The presence of Jesus on earth is all about God being with us, in glory, bringing grace and revealing truth. These aspects are balanced and harmonious. They also tell the story of the Infinite humbling himself to take on the form of humanity to identify with us…
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
There is so much here I can hardly process the riches and complexity of this verse. Jesus is God Incarnate. God dwelling in the form of humanity. Jesus humbled himself to take on our form, according to Philippians 2. He had to empty himself to be confined into humanity, as he is infinite and eternal in nature. How could the God who is everywhere and all-knowing and all-powerful be limited to exist in the form of a man, let alone a baby? This is the wonder and mystery of God.
Jesus dwelled with us and among us. Isaiah calls him Immanuel for this reason. He is not apart from us – he is with us always by his promise in Matthew 28:20 and even when we think he is far, he is closer than we might now and expect (Acts 17:27).
We see in the life of Jesus the glory of God. This glory is the glory of the one and only. That’s Jesus – the one and only. No one else has the glory in them as Jesus does. He displays the glory of God at all times and in all ways. We, of course, fall short of that glory, which Paul reminds is in Romans 3:23.
The encouragement of Hebrews 12:15, however, is to make sure that no falls short of his grace. For inasmuch as he came for us to behold the glory of God, of which we fall short, he came to shower us with the grace of God, which is available to all.
Grace, as it happens, does not exist in a vacuum, though, with truth being the bed on which the grace of God is planted. Truth helps us to understand who we are in respect to who God is. Truth helps is to understand who God was, is, and will always be. Truth provides a North Star in a universe of shooting and falling stars.
This is not a tension, but rather is a balance and unity and harmony of ideas Jesus is able to make it all work, and our following of Jesus should reflect the same.
Behold the lamb of God.
Come let us adore him.
And he says, “come, follow me…”