Summary: Jesus was the happiest man in history, and the happiest being in all the universe, because he had the very joy of God.
My wife and I sometimes debate as to which of us loves the other the most, and we
each make the claim that “I love you more.” The other responds, “No, I love you more.”
It is one of those debates that can never have a winner because there is no love
measuring device by which we can measure our love to see which is the greatest. It is also
impossible to measure joy and happiness. No one can say I am happier than someone
else, for without a way of measurement it is a meaningless statement. However, if the God
who made us, and who knows all things, says that someone is happier and more joyful
than others, then we have a basis for the claim that a person can be the most joyful and
happy person there is. That is what verse 9 of Hebrews chapter one tells us about Jesus.
It says, “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you
above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy."
The anointing with the oil of joy is translated by Moffat as. “with the oil of rejoicing
beyond thy comrades.” TCNT has it, “with the festal oil more abundantly than thy
peers.” Today's English Version renders it: "The kingdom that God has given you will last
forever and ever. You rule over your people with justice; you love what is right and hate
what is evil. That is why God, your God, has chosen you and has poured out more
happiness on you than on any other king."
The greatest joy comes to those who are in fullest agreement with the nature and
purpose of God, and that means those who love what is good and hate what is evil. All
people do both to some degree, for if you read the statements of crime leaders you learn
that they want their children to grow up and be legitimate and not criminals. Everyone
loves good and hates evil to some degree, but only one person in history loved and hated
in perfect agreement with God, and that was Jesus Christ. He was the happiest man in
history, and the happiest being in all the universe, because he had the very joy of God.
Is God actually happy? Does He have a heart filled with joy? It seems like He might be
sad most of the time because of the sin and rebellion of man, and the mess they constantly
make of His beautiful world, but the fact is, God is a God of joy. One of the great texts of
Nehemiah is in 8:10 where we read, “..for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” It is
God’s joy that makes it possible for Him to put up with a fallen world, and this joy was
the joy that gave Jesus the strength to go all the way to the cross and to the depths of hell
for lost sinners. Heb. 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of
our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat
down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Without the joy of the Father Jesus could
not have had the strength to go through with the plan of salvation. He needed joy and the
power it provides to fulfill His purpose for time and eternity.
Webster's Dictionary defines joy as - pleasure caused by the EXPECTATION of good.
Jesus expected to see billions of redeemed sinners in glory, and enjoying pleasures forever at
God’s right hand with Him in the Father’s house, and it was this expectation that filled Him
with joy. No one in history has ever been able to expect such success from what they do. No
other sacrifice in history has ever come close to doing so much for so many. He purchased
by His blood that which is of infinite value. It is beyond measure what will be because of His
sacrifice, and that is why it is beyond measure to determine the greatness of His joy. It can
only be describes as a joy equal with the joy of the Father whose will He accomplished by
going to the cross.
The Nehemiah text is talking about the strength that the joy of the Lord can give to men,
and so Jesus, who was the greatest of men, could have this strength in far greater measure.
Spurgeon in a sermon on the text shows just what power is available to all believers in the joy
of the Lord. He writes, “Let us endeavor to analyze that special and peculiar pleasure which
is here called "The joy of the Lord." It springs from God, and has God for its object. The