- The concept of fullness of joy in John’s Gospel is based on several ancient Jewish teachings. “Fullness of joy” in Jewish culture is associated with harvest time and abundant crops, marriage, the birth of a child (Luke 1:39-45), and eschatologically speaking, the end of the age when YHWH fulfills completely (not partially) all of His promises relating to His kingdom and the blessed state of His people.
- While many Jews were seeking the kingdom on political and military terms, God brought His in-breaking kingdom through His Son, Jesus and not through militaristic Jewish nationalism.
- What is the source of your joy? You can find out by noticing when you show gestures of happiness, i.e., smiling, laughing, giggling, vocalizing concepts of gratefulness, and crying “happy tears.”
DIG DEEPER INTO GOD’S WORD
- John 15:10-12, “10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
- John 17:13-19, “13 But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.”
- Is there something morally, ethically, or spiritually wrong with being happy about good things that happen to use or those we care about, graduation, e.g., a bumper crop, marriage, children, new job, new car, your favorite team winning the Super Bowl (again!)?
- Be honest, just how close are you to Jesus? Is He more of an idea or ideal than a real person?
- Do you believe that pure joy exists in Him?
- Read Hebrews 12:2. What is the relationship between “the joy set before Him” and His suffering on the cross?
- In what ways can you get to the heart of Jesus and actually experience His “fullness of joy”?
- What does Matthew 25:23 have to do with experiencing “fullness of joy”?
- What would hold you back from experiencing His joy?