Truth in the Gospel of John actually means reality. It means the realization of God and the reality of God. Paul in the New Testament said that all things are dung (Phil. 3:8), and Solomon declared that all things are vanity (Eccl. 1:2), without reality. Nothing is reality; everything is vanity. Everything in the eyes of the apostle was dung, and everything in the eyes of King Solomon was vanity. Only God is reality. If we have God, we have reality. The more we experience God, the more we shall enjoy grace and apprehend reality.Grace is God enjoyed by us in the Son; reality is God realized by us in the Son. Grace is the enjoyment, and reality is the realization. To say, “God is light,” may be merely a doctrine without realization. However, when you participate in God, experiencing God as light to you, you have the realization of God as light. Likewise, to say, “God is life,” may be a mere term. But, whenever you enjoy Christ as your portion, you have the realization that God is life to you. Hence, grace is God enjoyed by you, and reality is God realized by you in that enjoyment.
Both grace and reality came with Jesus. Verse 17 says, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and reality came through Jesus Christ.” The law makes demands upon man according to what God is, but grace supplies man with what God is to meet what God demands. The law, at the most, was only a testimony of what God is (Exo. 25:21), but reality is the realization of what God is. No man can partake of God through the law, but grace is the enjoyment of God for man, and reality is the realization of God for man. Eventually, grace is God enjoyed by man, and reality is God realized by man. Since both grace and reality came with Jesus, when Jesus is with us, we have grace and reality. Although we lack the adequate language to describe this, we may nevertheless know it, at least to some extent, from our experience. Many times we have enjoyed God in Christ as our grace, and many times we have realized that God in Christ is truly life, light, comfort, rest, patience, humility, and so many other things. This is the realization of God.