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Verse 16.

Of his fullness. In Joh 1:14

the evangelist has said that Christ was

full of grace and truth. Of that fulness he now says that all the disciples had received; that is, they derived from his abundant truth and mercy grace to understand the plan of salvation, to preach the gospel, to live lives of holiness; they partook of the numerous blessings which he came to impart by his instructions and his death. These are undoubtedly not the words of John the Baptist, but of the evangelist John, the writer of this gospel. They are a continuation of what he was saying in the 14th verse, the 15th verse being evidently thrown in as a parenthesis. The declaration had not exclusive reference, probably, to the apostles, but it is extended to all Christians, for all believers have received of the fulness of grace and truth that is in Christ. Comp. Eph 1:23; 3:19; Col 1:19; 2:9.

In all these places our Saviour is represented as the fulness of God—as


in mercy, as exhibiting the divine attributes, and as possessing in himself all that is necessary to fill his people with truth, and grace, and love.


Grace for grace

. Many interpretations of this phrase have been proposed. The chief are briefly the following:

1st. "We have received, under the gospel, grace or favour,


of those granted under the law; and God has added by the gospel important favours to those which he gave under the law." This was first proposed by Chrysostom.

2nd. "We, Christians, have received grace

answering to, or corresponding to that which is in Jesus Christ. We are like

him in meekness, humility," &c.

3rd. "We have received grace

as grace—that is, freely. We have not purchased it nor deserved it, but God has conferred it on us freely

" (Grotius).

4th. The meaning is, probably, simply that we have received through him

abundance of grace or favour. The Hebrews, in expressing the him. He knew him intima superlative degree of comparison, used simply to repeat the word—thus, "pits, pits," meaning many pits (Hebrew in Ge 14:10) . So here grace for grace may mean


grace; superlative favours bestowed on man; favours superior to all that had been under the law —superior to all other things that God can confer on men. These favours consist in pardon, redemption, protection, sanctification, peace here, and heaven hereafter.

{w} "fulness" Joh 3:34

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