1. What does joy mean to you?
John 16 is such a comforting chapter. It’s when Jesus warns His disciples about what’s going to happen after He leaves. Even though He had to go, He reassured them that everything will be okay. God is a God of reassurance. He removes the doubts and fears we have when we go through things and lets us know He will be there to comfort us.
None of the disciples were interested in the purpose of His leaving, none of them wondered why, they were just sad. The disciples' emotions took over before they even asked Jesus why He was leaving. He had to leave because He had to die on the cross so He could take away our sins and so He could send the comforter.
If they knew why He was going they wouldn’t have been sad. Instead of letting our emotions rule us we need to ask God why He’s allowing certain things to happen in our life and why He’s telling us to do a certain thing or go a certain way. Examples:
God tells me to turn down a higher paying job for something else and I get frustrated. After working there for a year I get a promotion and am now making more money than what the higher paying job was offering.
God tells me to make a left down the road instead of going right like I usually do. I get annoyed, but make the left anyway. I come across a lady who ran out of gas and I have a gallon in my trunk. I help the lady and she praises God.
We need to trust that God knows what He's doing. He already knows what the future holds. He has plans to prosper us, not to harm us.
An angel freed the disciples from jail and they continued to preach about Jesus. Even when they were arrested again they told the council they must obey God rather than men. Them rejoicing after they were let go is a perfect example of joy when going through trials. (James 1:2- Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds) That definitely was a trial because they had a choice to obey God or stop preaching about Jesus. (John 16:33- I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world.”) Last week we talked about the peace Jesus gives us that surpasses all understanding. The disciples had just gotten beaten and they were still filled with joy. It makes no sense to the natural eye, but Jesus gives us peace of heart and mind.
They were sad for a little while, but then they rejoiced, just like Jesus reassured them. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
In the old covenant Moses was the mediator between the Israelites and God. In the new covenant Jesus is the mediator between men and God. (1 Timothy 2:5- For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus) (John 14:6- Jesus told him, “I am the Way—yes, and the Truth and the Life. No one can get to the Father except by means of me.) (John 16:26- Then you will present your petitions over my signature! And I won’t need to ask the Father to grant you these requests,) We are to pray to the Father in the name of the Son, and in the power of the Holy Spirit because Jesus’ death allowed us to have fellowship with God. It allowed us to go right to God.
There’s a huge difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is a record of the nation of Israel struggling and failing to keep its covenant with God. The New Testament shows Jesus Christ keeping the covenant for his people, doing what they cannot do and providing them salvation as God promised. Before Jesus only certain people had a personal relationship with God and now anyone may come to God through Him.
At first the disciples didn’t understand what Jesus was doing, but soon they were aware. Jesus had to go so that He could send the Holy Spirit and be the mediator between God and man. He sent us joy that no man can take away.
2. What did you get out of tonight's lesson?