All this waiting for the reconciliation of all things is what Advent is about.

All this yearning.

All this grasping in the cold thin air.

All these verses about God and man reconciled sparks something in my addled thinker about Jesus: He was full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.[1]

How do you love somebody who is bad? Well, Jesus did. During His days on Earth He was hated by the self-righteous because He hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes, and now He is our high priest in the holy of holies (Hebrews 8). How does that work? How can He do both?

He was full of grace and truth.

Rachel’s dad is a Pastor out in California. He sent us an article from Greek scholar Daniel Wallace. The article was about how The King James doesn’t translate 1st Thessalonians 5:22 very well.

1st Thessalonians 5:22 is famously translated by the KJV as

22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.[2]

 The ESV translates it in a better fashion:

22 Abstain from every form of evil. [3]

There’s a big difference between avoiding looking evil, and actually not being evil.

Wallace points out that Jesus was constantly getting in trouble with the religious leaders of His day precisely for not avoiding the appearance of evil. He was always hanging out with sinners, without sinning Himself (as the only sinless person to walk upon Earth He was always hanging out with sinners). He did so to share God’s love with them. He was safe for them. He was a person of peace for them.

He was warm.

And, it may sound odd to you, but one of the things I resolved in my own Christian life a long time ago was to be the warmest person I could be.

I want to be a person of peace. I want to be safe person. I want to be a person people feel like they can go to. And I apologize to you for the times I haven’t been. I want to be full of grace and truth. I want to reflect the love of Christ to a dead and dying world.

Not everybody is warm.

There are times when you get a facebook alert on your phone, and if it’s from certain people, you just know… you just know it isn’t going to be warm. You just know that they’re going to be trying to embarrass you, or correct you about something you probably know more about than they do.

We should be people who are reflecting the new covenant to our neighbors, reflecting the Jesus who is both friend to sinners, and sitting at the right hand of God the Father in the holy of holies, and our Churches need to resolve to be marked by grace and truth too.

We must not be internally focused. We must be externally focused. We must be a safe people; a warm people. Our goal isn’t to be fake happy, (the world has enough puppies chewing on world weary dog’s ears) nor to be wishy washy with God’s truth. Our goal is to be marked by grace and truth so that when we need to disagree with people, or even correct people from the Scriptures, they walk away saying, “I didn’t like what they said, but I know that person loves me.”

Or at least they know you don’t hate their guts.

May we reflect the grace and truth of Jesus Christ, friend of sinners and dweller of the holy of holies.


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Jn 1:14). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., 1 Th 5:22). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (1 Th 5:22). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *