Awestruck by Jesus
Bible Reading: John 1:1-18
“We beheld His glory” (John 1:14, NKJV). So wrote the elderly Apostle John a full half century removed from the experience he wrote about. Much has transpired for John since those days when he and his fellow Apostles walked with Jesus. His friends? They’re all gone now, each having suffered a martyr’s death. Over the course of decades of ministry, none of them could ever stop speaking about the miraculous events they had seen and heard. From Pentecost forward, they were Spirit-led to go out to share the good news of the gospel. Their love for Jesus compelled them to go. And that’s the cause for which they were martyred. They had beheld His glory–they’d been Awestruck by Jesus–and that changed everything for them!
What did they see? We should note the term “beheld” means more than just “see.” It speaks of a careful and deliberate vision which interprets its object. Over the course of Jesus’ earthly ministry, His disciples were watching closely and forming an opinion about Jesus, based on what they saw. Which brings us to the other word used here “glory,” which speaks to “the honor resulting from a good opinion.” They walked with Jesus and what they saw in Him was awe-inspiring!
What did they see? They saw Jesus do things no mere man could ever do. His glory was shown through the miracles He performed. In turning the water into wine in Cana, Jesus “manifested His glory, And His disciples believed in Him” (John 2:11). The raising of Lazarus was the same, “so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:4). These miracles testified to the truth, Jesus was “the Only Son from the Father” (John 1:14; 20:30-31). Jesus was no mere man, He was God incarnate.
What else did they see? They saw Him full of “grace and truth.” The contrast is made between Moses and Jesus (verse 17). The Law, an expression of God’s truth, was given through Moses. Though the Law was good, it had no power to save because men could not keep it. “Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). As Divine attributes, grace and truth almost seem at odds with each other. Truth can be demanding and foreboding. Grace is giving and forgiving. We are exhorted to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) because there’s a tendency to favor one to the detriment of the other. Yet in Jesus both were expressed in perfect harmony, and from him “we have all received “grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Jesus was beautiful to them in His person!
The disciples were awestruck by Jesus and their experience was transformative! If you are a believer in Christ, you’ve had your own eye-opening experience with Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:6)! But that was just the beginning. The Spirit is even now working to unveil the fulness of Christ’s glory to you (2 Corinthians 3:18)! “Lord, cause me to become awestruck by You!”
Lord, the more time we take to behold You, the more amazed we become. Open the eyes of heart so we will see You in the beauty of Your person and perfection of Your Ways. This world is filled with sights and sounds which attract and distract us. Let us become awestruck by Your beauty, so nothing can divert our focus. As we endeavor to fix our eyes on You in the here and now, keep us ever mindful of that coming day in which we will marvel at You in Your presence.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of his glory and grace