Jn.1:16 – For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
I have been reading the first eighteen verses of the gospel of John over and over again this week. I like to look at this as the Apostle John’s version of the nativity. He covers the eternal nature of the Lord, how His coming was an invasion of light that overcomes darkness, how He came to give us the opportunity to become children of God, and in this verse He is overwhelmed by the infinite nature of God’s grace. John calls it grace upon grace. He is describing grace that has no end. He may as well have said grace upon grace upon grace upon grace….. That’s how the favor of God is, it cannot be measured. We were once lost in a quagmire of sin and sin’s consequences until the day that the Word Who became flesh came to us and opened our eyes. The result, the true light, the life of God flooded our souls and brought us out of our misery into our inheritance as children of God. We have now tasted this unthinkable grace upon grace. Here is how Luther describes it.
“This is one of the golden texts in Saint John; it is on a par with the one we have already discussed: The Son of God is “the true Light, which lights every one that cometh into the world.” Therefore whoever does not acknowledge Christ and believe in him, and does not make him his or her own, is and remains a child of wrath and of damnation, no matter what that person is called or what that person is. But if a person is to find mercy, Christ alone must be the means. He alone makes us paupers rich with his superabundance, expunges our sins with his righteousness, devours our death with his life and transforms us from children of wrath, tainted with sin, hypocrisy, lies and deceit, into children of grace and truth. Whoever does not possess this Man possesses nothing. . . . And what do we really receive? “Grace on grace.”
This is the true Christmas message, the light came into the world and darkness could not stop it, conquer it, or comprehend it. I remember looking at the mountain of presents under our Christmas tree when I was a child. I was mesmerized by the great volume. Today I am stunned by the Lord’s Christmas gift. The only way to describe it is grace upon grace upon grace…