Jesus Reveals God

John’s prologue introduces key themes - life, light, witness, truth, and grace. Jesus is the light of the world, the source of grace and truth, the true Tabernacle, and the only one who has seen the Unseen God who “tabernacles” in the “word made flesh.” It ends by demonstrating that Jesus alone is qualified to interpret the Father.

The Law was given through Moses, but “grace and truth came to be through Jesus Christ.” In John’s time, that statement would be perceived as a challenge to claims about the Mosaic Law.

Regardless, in the New Testament, Jesus becomes the “word” or logos by which God made all things, and in whom He now reveals His true glory and nature.

  • (John 1:14-18) – “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth.  John bears witness of him, and cries, saying, This was he of whom I said, He that comes after me is become before me: for he was before me. For of his fullness, we all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he interpreted…


The Greek term rendered “interpreted” is the verb exégeomai. It means “to lead out, explain - to interpret.” In the Greek sentence, there is no direct object after the verb. It is used intransitively, and the declaration remains open-ended.

That is to say, Jesus is the final and ultimate interpreter of everything that relates to or comes from his Father.

The term “only born Son” expands on the statement, “we beheld his glory, a glory as of an only born from a father, full of grace and truth.” This figure is identified explicitly as “Jesus Christ.” Thus, Jesus of Nazareth is the one who reveals the Unseen God. “No man has seen the Father, except he who is of God, he has seen the Father” - (John 6:46).

Likewise, Jesus declares to his followers “that which I have seen with my Father.” He who has seen the Nazarene “has seen the Father.” He is not just another in a long line of prophets, but he is the ultimate expression of God, and the Creator of all things can be seen and understood only in His Son - (John 8:38, 14:7-9, 15:24).

The gospel of John was composed in the latter half of the first century. Accordingly, its pages reflect the conflicts between the early church and the synagogue. Its negative references to the “Jews” are not ethnic slurs but references to the religious establishment that rejected Jesus and opposed the Church - (John 1:19, 2:18-20, 3:25, 5:10-18, 6:41-52, 7:1-15v 7:35, 8:22, 8:48, 8:52-57).


Many devout Jews viewed the Mosaic Law as the center of the faith, the perfect revelation of the will of Yahweh for all time. According to the rabbis, God created the universe through the Torah. His presence dwelt in the inner sanctum of the Tabernacle, and Moses was the one who “saw” His glory on Mount Sinai.

John’s prologue contrasts Jesus with that earlier legislation. All things were made according to the “Word” or logos, and not according to the Torah. Light and life are found in the “Son.” The “logos” became flesh and, in the Son, revealed God’s “glory” for one and all to behold.

Moses was only permitted to see the “backside” of Yahweh’s glory while being hidden in the hollow of a rock. In contrast, Jesus dwells in His very “bosom,” therefore, he is the only one who can “declare” the unseen God - (Exodus 33:20-22, John 1:18).

He is the true Tabernacle in which God dwells and reveals His glory. Moses certainly gave the Law, but “grace and truth” only come through Jesus Christ - (John 1:14-17, 2:19-21, 4:20-24).

John’s purpose is not to denigrate Moses or the Law, but to stress that God’s full and final revelation is found in Jesus alone, and not in Moses, the Law, the Temple, or anywhere else.


Suffering Servant

Revolt Against the Son