Which do you prefer, grace or truth? Perhaps your answer depends on whether you are the dispenser or the recipient. We usually don’t mind dispensing truth, especially difficult truth, but we may not be as eager to receive it. On the other hand, most everyone enjoys receiving grace (unmerited favor from others), though we might find it hard to extend such consideration to our neighbors, coworkers, friends, or family.
The Apostle John tells us in his Gospel that Jesus was “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Jesus was the perfect embodiment of these two attributes. He always spoke the truth (about himself, his mission, and our needs), and he always was the embodiment of grace as he served others and eventually sacrificed his life to redeem us. The Gospel of John is full of stories which illustrate Jesus’ grace and truth—from his conversation with a Samaritan woman at a well (John 4) to his modeling of servanthood in John 13.
Jesus’ familiar words in John 3 point to both grace and truth: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16); and these words from John 3:18: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in God’s one and only Son.” How will you respond to Jesus’ grace and truth?