Tying Up Loose Ends - Day 11

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...

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 1:14 & 17, ESV


If you have worked much with jigsaw puzzles, you will understand. There is nothing quite as aggravating as coming to the last few pieces of a 1,000 piece puzzle and coming to the realization that you are missing a piece or two. It is exasperating ( especially to those of us whom many may suspect of bordering on an obsessive-compulsive disorder) to fall short of perfection. Too much time has been invested and now we find it is all for nothing. For normal people, of course, this is not a problem, After all, what is one missing piece in the big picture of things? But for those to whom it is a big deal, you understand exactly what I am talking about. So, when you actually find that missing piece on the floor or in the dog's bed or in your toddler's toy box, there is a sense of completeness that all is now right with the world.


Maybe this helps to describe why I find the Gospel of John so satisfying. Scholars think that it was probably written around 30 years after the other three Gospels. This would help to explain a number of "loose ends" that John the apostle ties up so neatly. Of course these so-called "loose ends" do not suggest for a moment that the other Gospels were somehow inadequate, for the inspired Word of God is without flaw. What it does show, however, is how important each of the Gospel accounts are. Like a jigsaw puzzle, the pieces fit together perfectly and reveal the full and complete picture once all of the pieces are properly assembled.


In yesterday's reading we came across the two verses you read above. They describe the grace and truth that came through Christ. Now it may surprise you to know that Jesus is never recorded in Scripture as using the word. "grace", and now the Gospel of John helps us to understand. Jesus lived under the Old Covenant and. therefore, was under the law that was given through Moses. Jesus pointed out that he did not come to abolish this law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17), and it was not until the point of His death that the law of Moses was actually done away with, having been nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14).


So, while Jesus certainly introduced the concept of grace (it is woven throughout his ministry in every fiber and thread), it could not be fully explained until after His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection. It is a fact that the only mentions of grace in the four gospel accounts are from Luke 2:40 (the grace of God was upon Him) and John 1:14-17, where we find that a large part of Jesus' purpose was to bring grace and truth.


This, hopefully, helps us to see why it is so important for us to carefully read the Word of God in its entirety. Each book, down to the last chapter and verse, give us the full picture that God wants us to possess. Once having this picture in its fullness, we can then clearly see exactly what God wants us to see. And this complete picture will help you become a more complete servant. This is why we are reading!


Today's reading is John 6-13. I pray that God will continue to bless your life as you seek His will in all its fullness!