John is not setting the law apart from grace and truth. However, he is providing perspective on the manner in which each has entered the world. While the law came through the Word of God, it was delivered through a dramatic process involving fire and stone. The recipients were a specific people, a nation evolving from the father of faith. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” (Romans 4:3) Evolution is a process using mutation to bring about something new. Often the result is something very different from what it came from. This is what happened to the Israelites understanding of the law. Their understanding of the law provided through ten simple commandments had morphed into a 613 difficult and often confusing commandments. The law given through Moses had evolved to the point that made it impossible to accomplish. This was not only discouraging it completely removed the concept of grace and truth. The law had turned into a disastrous recipe for failure. Grace was foreign and truth was confusing.
Grace and truth also came through the Word of God. Instead of fire and stone they came through a natural process of conception and birth. Conception through the Holy Spirit and birth in a stable through a humble teenage girl. The recipients are all people from every nation. This becoming the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. Because of his faith he is the father of all nations, all who have been set free from the law. (Galatians 3:8; Genesis 17:5) Jesus, the Word, has brought God’s grace to all who believe and follow the truth delivered to Abraham and lived out in the life of Christ. He brought out the truth when he told the Samaritan woman, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24) As we worship in Spirit and in truth we are sure to discover Jesus in the Bible.