“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” – Luke 2:10
Jesus is the source of joy. Neither our circumstances nor the people around us; neither our possessions nor our physical health; neither politics nor our bank accounts – none of these were ever meant to be the starting place of joy. Earthly blessings can bring us temporary joy, but they are not intended to be the foundation of our joy. Hasn’t 2020 demonstrated the frailty of earthly joy, over and over again?
Lasting joy is found in and through a Person. His name is Jesus.
From the moment of His birth, heaven’s angels exploded with the exultation of gladness. They announced to the shepherds “good news of great joy.” Where was this joy found? In a “baby wrapped in swaddling cloths” (Luke 2:12). That night, the shepherds rejoiced because of what God had done and was going to do through Jesus. Salvation would be offered to all people. This delighted the hearts of the shepherds and they ran to be in His presence (Luke 2:16).
What kind of joy made the angels sing? GREAT joy! In the original Greek, the word is megales, which is the root for our English prefix, mega. It is vitally important that we comprehend the great joy we have in Jesus.
Let me illustrate it this way. Picture two cups next to each other. Both cups have the word ‘joy’ written on the outside. One cup is a mere 8 oz. The other is an extra-large, MEGA, 64 oz. cup that you often find at a convenience store. The smaller one represents earthly joy. The jumbo-sized cup illustrates the joy we have in Jesus.
With that in mind, I can say that I possess a mega-sized joy that is truly GREATER than anything in the world. It’s even GREATER than anything this world can throw at me! After the year we’ve had, my soul needs to be reminded of this amazing truth.
Octavius Winslow, a 19th-century Baptist pastor, beautifully articulates the GREAT joy we have in Jesus:
The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, his trials are blessings, his conflicts are victories, his death is immortality, his future is a heaven of inconceivable, unthought-of, untold, and endless blessedness–with such a God, such a Savior, and such a hope, is he not, ought he not, to be a joyful man? Who could possibly have more reason to rejoice than one who knows Jesus?
Ask yourself: “Have I truly experienced this kind of joy? Would those closest to me describe me as a joyful person?”
My prayer for all of us this Christmas is that we rejoice because Christ has come and He is the greatest Joy of all.
Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director of RFTH