Grace and Truth

After ignoring this most famous book for so long, maybe it's time to shake the dust off our bibles and begin reading it again.  Beginning with the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) is a good starting point for the historical context, although there is also that in John.  Personally, I like to commence with the gospel according to St. John because it exhibits a deeper theological insight.  Many are familiar with the "In the beginning..." of the Old Testament--in the book of Genesis.  So St. John now begins the gospel:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God; 3all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. 8He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.

9The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. 11He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; 13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. 15(John bore witness to him, and cried, "This was he of whom I said, `He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.'") 16And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known. (John 1.1-18 RSV)
The way this was capsulized and written points to its possible origin as an ancient song of the first Christians.  It looks like a summary or formula for those pioneer believers. This is the hidden treasure (cf. Matthew 13.44) mentioned in Christ's parables, treasure that we sell everything for just to acquire.  We'll understand the true nature of Jesus, full of grace and truth, misunderstood by the world but we ourselves see clearly.

If folks memorize the lyrics of many songs playing in the airwaves, might it not be asking a lot if these few verses are known by heart?

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