I ended yesterday's post with this verse: "For the law (that which makes mercy necessary) was given by Moses, [but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (Jn. 1:17). I had pointed out earlier that both mercy and grace appear in the Old Testament, and they are also found in the New Testament. Someone might ask, "If they both appear in the O.T. and the N.T., how can John write that 'grace and truth came by Jesus Christ?'"
I believe the answer can be found in the previous verse: "And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace" (Jn. 1:16). God has increased the amount of light He has given mankind with each dispensation throughout the Bible's recorded history. By the time Jesus was born, God had increased man's understanding four times following Adam's fall in the garden (see my posts on 1-31-10 to 2-2-10). Finally, when all but one "week" of Daniel's prophecy had been accomplished (Dan. 9:24-27), He gave us His Son (Jn. 3:16), the Light of the world (Jn. 8:12; 9:5), the very manifestation of Himself (1 Tim. 3:16), and His people rejected Him (Jn. 1:11).
The writer of Hebrews seems to clearly indicate that with the coming of Jesus, God had given man all the truth we would get concerning our relationship to Him: "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by [His] Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds; Who being the brightness of [His] glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb. 1:1-3).
God had been gracious to man by giving Moses the Law. But by sending His Son, He was adding grace upon grace. And, just as the Old Testament was truth, God gave us the Truth in revealing Jesus Christ. In Christ we find the ultimate grace of God, and the ultimate truth: He loves us!
Have we received all the grace He intends for us to have? NO! Now, we know in part (1 Cor. 13:9), but when that which is perfect is come (the return of Jesus), then that which is in part shall be done away (1 Cor. 13:10). Have we received all the truth He has for us? NO! "For since the beginning of the world [men] have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, [what] He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him" (Isa. 64:4). "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is" (1 Jn. 3:2). We will have eternity to grasp the awesomeness of God's mercy, His grace, and His truth!
EVEN SO, COME LORD JESUS!