ name.
The Son of God is to be revered for bringing sanity, via grace and truth, into an oft-insane world trying to rationalise the Law i.e. without grace and truth.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.