Five Ways Jesus Revealed Grace

Have you ever noticed that Jesus never said the word “grace”? Doesn’t this strike you as odd? After all, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Jesus is supposed to be Grace personified. So why didn’t He talk about it? The word “grace” appears just four times in the four gospels and not once does Jesus say it. In contrast, the word “law” appears hundreds of times, often in connection with Jesus’ preaching. Paul dedicated his life to preaching the gospel of grace, but Jesus was the greatest law preacher of all time.

Here’s something else Jesus never said to any individual: “I love you.” Jesus may not have said it but He sure showed it. His selfless sacrifice on the cross was the greatest demonstration of love the world has ever seen. On the cross He wrapped His arms around the world and gave us a big “I love you.” It is exactly like that with grace. He may not have said it, but He showed it big time. Here are just five of the ways that Jesus revealed the unmerited favor of a good and gracious God.

How did Jesus reveal grace?

1. By showing up!

Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord… Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.  (Lk 2:10-11, 14)

I have heard people preach this verse as though God was selective with His favor. “Maybe His favor rests on you, maybe it doesn’t. You’d better behave yourself and hope for the best.” But the angel brought good news of great joy that was for “all the people.” Are you people? Then God’s favor rests on you!

What does the favor of God look like? It looks exactly like Jesus. God’s favor and God’s Savior are synonymous. In every Old Testament mention of promised Savior, we get a hint of grace. Then on the night of His birth we get a mighty shout. “Peace has come to earth!” As Mary discovered and we’re still learning, we are highly favored. How so? Because the Lord is with us. He is not against us. He is for us and He is with us. You cannot have the Lord and be anything other than highly favored. He is a magnet to His own favor.

2. By proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Lk 4:18-19)

I used to think this verse was good news for handicapped people and those living below the poverty line. Then I realized that Jesus is describing all of us. Relative to God we are all poor and needy. Every one of us is bankrupt of life and righteousness. “The whole world is a prisoner of sin” (Gal 3:22). That’s why Jesus announced the Year of Jubilee. Because of Jesus, we have come home, our debts are cleared, and now we reap what we haven’t sown. In the Year of Jubilee all the slaves were freed. Again, that’s us. We were bound but knowing the Truth we are free indeed. That sounds like the good news of God’s grace to me!

3. By telling stories about grace

The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for pearls of great price; it is like a treasure hidden in a field. (Mt 13:44-45)

Jesus preached law to the self-righteous, but ordinary folks typically got stories of grace. And what stories they were! These weren’t morality tales for there was no catch, no lesson to be learned. The lost coin did nothing to be found. The lost sheep did not rescue itself. The prodigal returned as a worker but was received as a son.

Without saying the word grace, Jesus left lasting impressions of unmerited favor. He came for us because in His eyes we are the treasure; we are the pearl of great price. He Himself said so! Jesus’ stories leave us, like the prodigal, speechless in the loving arms of their Father.

4. By showing (and preaching!) unconditional forgiveness

Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” (Mat 9:2)

When preaching to those under the law, Jesus made forgiveness conditional. But on the street, Jesus revealed another forgiveness that is unconditional. The paralytic had forgiven no one yet he was forgiven. It was the same with the sinful woman (Luke 7). It was the same for the whole world when Jesus hung on the cross (Lk 23:34).

If this seems confusing to you, look at the cross. The cross is the dividing line of history and the crossroads of two covenants. Before the cross it was, “Forgive and you will be forgiven.” But speaking of what would happen as a result of the cross, Jesus also said, “every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men” (Mat 12:31). When was every sin and blasphemy forgiven? At the cross! Unconditional forgiveness is one of the most liberating manifestations of grace. When you know that you have been completely forgiven, you are free to forgive yourself and others.

5. By preaching faith over flesh

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (Joh 3:16)

Look carefully at the end of that verse. There is a full-stop, a period. Praise God for that period! It is the greatest period in the history of periods! That period declares the scandalous grace of God that will not share the stage with any man. The old covenant required about a hundred chapters to list all the things you need to do if you were to have any hope of impressing God, but here in the new, you just have to believe. Full-stop!

Jesus didn’t come with a list of commandments. We already had those from Moses. It’s true that Jesus preached law before the cross to those under the law but that wasn’t His main reason for coming. He came to open blind eyes, set the captives free, and give us new life. All that He asked was that we receive what He wanted to give us. This is the only thing Grace will ever ask of you. “Receive Me.”

Jesus = grace

Jesus may not have said “I love you” but those who met Him went away knowing they were dearly loved. Just ask John. For the rest of his life he went around telling people, “I’m the disciple Jesus loves.” So are you.

To know His love is to know His grace. They are inseparable. God is gracious because He is love. Why did Jesus come? Jesus came to reveal the grace of a good God who loves us like a Father. He came to bring us good news of great joy that is for all people.

Comments

  1. WOW! I really enjoyed that. THANKS! : )

  2. Great message, thanks. Jesus himself is grace! Amen.

  3. It is beautiful…so touching, i love every single word…thank you.

  4. This was a good article-thanks for writing it.

  5. So scandalous! Love it!

  6. Paul what Awsome truths about our Lord Jesus,It only reveals how we are only touching the tip of the iceberg of the endless layers of His Love for Us!

  7. I will be surprised if someone is going to criticize this post or any part of it.

    such a revelation of grace you have Paul…. your parents have named you rightly so!

    grace and peace

  8. Great article! I always love reading your posts. I just want to comment that though Jesus may not have said the phrase, “I love you” he may have said it indirectly apart from His actions.

    “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you…” (John 15:9a, NIV)

    “…Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12b, NIV).

    I don’t mean to be contentious. Just wanted to point these verses out. Again, great article. I always refer this blog of yours to my friends! Waiting for the next one.

  9. thank you God the father bcoz he give everything which is Jesus Christ…..no worry in the name of Jesus Christ bcoz he lives in us….

  10. Jesus said “My grace is suffficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” “Tout est grace”. All is grace . Grace is everywhere His spirit ministers. Grace is God’s expression of love. It is available everywhere God is and God is everywhere. Grace is not confused by geography or chronology. Grace is provided by the evidence that God exists, loves, saves, heals and desires those whom He loves to come to Him. Grace encourages hope. Grace provides a reason to have faith and hope. JESUS =GRACE. God’s favor rests on me. Favor looks like Jesus. I am highly favored and blessed of the Lord. If you are a child of the King, you have favor and it rests on you both here on earth and forever more.

  11. Praise God…. Thank you Jesus and thank you all @ escape to reality for expanding this simple truth in such clear logic! Glory and praise to the Lord our heavenly Father!

  12. This is good stuff. I love how you reveal to us that not everything Jesus preached was new covenant!

  13. YES, it is really grace that saved me! Thank you Lord Jesus for using Paul Ellis to continue the task of Paul of Tarsus…… in very simple terms….. preach God’s gospel of grace! I was once lost on how to understand “not putting new wine in old wine skins.”…. the story about the rich man who wants to inherit eternal life…. and the full-stop in John 3:16….. just believe…nothing more , nothing less. This blog is grace itself! Thank you so much, Paul.

  14. Believing His word, first yo have to read the right words in the King James Bible. NIV is one of the worst translations and none of them should be read or trusted.

  15. very good ! amazing message!! God bless you!!!

  16. Gospel, Gospel, Gospel. Thank you, thank you, thank you Jesus Christ. Wow, it is good stuff.

  17. I love grace

  18. Pastor Dave, Bidy of Christ fellowship Titusville Florida says:

    Hi Folks! Great article about the grace of God. Of course He is a God full of Grace and love and this article does well in expressing that type of Grace. What is not discussed here is what is called the “dispensation of Grace” which is of course the instructions and Guidelines that God set forth on how that we in todays Body of Christ Church are to become saved. That is a totally different form of “Grace”. When Jesus walked hHe was dealing with blood relatives of Jacob and those under the mosaic law in other words God said This is how you must be and do in order to prove you love me. Follow the law etc… in the Body of Christ that has changed ore finally been revealed to us and now it says … This is what I did for you to become saved…. WILL YOU BELIEVE? see the difference? yes God is full of Grace and YES He also gave a new instruction set called the Dispensation of Grace with revised and complete instructions… best to you all
    Pastor Dave

  19. Have I really never understood the parable of the pearl of great price? I’ve read that parable for 25 years and thought I knew exactly what it meant. I always thought we were the merchant and that we had to sell everything to acquire the kingdom. I am the pearl of great price? And God sold everything to acquire me?

    • Nick, ultimately it’s a story about love so I think it’s perfectly fine to interpret the story both ways. He loves us and we love him. He happily gave up everything for us and when we realized this we happily give up everything for him. It’s an easy trade. But he is definitely the hero in the story – the Man, the Merchant, so to speak.

  20. Collins Apamo says:

    I have found the best blog i have searched and prayed for. God is faithful and has answered my prayers. Let me now feast as i share the good news of God’s grace. Thanks alot brother Paul.

  21. I was stumped for doing a talk on 2 Timothy 2:1-13, and being strong in the grace of jesus christ. this has been an amazing post which has helped me to write my talk for teenage girls to understand the grace Jesus brings. Thanks!

  22. Gabriel Baddoo says:

    This is amazing,great piece of article.Many thanks,l love all of it.I dont think someone will criticize this very article. God bless you, be strengthened and receive abundance of much grace to do much more.I love you all.I want say something about the “by procliaming the acceptable year of the Lord in Lk 4:18-19 and in Mat 13:44-45 about the treasure and pearl of great price.”…l am really touched and most blessed in the name of Jesus.I thank my guidance and teacher of truths,the most Holy Spirit for all He is doing and continous to do for us all.

  23. Nick Perry says:

    Paul, I absolutely love your blog about grace but there’s a couple verses that have been giving me difficulty in believing the hyper-grace message. I’m not doubting you but I just want clarification on these verses. If I’m correct, John 1:14, 17 describe Jesus as being “full of grace and truth.” I’ve always assumed the word truth here referring to walking in righteousness making reference to the law. We are under grace (full of grace) but we are not to go on sinning (full of truth). Could you shed some light on this?
    Let me know if you need more explanation. Thanks!

  24. rollins9383 says:

    That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2 verse 7. I am truly enjoying this blog.

  25. Jesus DID mention the Greek word for “grace”, once. This word is Karas. The King James translators inserted the word “thank” in it’s place with “what thank have ye?” Paul’s teachings on grace are NOT Jesus’. Until you fully understand the actual teachings of Jesus, where Paul got his teachings from, you can’t understand Paul. Paul was just a guy..A guy who messed up & disobeyed. Jesus’ commanded our obedience over and over. We continue to ignore Him and go to some modernized “Grace (get out of jail free) Doctrine” that has been grossly misinterpreted over the simple obedience of Jesus’ commandments.

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