Text: “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11).
Scripture Reading: John 15:1 – 11
Jesus spoke of a fullness of joy that he was eager to impart to his disciples. He declared that his desire that they experience this fullness of joy was the controlling motive behind the things he taught them. What was the joy of which Jesus spoke? It certainly was not the joy of ownership in our normal definition of that term. Jesus knew the pinch of poverty rather than the comfort of affluence. The joy of which Jesus spoke was not the joy of popularity in the usual definition of that term. Although he was the center of attention in every group, he was not seeking the applause that comes to those who obtain a position of fame.
The joy of Jesus was not the joy of security, for he was opposed on all sides by the established authorities. When the Lord spoke of a fullness of joy, he referred to a joy that grows out of something other than the joy of ownership, the joy of popularity, or the joy of security.
But there is a joy that Scripture commands. That joy is action that can be engaged in regardless of how the person feels. Proverbs 5:18 tells the reader to rejoice in the wife of his youth, without reference to what she may be like. Christ instructed his disciples to rejoice when they were persecuted and slandered (Matthew 5:11-12). We are always in the pursuet of happiness, but the command is to have joy. Jesus is not trying to make us happy, but he is trying to give joy like he has, what the Joy of Jesus.
- Jesus experienced the joy of knowing God.
A.At the age of twelve, our Lord gave expression to an insight into the business of his Father God (Luke 2:49).
B.Our Lord’s favorite title for the eternal God is wrapped up in his loving name “Father.” In every instance, with only one exception, when our Lord was engaging in prayer, he addressed the eternal God as Father. He taught his disciples to approach the throne of grace in prayer with thoughts of the parent-child relationship uppermost in their minds (Luke 11:2).
C.Just before his death on the cross, Jesus cried out, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
To our Lord, the eternal God was more than a vague blur. He was more than just the principle behind the universe. To Christ, God was his loving Father. He was eager that his disciples experience and appreciate this joy of knowing God.
JOY GROWS OUT OF REAL WORSHIP.Worship involves both celebration and confession. But in Israel’s national holidays, the balance seems heavily tipped in favor of celebration-five joyous occasions to two solemn ones. The God of the Bible encourages joy! God does not intend for religion to be only meditation and introspection. He also wants us to celebrate. Serious reflection and immediate confession of sin are essential, of course. But these should be balanced by celebrating who God is and what he has done for his people.
- Jesus experienced the joy of glorifying God (John 17:4).
Christ Jesus came into the world to reveal the nature of God to the hearts of humans. He came as a demonstration of God’s wonderful plan for the human race. He came to reveal the greatness of God’s love for people and to give them abundant life. He came that people might understand the love, grace, and power of the creator of the universe. Jesus
As Jesus communicated this insight into the nature and purpose of God, he was glorifying God and making God known by every means at his command. He was seeking to introduce people to the Father God. He rejoiced that God was revealing himself to babes (Luke 10:21), and he continued to rejoice as people came to an understanding of who God really was.
Our Lord was exceedingly eager that his disciples experience this great joy of glorifying God.
III. Jesus experienced the joy of perfect harmony with God’s will.
The will of God for Jesus Christ was the road map for his life. There was no discord between Jesus’ will and the will of the Father. In his mind, there was no rebellion or revolt against the work God had for him to do. He was in perfect harmony with the Creator and with the universe in which he lived.
Jesus leads us to accept the will of God as the guiding principle of our lives. He gives us the great inward peace of being in tune with the eternal God and his loving purpose for the world.
JOY COMES FROM BEING IN GOD’S PRESENCE.David’s heart was glad-he had found the secret to joy. True joy is far deeper than happiness; we can feel joy in spite of our deepest troubles. Happiness is temporary because it is based on external circumstances, but joy is lasting because it is based on God’s presence within us. As we contemplate his daily presence, we will find contentment. As we understand the future he has for us, we will experience joy. Don’t base your life on circumstances, but on God. Jesus anticipated the joy of returning to the Father God.
Our Lord spoke repeatedly of the fact that he would return to the Father. He told of the many rooms in his Father’s house. In Jesus’ prayer in John 17, we can sense the joy that filled his heart as he anticipated the completion of his earthly ministry and his return to the Father.
On at least one occasion, Jesus urged his disciples to rejoice greatly because their names were written in heaven (Luke 10:20). He was eager for them to rejoice in the glad consciousness that heaven was to be their eternal home. He did not want them to live in anxiety concerning the joy that was before them.
The fruit of the Spirit is the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit produces these character traits that are found in Christ. They are the by-products of Christ’s control-we can’t obtain them by trying to get them without his help. If we want the fruit of the Spirit to grow in us, we must join our life to his (see John 15:4-5). We must know him, love him, remember him, and imitate him. As a result, we will fulfill the intended purpose of the law-to love God and our neighbors. Which of these qualities do you want the Spirit to produce in you?
Our Lord lived a life of joy. He is eager that we know the great joys available to us through faith and faithfulness.