Read: John 17:1-19
Do you take notes during the sermon? Do you jot down ideas or Scriptures that the Holy Spirit highlights to you? My journal is full of riveting one-liners that are fired off by whoever is preaching. I’ll often find myself meditating on them, sharing them with friends, and even using them in the lyrics of a song I’m writing.
Larry shot one off two weeks ago that Jesus re-emphasizes in our passage this week. Jesus has just finished teaching His disciples for the last time before He will be crucified; as He is praying, He says to the Father, “But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”
Jesus is saying to the Father, “Daddy, I am coming home! And everything that I have taught the world while I’ve been here was so that they might have my joy!” Jesus’ objective in these last teachings is to show that His joy can be ours. This begs the question: What is the joy of Jesus?
This is where Larry’s bullet two weeks ago struck its mark. Quoting an anonymous writer, he said, “Nothing causes more joy than to be loved.” The joy of Jesus is inseparable from the way in which He is loved by the Father. He is loved so lavishly that it inherently produces joy. His joy is so great that He would see the crucible of suffering that lay before Him through the lens of “joy” as the writer of Hebrews describes it:
“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
This is why Jesus connected the ideas of abiding in His love and sharing in His joy. The two are inseparable.
As we prepare for church this Sunday, take a moment to read John 17:1-19 and hear how much Jesus loves us as He prays for us. Allow your heart and mind to swim in the richness of it and see if it doesn’t result in unshakable joy.