Joy is Jesus
"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." (v.11)
The words of our Lord in the text before us today point to the fact that His joy and our joy are not different joys -- but one and the same. He says: "My joy may be in you and ... your joy may be complete." His joy and our joy are not alien, but allied. And you cannot take His joy within you without your own joy being made complete. We are made in the inner structure of our beings for the joy of Christ; His joy completes ours."All things were created by him and for him" (Col. 1:16). This exciting verse tells us that the stamp of Christ is upon all creation -- we were made by Him and for Him. I sometimes imagine that if we could design an instrument that could look into the human spirit, we would see stamped there the words: "Made by Christ and for Christ."Christian joy certainly awaits us in heaven but we can also experience it as we make our way toward heaven. Christian joy is a joy that flows out of a sense of well-being, of harmony with the sum total of reality, of direct and immediate contact with His joy. Rendell Harris says; "Joy is the strength of the people of God; it is their characteristic mark." And when that mark is absent, then the characteristic of a Christian is absent. The best definition of joy I have ever heard, one that comes close to the text before us today, was given to me by a thirteen-year-old boy: "Joy is Jesus." What better definition can one want? Jesus!
My Father and my God, help me day by day to come closer to Jesus -- then I will come closer to Joy. Show me any blocks in my life that may be hindering that desired closeness. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What brought joy to Samaria?
2. How does Peter describe this joy?