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.
“Sir, we would see Jesus” (John 12:21) is the heart of the missionary spirit. It is at the
heart of what John communicated to us in his gospel which he summarized in John 1:14.
Speaking of Jesus he wrote, “and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from
the Father, full of grace and truth.” For all the time I have spent studying John’s gospel, I
don’t think that I ever grasped his use of these three words – glory, grace, and truth. As
he walks us through first century Palestine, grace and truth fill up every part of Jesus’
ministry. We are humbled by the gracious works of Jesus towards those who for one
reason or another were so undeserving. We are taught deep spiritual truths of our Lord
that upon hearing bring real, true promise of eternal hope.
Grace and truth are unique landmarks to the character and person of Christ throughout
John’s gospel, for they are the essence of the gospel. Grace and truth also fill up Jesus’s
glory. So when John speaks of the glory of Christ it is not simply a term of radiance or
effulgent light like Paul on the Damascus road. It is something much more substantial.
The glory John speaks of is the manifestation of the very character and person of Christ.
We see Jesus for who He is.
What does this have to do with missions? Perhaps a better question is, “How is Jesus
making His glory known?” He is making it known in the heart of a sinner who turns from
his sin. It is the new affection of a believer for someone he has never seen. It is the
frontier in which the Holy Spirit awakens the soul so that He might shed more light on
the magnificence of Jesus. It is when Jesus is seen.
Questions for Further Study
1. What does today’s passage teach us about the character of God?
2. What are some other passages of Scripture that also teach us this?
3. How does today’s passage and devotion lead you to pray? How does it lead you