John is concluding his introduction of Jesus. When I ended yesterday I thought I was ending at the point where John returned to talking about John the Baptist. I was wrong, so I’m backing up a verse again today. I’m not sure how to handle John’s reference to John the Baptist in the single verse in our reading so I’m not going to dwell on it until we get to chapter 2. It really is a sneak preview of what John the Baptist expresses in John’s account of the story. (So confusing trying to write a sentence using both Johns and keeping them straight!)
In this last section of John’s introduction of Jesus he focuses on the most amazing thing Jesus brought us; grace. Jesus brought grace to us in the only way possible; for Him to become one of us. Jesus, the Word, became flesh and blood just like us and lived His life with us. I say “us” generally because you and I weren’t there, but everyday men and women were. The dusty streets of Israel were host to the very feet of the Word of God. He played in the dirt as a child. He swam in the streams as a teen. He worked beside His earthly father as a young Man. And He walked the streets as a Man for 3 ½ years directly proclaiming the Kingdom of God.
John the Baptist heralded Jesus’ ministry right before He stepped into full time service. John made sure the people knew he was not claiming to be the Christ. He also pointed the people directly to Jesus, any who would listen anyway.
Jesus brought something we ALL need. Something that was not available before. He brought grace. Previously God had given the Law through Moses, but there was no grace in the law. There was forgiveness, but it had to be earned through specific rites and sacrifices. That forgiveness was also fleeting. As soon as the rules were broken again, the original offense was uncovered.
The inability of the law to remove sin reminds me of a child writing on the wall with an ink pen or magic marker. No matter how many times you paint over it or scrub it, eventually it will show through again. It takes an application of a special primer to permanently block it from showing through.
Jesus’ blood acts as the “primer” for our lives. His blood bought mercy for us from the punishment for our sins and grace for our relationship with God. Jesus’ blood goes even farther than the primer; it washes the sin completely away. We are justified by His sacrifice. “Just as if” I never sinned. That’s AMAZING GRACE! That’s the grace Jesus offered to everyone He met and still offers to each of us.
Through Jesus, we get to meet the Father. Only because of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and His grace applied to our lives do we get to have a personal relationship with God. Jesus models and reflects every aspect of the Father. Jesus knows Him intimately and freely shares every part of His nature with us.
Father God, thank You for desiring a relationship with me, even before I knew You or anything about You. Thank You for making a way for me to have a personal relationship with You. Thank You Jesus for providing that way. Thank You for bringing me Your mercy and grace. I need both in my life every day! Please remind me every day how precious You gift is and never let me take those gifts for granted. I earned NONE of them but You freely gave them to me anyway. Thank You!