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The Joy of Jesus


“But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”

John 17:13

Maybe it was the crisp mountain air. Maybe it was the freedom of vacation which gave me unhurried time each morning to linger over the Word. Maybe it was my daughter’s love of music shared over hours of travel time. Maybe it was the beauty of creation that pointed me back to the abundance of the Creator. Most likely, it was all of the above as my heart felt the wooing of the Spirit. Up on the mountain, I found myself falling in love with Jesus all over again.


I don’t want to think of it as a mountain top experience. After all, it wasn’t really the result of an emotional high. Those fade too quickly. It was more of a week of clarity, informed by the Word, and accentuated by beauty.


In the course of my normal reading through Scripture, I came to John 17. Oh, I love John 17! I suppose you’re not supposed to have favorites in the Word. We do need the whole counsel of God, but John 17 has always been a blessing to my soul. How could it not be? Jesus is praying for me. He’s praying for all of us, that we would know the love of God for us and that we would experience the blessing of union in Him, now and always.


I love this chapter and find myself looking forward to it all over again as I make my cycle through Scripture. But up on the mountain, the Lord showed me something new in this dear chapter. He often does that, bringing an old familiar passage to life in a new way. This time, I found it in John 17:13. “But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”


In His prayer for me/us, Jesus said that the words He spoke, which I take here to mean the words of Scripture, are meant to fill me with His joy. Those words captured my logical, rational brain. Yes, Jesus is logical. Yes, He is rational and orderly. But He is also joyful. And He wants me to experience…no, be filled with…His joy!


Of course, I know this. I’ve said it to others. But sadly, I often forget. Maybe you do too. Maybe your notion of Jesus is more informed by duty and discipline than by joy. Please forgive me if I have contributed to that notion. I’m certain there have been moments in my preaching when I’ve focused more on systems of doctrine than the person of Jesus. But the Word brings me back. John 17 brings me back. I am reminded that my Savior is joyful and that His Word is meant to fill me with His joy. This is His Word of truth.

“This I Know” by David Crowder and Seth Philpott


Up on the mountain

Where Your love captured me

Where finally I am free

This I know

Up on the mountain

Where You Taught my soul to sing

Amazing grace the sweetest thing

This I know

And then the storm rushing in

And here I am again

This I know

Take me up to where I was

When I never wanted more than You

Lift me up to feel your touch

It wouldn't be that much for You

This I know

This I know

This I know

This I know

Up on the mountain

Where You took me by the hand

Taught me to dance again

This I know

Up on the mountain

Where You took this heart of stone

Put life back in these bones

This I know

Take me up to where I was

When I never wanted more than You

Lift me up to feel your touch

It wouldn't be that much for You

This I know

This I know

This I know

This I know

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