John 1:16 ¶ And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
This is one of the classic, often quoted scriptures, from the gospel of John. John’s gospel could be called experiential or experimental focusing on the reality of knowing Christ. From the first chapter of John’s gospel to its final pages it describes the testimony of Christ as various individuals were dramatically changed by the touch of God. From the wedding feast in Cana to the vivid picture of Lazarus hopping from his tomb, lives were being changed from personal encounters with Christ. Nicodemus was stunned by the power of His words while the blind man found healing in His saliva. The multitudes ate bread and fish, the wedding company had their wine, and the disciples had their feet washed. Faith was being awakened in dead hearts from their personal encounters with Christ. John called it grace upon grace. Dodd wrote about this verse back in the 1700’s. I was recently reading from Dodd’s commentary in the Dick Mills Research Library and came across this passage.
“And I (John the Apostle) who had the honor of being numbered among his most intimate friends, would, with pleasure, in my own name, and that of my brethren, add my testimony to that of John the Baptist, as I and they have the greatest reason to do; for of His overflowing fullness we have all received whatever we possess as men, as Christians, or as Apostles; and He hath given us even grace upon grace: A rich abundance and variety of favors, which will ever make his name most dear and precious to our souls. It is evident that what is said in this verse must be considered as the words of the Evangelist. John the Baptist had never yet mentioned the name of Jesus; and the expression, we all, shows it could not be his words; for those to whom he addressed himself, do not seem to have received grace from Christ.”
Have you tasted ‘grace upon grace’ in your life? Matthew Henry also commented about this grace upon grace.
“The freeness of this grace. It is grace for grace’ sake. We receive grace, not for our sakes (be it known to us), but even so, Father, because it seemed good in thy sight. It is a gift according to grace. It is grace to us for the sake of grace to Jesus Christ. God was well pleased in him, and is therefore well pleased with us in him. The fulness of this grace. Grace for grace is abundance of grace, grace upon grace, one grace heaped upon another; as skin for skin is skin after skin. It is a blessing poured out, that there shall not be room to receive it, plenteous redemption: one grace a pledge of more grace. Joseph-He will add. It is such a fulness as is called the fulness of God which we are filled with. Grace for grace is grace for the promoting and advancing of grace.”
So we can join our voice with the voices of Christians from every generation. I am satisfied with His grace alone, grace upon grace has changed my life.