Summary: A sermon on the joy of Jesus and how we are to follow His example of Joy (Outline and material adapted from an article by Robert Lee in Pulpit Helps)
There was once a young boy who went to spend the week with his grandfather on the farm. While walking around he noticed the chickens, they were scratching and playing around. The little lad said, “They ain’t got it”. Next he saw a colt in the field playing and kicking up its heel’s to which he replied, “He ain’t got it”. After examining all of the animals on his grandfather’s farm and see that none of them had “it”, this boy finally found the old donkey in the barn. When he saw the donkey’s long, frowning face and the way that the donkey just stood there he screamed for his grandfather to come quick. “I found it, I found it” the boy kept yelling. When his grandfather asked what he had found he said, “Pawpaw, I found an animal that has the same kind of religion that you have.”
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11, NIV.
This was a strange time to talk of joy. In a short time, Jesus would be in Gethsemane. The time when Jesus speaks about his own joy is when he is approaching the most difficult time of his life. Two things to notice:
Jesus’s joy is something unique, differing from the world’s joy, if it still remained with Him in His hour of darkness.
If Jesus was joyful now at the time of his greatest sorrow, His life must have been a life of joy.
Many think of Jesus as a man of sorrows and this is true but this ignores other aspects of his life. “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.”” Hebrews 1:9, NIV. Also, we see that children loved Jesus and wanted to be around Him. Children shun those who are gloomy and habitually sad and sorrowful.
When we see that Jesus was a man of joy, we also need to realize that this should characterize our lives. We ought to be joyful in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:16).
Thesis: Jesus’ joy was of an 7 fold character
The Joy of His Father’s Presence
“The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.”” John 8:29, NIV. Jesus’ source of joy was the enjoyment of His Father’s presence. Only once was this presence lost to Him, on the cross. We see this when he cried out, ““Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”--which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”” Matthew 27:46, NIV.
“Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23, NIV. Many people want a pardon from hell, but they do not want the Governor living with them. When Jesus pardons us, he comes in and lives with us. Jesus is not our get out of jail free card; He is within us.
The Joy of the Father’s Approval
“The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.”” John 8:29, NIV. Jesus put a smile on the Father’s face.
Only through Christ can we enjoy the smile of God. “His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalms 147:10, 11, NIV. Jesus said that the most important command in the Bible is this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37 NIV). Loving God with every fiber of our being is the most important thing we will ever do with our lives. He already loves us. And when we look at the world around us, the universe that he made for us and the salvation he has provided for us through Jesus Christ, how can we not love him in return and put a smile on His face?
The Joy of submission to the Father’s Will
““Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”” Luke 22:42, NIV.
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered” Hebrews 5:7, 8, NIV
“Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!” Hebrews 12:9, NIV.