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'Full Of Grace And Truth'

He was an old soldier of the Cross when he wrote the words. The disciple whom Jesus loved had marked his Master's every act and gesture, had attended to His every word since that never-to-be-forgotten day which he and Simon had spent with Jesus after the Baptist's declaration, 'Behold the Lamb of God'. For it seems highly probable that John himself was one of the two disciples who 'heard him speak, and... followed Jesus' (John 1:36,37). And now the Holy Spirit directed his thought and expression in the lofty prologue to his gospel narrative. 'We beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth' (1:14). In some ways that says it all. It captures in a few syllables the character of Christ. It points up for all time the high spiritual ambition of all who bear His Name.

A world in perpetual crisis and doubt, Christians all too susceptible to the prevailing fear and insecurity, all cry out for that holy blend of characteristics that belonged to Jesus. The grace that transformed the empty loneliness of Sychar's well at mid-day; that breathed hope into the sadness of Bethesda's pool of suffering; that restored joy to a soiled soul with the words, 'Neither do I condemn thee... sin no more' (John 8:11); the stooping Figure with a towel and a basin of water. All this grace and more, beautifully blended by John with the profound doctrine of the Bread of life; the Vine and the branches; the comforting teaching of the Father's house and the many mansions; the promise of the blessed Comforter; the plea to the Father for the unity of His own.

Shall our world catch a glimpse of that glory reflected? Of the truth spoken in love where falsehood and half-truth hold sway; of 'the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ' who 'though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor' (2 Cor. 8:9). It may, it can, and it must. But such glory can only be reflected at close quarters and are we not often too far away to catch the rays? Of John it is written, 'He leaning back... on Jesus' breast...' (John 13:25).