The Significance of a Both/And Savior
John 1:14 reads, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." If you've been around the Christian faith, you've likely heard that Jesus is full of both grace and truth. But have you ever thought about what Jesus would be like if He was either full of only grace or full of only truth? Let's take a moment to imagine a Jesus full of only one or the other. A Jesus full of only truth I imagine would be all about rules, laws, punishment, and authority. I envision Him sitting on His throne, looking down on His people, and judging each of us harshly and with no compassion. This Jesus is not really a Jesus I am interested in having a relationship with…but a Jesus full of only grace would not be much better. A Jesus only full of grace displays extreme compassion, forgiveness, and mercy…which sounds great until I realize with this Jesus, everything goes. There are no laws. No commands. No justice...Yikes.
John begins his book by reminding us of the two most distinguishing traits of our Savior and King: grace AND truth. When you combine these two important components of Jesus's character, you get the perfect Savior. Not just a Savior who condemns you when you sin, but a Savior who says, "I forgive you." Not just a Savior who came to earth to establish new laws, but a Savior who endured every level of temptation so that he could say, "I get it. It's hard." Not just a Savior sitting on a throne with Sovereign authority, but a Savior who lovingly looks you in the eyes each time you mess up and says, "Through my strength in your weakness, we can defeat this sin." Not just a Savior who saves you every time you're drowning, but a Savior who teaches you how to swim. Our Jesus is the example of the purest form of love. He calls us to Holy living, but not without first coming down to earth to humbly die on a cross to save us from the inevitable sins we each commit. As I read the gospel of John, I am reminded of the unique beauty that is our Jesus Christ because He is not just full of grace OR truth, but a beautiful combination of the two.