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Prologue to the Gospel of John Part 7: Bearing Witness to God’s New Order
John 1:15-18, John 16:33
“John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ ” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”
John 1:15-18 NASB1995
John ends this prologue to his Gospel with four more reasons to believe in Jesus as our Savior:
He is greater than any prophet. He has a higher rank than John (the Baptist) even though John is older in human chronological time and existed before Jesus. Jesus Himself said that there was none greater born of woman than John (Matthew 11:11), so by making that comparison, John the B’s statement implies that Jesus exceeds every prophet who has lived, including himself. John the Apostle may be putting words into the other John’s mouth, because the true manifestation of Jesus as the eternal Word was not readily apparent initially to them, but only on the fulfillment of His death and resurrection.
He provides all the grace that we will ever need. His fullness extends to “grace upon grace”. It is an inexhaustible supply of blessings from the infinite fullness of Jesus. So why do we shun this grace, even if we are believers? When we have troubles, we can often turn to the world for an answer, though distractions and “stress relievers”, when all we need is this beautiful grace. Our peace comes through Him, as noted in John 16:33:
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.””
Jesus is greater than Moses and the Law. His grace and truth have found a dwelling place with us. St. Augustine said it well [found reading commentary to support this devotional at Bible.org ]: The law threatened, not helped; commanded, not healed; showed, not took away, our feebleness. But it made ready for the Physician who was to come with grace and truth.” Jesus came to fulfill the law through His sacrifice and bearing of our sins on the Cross. This is the first place in the Gospel of John where Jesus Christ is named. John brings us to this point and shows that the answer is the perfect Man who loved him and brought him to discipleship and revelation.
Jesus is God’s ultimate revelation to us. No one has seen God in His ultimate glory, but we can have intimacy with God through Jesus. Here is what David Guzik says about this revelation:
Jesus, the Word, is the perfect declaration of the unseen God. The Father and the Son belong to the same family, and Jesus has declared the nature of the unseen God to man. We don’t have to wonder about the nature and personality of God. Jesus has declared it with both His teaching and His life.
The Prologue to the Gospel of John is packed with meaning: Jesus is the Word, is with God and is God, since time eternal. He is the Creator of all Things. He is the Life and the Light. He brought Light to the darkness but they did not know Him. He gives us the right to be Children of God. He became flesh and set up His Tabernacle among us and is full of Grace and Truth. I would have loved to have seen John work to bring these words to light as he wrote his Gospel. God’s grace and wisdom were upon him in every way!
My next devotional series will do a deep dive into one of the most famous passages in the New Testament: 1 Corinthians 13 (Love).
Dear Heavenly Father - Thank you for the Word: The greatest of all prophets, the purveyor of endless grace, the arbiter of grace and truth beyond the law of Moses, and the revelation of You that came through your Son, Jesus. Thank you for inspiring the Apostle John in putting to paper the profound words that he wrote in this Gospel. Amen!
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. lockman.org
Commentary on Enduring Word by David Guzik is used with written permission.