The Joy of Jesus

(John 17)

Shortly before Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed as recorded in this chapter. This prayer is only mentioned by John. This man, this apostle, is very significant for our day. He was the one closest to Jesus; he laid his head on his chest. I am hesitant to take space to write this but those who consider this justification for immorality are on such dangerous ground, as they hold to an abomination. We write this without condemnation but with true concern for the destinies of those who are deceived in this way.

John was the one man, as far as we know, that sat at the foot of the cross, with Mary, His mother, His mother’s sister, Mary, the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. One man and 4 women and three of the women named Mary. What significance might be hidden in that? We should ask the Holy Spirit to show us.

The other men had run and hid. We ought not to think of them as cowards. Women, and that one man caring for them, would not have been in the same danger as the male disciples. John was with them and therefore he was qualified to be the one to care for Mary. Jesus, in His suffering, does not forget His mother, His earthly family and provides for her care. The bulls of Bashan (search it out in Psalms), the powers of hell through the religious mockers, were surrounding Him and yet He did not forget His earthly family. He committed Mary to the one who had been closest to Him.

So he, John, is the one to record this prayer which follows Jesus discussion of the promise of the Holy Spirit. It is He, the Spirit, who will reveal the glory for which Jesus prays. It is He who will bring the disciples, and those who believe because of their witness, to experience the presence, and the glory of God. Let us pursue this, let us go on to know Him. In the beginning of the prayer, Jesus defines eternal life as knowing our Father and Himself, Jesus Christ. Wherever we are in our journey, our life, we can experience His presence.

Jesus also prayed that we would know the fullness of His joy. Consider our previous writing and the day of Pentecost. Jesus asks our Father to bring us into the fullness of His joy. He does not ask for a taste, he asks for the fullness. The 12 disciples, and 120 in that upper room received that fullness on that day. They were totally transformed and would never again be only disciples. I do not use the word only lightly. To be a disciple of Jesus is very important and significant. Jesus had already called them friends, and now something at another level had occurred. We might say that they were now truly born of heaven. They had been brought to another level of experience of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Without question, it was the point in human history that the church was born, and without limitation, the flow of the river of God into the earth was released.

We have noted the manifestations of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The sound of a mighty, rushing wind, and tongues of fire upon their heads, and they spoke with heavenly tongues. Those who saw and heard them thought they were drunk. They were filled with the joy of the Lord Jesus! To others they looked drunk. New wine had filled them, and they were able to contain it. Their time as disciples had made them new wineskins, ready for the new wine of the Holy Spirit to be poured in.

Where are you today? Have you known the fullness of His joy? It is available for all. Whosoever will may come. I have heard it said, you can have as much of Jesus as you want. I have been knowing this is true. Keep pursuing, there is no end to His love and your knowing of it. No end, my friend. What it looks like it will cost you is nothing. Despise the “shame”. He has taken all the shame. No one who trusts in Him will be put to shame. Your ego will be put away. Who needs it? Your pride will be destroyed. Good, that will keep you from His grace. Every theological box of the prison of Western Christianity will be blown to bits. And you will be free to know Jesus better than you may know Him today. He wants you to share in His joy. The joy of the Lord is our strength so that we, like that man Paul, His bondservant, might press on to know Him.