Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

John 1:14-17
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: John 1:14
v14 (continued): Then John adds, “and we watched (like spectators in a theater) His glory, glory as of an only begotten from a father, full of grace and truth” (literal). Having just used the image of the tabernacle to illustrate how God’s Son clothed Himself in human flesh, John then selects another word associated with the tabernacle to illustrate how Jesus’ spirit dwelled inside His flesh. Of course John writes all this in Greek. He himself was not a Greek, but he was a Jew, raised in the language and concepts of the Old Testament, so when he speaks of “glory” he’s thinking of the Hebrew word for glory (kabod). As a biblical term it was occasionally used to mean God’s reputation (honor, praise), but far more often it referred to the fiery light which radiates from His divine nature.

Monday: John 1:14
v14 (continued): In Exodus 40:34-38 Moses described the moment when the Spirit of God entered the tabernacle which had been constructed for Him. He said, “…the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory (kabod) of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (v34). Notice: It is God’s “glory” (kabod) that fills the interior of the tent. This is the same “glory” (kabod) that rests on the top of Mount Sinai (Ex 24:15-18) and which left Moses’ face shining after speaking with God (Ex 34:28-35). And it’s the same “glory” (kabod) the prophet Ezekiel saw in his visions (Eze 1:26-28; 3:22-23; 8:1-4; 11:22-25). He watched this divine “glory” accompanied by cherubim, riding on a throne, having human shape, bearing very strongly the character of light, and leaving the first temple and returning to a new temple during the Messianic Age (Millennium, Rev 20:3) (G. von Rad in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in one volume, by Geoffrey W. Bromley, Eerdmans, reprint 1992, p.179).

Tuesday: John 1:14
v14 (continued): And John is telling us that Jesus possessed this same glory, that he and others saw Jesus’ glory with their own eyes and that what they saw convinced them that He was divine. It was exactly what you would expect to see from the Father’s “only begotten” Son. He doesn’t mention when this event took place, but Peter does: “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased’—and we ourselves heard this utterance from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain” (2Pe 1:16-18). Jesus had led Peter, James and John up onto a high mountain and was transfigured before them: “His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light” (Mt 17:2). Then a bright cloud covered them all and a voice spoke out of the cloud saying, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him” (Mt 17:5).

Wednesday: John 1:14
v14 (continued): Just as the brilliant light of God’s presence dwelled inside the tabernacle in the wilderness, the spirit of God’s Son dwelled inside a tent of human flesh. And on at least one occasion Peter, James and John had seen that glorious light radiating from Jesus. But as they watched Him over the years, they observed another kind of glory as well. They saw in Him the character of God. His words, His actions and His attitudes were their own kind of light. As a person, Jesus radiated the heart of God as surely as He had radiated the light of God, and there were two qualities that stood out above all the rest. These were: grace and truth.

Thursday: John 1:14
v14 (continued): In the New Testament the word “grace” (charis) is used to describe God’s mercy toward sinners and His willingness to do acts of kindness for people who do not deserve them. The word “truth” literally means “not forgotten.” When a person tells the truth it means they have not forgotten what they saw or heard or promised. They faithfully declare the message or fact which had been entrusted to them without changing it in any way. And they faithfully do what they said they would do. Something that is “true” contains no lies or errors. Someone who is “true” is authentic, genuine and reliable. So John is telling us that when he and the other disciples watched Jesus, they realized they were watching God in action, and what they learned about God is that He is full of grace (mercy, undeserved kindness) and truth (there is no deception or confusion in Him; He does not change, nor does He forget His promises). In other words, if you were to ask John or any of the disciples to describe the man they remembered, the first two things they would say about Jesus is that He was very kind and completely honest. He said what He meant, and He meant what He said.

Friday: John 1:15
v15: After telling us that Jesus existed before He was conceived, the apostle remembered something he heard John the Baptist say which supported this amazing claim. At some point in time after he had baptized Jesus, John saw Jesus coming toward him, and in a loud voice so all could hear, he announced, “This was the One about whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who is greater than me, for He existed before me.’” We know from the Gospel of Luke that John the Baptist was six months older than Jesus (Lk 1:24-26, 36), and that their mothers, Mary and Elizabeth, were related by blood and very close friends (Lk 1:36, 39-40, 56). So John the Baptist could not be saying Jesus was physically older than he, but it’s much more likely that he was referring to such prophetic statements as this: “From you [Bethlehem] One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Mic 5:2); or he is referring to the fact that when he baptized Jesus a voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son” (Mt 3:16-17). But regardless of how John received this revelation, the fact is that he had announced the pre-existence of Jesus of Nazareth, and that statement was so significant to one of the young men who was standing nearby that, at least four decades later, he quoted it twice in the opening to his gospel (Jn 1:15, 30).

Saturday: John 1:16-17
vs16-17: John the Baptist said Jesus was superior to him because He existed before him, but now John the apostle adds another reason of his own. He says Jesus was superior to John the Baptist and even to Moses, “because we all received out of His fullness.” Once again he is declaring that Jesus is our spiritual Source (v4). Every blessing we believers receive comes from that which “fills up” Jesus. From the Father, through the Son, we experience succeeding waves of grace (“grace upon grace”). Day after day His mercy forgives our sin, and one after another undeserved gifts are placed in our lives. Moses was a very great man. Through him God gave us a wonderful gift: the first five books of the Bible (Torah) in which He revealed many aspects of His will. But through Jesus Christ, grace and truth were not only revealed as essential elements of the character of God but actually “came into being.” In other words, Jesus not only showed them to us, but He made them available to us. 

Return to Daily Bible Studies