And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." Luke 2:10, ESV
At the announcement of Christ’s birth, we see that these angels share that this good news will result in great joy. But the shepherds will not initially feel great joy but rather great fear! Rather the angels explain that if they receive this good news, it will result in great joy. This joy wasn’t simply about salvation, it was about ongoing earthly joy. These angels would know of the ministry of the Messiah. They would have known Him as their Lord as well, from before God came to earth. Jesus here takes on flesh, taking away from Himself nothing, only adding to Himself humanity.
Jesus will wait to begin his earthly ministry until he is thirty years old. During that time, He shared and showed God’s love. Jesus was a joyful person; he went to weddings, parties, friends' houses, and family gatherings. He shared special meals with others and loved kids, too! Jesus shared this joy and told His disciples that His joy was their joy. The same Greek word for joy that is mentioned in Luke 2:10 is mentioned in John’s gospel when Jesus says to his disciples. “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:11).
Jesus doesn’t just offer His joy, He offers His joy to be in His disciples, not simply half way but to the fullest. God wants us to experience joy in this life. As we go through hard times, we can ask God for His joy. When we don’t have joy anymore, God does. Jesus offers this to you today. If you need joy, ask Him! Think of Him and His great love for you. Even though you can’t see Him, He is there. Life is full of challenges, and joy will come and go at times as it’s an emotion just like anger, sadness, or fear. These are not bad emotions, but joy is something that helps us to delight in God when we receive the joy from Christ. His joy is the joy we need in our hearts, in our lives, and in our world.
1. Have you ever asked God for the joy of Christ in your life?
2. Why do you think God wants to give HIS JOY and not someone else's?
God, give me Your joy, so that I might enjoy You and worship You with great joy in this holiday season. I love You. I thank You for being a joy giver! In Jesus' name, amen.