15 John bare witness of Him, and cried, saying, This was He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me.
16 And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
John — John the Baptist. John, the writer of the book, never mentions himself by name.
bare witness — in Greek, “bearing witness” (present tense). John the Baptist was was dead by the time this was written, but his witness continues.
John the Baptist appeared first, but Christ had greater glory and honor — and existed before John.
fulness —of the Godhead. Literally, plentitude and totality. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell (Colossians 1:19). For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9).
of His fulness — out of His inexhaustible fullness
grace for grace — inexhaustible new grace in the place of old grace, grace replenishing grace.
came = came into being
law — showed man that he should live a life that reflects God’s nature — and that he couldn’t do so.
Grace does not ignore the law (righteousness/truth). It establishes the law because it reigns through righteousness. It brings righteousness instead of demanding it.
Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law (Romans 3:31).