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This Joy That I have No One Can Take It Away

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This is the last evening of Jesus’ ministry. Within a matter of hours Jesus would be betrayed by Judas and arrested by troops and officers. Knowing that the hour of his arrest was rapidly coming Jesus wanted to uplift the confused and sorrowful disciples with joy by letting them know that although they would experience grief because of his death, their heart will rejoice, and no one will be able take away their joy. Let me show you three ways this is accomplished from our text today.
The Joy Of His Personal Presence (v. 16)
I want to draw your attention to this phrase “a little while.” It is used twice in this verse by Jesus. “A little while” they (disciples) will not see Jesus; and again “a little while” they will see Jesus, because resurrect from death and ascend to the Father.
First This joy cannot be taken away because of....
Jesus is making his departure known once again to his disciples. But this time he is explaining that their last sight of him was about to occur in a few hours “a little while.” But there is good news, His personal presence would be seen “in a little while.” This is because the Bible records that Jesus’ death and burial would only last 3 days.
Jesus personal presence would signal His victory over sin, death and the grave. His personal presence proved that he satisfied God’s wrath for sin (). His personal presence also provided our justification ().
This is the last evening of Jesus’ ministry. Within a matter of hours Jesus would be betrayed by Judas and arrested by troops and officers. Knowing that the hour of his arrest was rapidly coming Jesus wanted to uplift the confused and sorrowful disciples with joy by letting them know that although they would experience grief because of his death, their heart will rejoice, and no one will be able take away their joy. Let me show you three ways this is accomplished from our text today.
The Joy Of His Personal Promise (v. 17-22)
Turning our attention to vv.17-18 The disciples didn’t understand what Jesus meant. This has been a lot for them to process and they have been confuse up to this point and now they’re further perplexed by Jesus’ statement “a little while.” Look at v.17 “What is this thing His is telling us...” and this caused them collectively to murmur amongst themselves in v. 18 (read).
I want you to understand that the disciples saw in Jesus the long awaited messiah. Their idea of the Jewish Messiah was a earthly king, one who would restore the Davidic dynasty by restoring Israel to national prominence and usher in a time of justice and peace. So all of this talk about “a little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me” didn’t make any sense to them. And Jesus knew this- look at v. 19. Know their confusion and doubt Jesus gives them a personal promise (v.20), “Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. Notice that He Jesus says most assuredly this assertive remark is given so that the disciples would have confidence in what He was going to promise.
And Jesus promises that they will weep and lament (because of Jesus’ death) and the world (unbelievers who opposed Jesus) will be rejoicing because they thought they had finally killed this trouble maker Jesus. He then promises that they will be sorrowful; but I love the last clause of verse 20, “But your sorrow will be turned into joy.”
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.” He repeats the word truly
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
Jesus gives them a personal promise of joy, that their sorrow will be changed, there will be a change in them because they will see the resurrected Christ again. How would their sorrow be changed so quickly? Jesus gives an illustration of a woman who suffers with intense labor pains while delivering a baby (v.21). The arrival of her new born baby brings great joy. This illustration is given so that they would understand his promise to them.
But remember I mentioned that it is a personal promise, here is why I call it a personal promise - pay close attention to Jesus’ words to them in v. 22 (read). Previously Jesus had said in v. 16, “a little while, and “you” will see Me.” Now in this verse He eliminates “a little while” which was troubling to them according to v.18; now in v. 22 he gives a personal promise “I will see you again.
Christ seeing them is more foundational to the relationship than their seeing of him. Remember it was Christ who went to see them after His resurrection because they were fearful of the Jews they were hidden up in some house and Jesus showed up in that locked up house and showed himself and said “Peace be with you.”
Lastly this joy cannot be taken away because....
1. The Joy Of His Personal Presence (v. 16)
The Joy Of His Personal Provision (v. 23-24)
a. I want to draw your attention to this phrase “a little while.” It is used twice in this verse by Jesus. “A little while” they (disciples) will not see Jesus; and again “a little while” they will see Jesus, because He would resurrect from death and ascend to the Father.
“In that day” points to a particular time in history. It is when Jesus has ascended to heaven and the Holy Spirit has been sent. They will no longer ask Christ anything - because He would no longer be there face-to-face with them. However, there is a great provision and that is prayer, now they will have the ability to go directly to the Father in prayer (just like Jesus did while here on earth).
b. Jesus is making his departure known once again to his disciples. But this time he is explaining that their last sight of him was about to occur in a few hours “a little while.” But there is good news, His personal presence would be seen “in a little while.” This is because the Bible records that Jesus’ death and burial would only last 3 days.
What a blessed provision to be able to go directly to the Father in prayer. Jesus says v.23, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” In v. 24 He says, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
Now in order for you to ask, and receive, that your joy may be full requires that you do all that Jesus had previously taught. Which requires you to continue in His word (8:31); It requires you to bear much fruit (15:8); it requires you to abide in His love (15:9); it requires you to obey His commandments (15:10-11); if all of this is done you can ask according to His will and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
c. Jesus personal presence would signal His victory over sin, death and the grave. His personal presence proved that he satisfied God’s wrath for sin (). His personal presence also provided our justification ().
This world can’t take our joy away… tells us, And we know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
The world can’t take our joy away, because nothing can separate us from the love of God… For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
2. The Joy Of His Personal Promise (v. 17-22)
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
But this earthly joy will not be compared to the coming joy. We’re living in a world that isn’t our own. It is filled with hate, pain and sorrow. says the whole creation groans and travails in pain until now. But one day soon, Christ will return and the joy of seeing Christ will swallow up the affliction of this present world.
Fear not Christian for we will have joy unspeakable joy when Christ comes thundering down in the clouds to retrieve us to Himself and we will be filled with joy which no one can ever take away from us.
a. Turning our attention to vv.17 The disciples didn’t understand what Jesus meant. This has been a lot for them to process and they have been confuse up to this point and now they’re further perplexed by Jesus’ statement “a little while.” Look at v.17 “What is this thing His is telling us...” and this caused them collectively to murmur amongst themselves in v. 18 (read).
b. I want you to understand that the disciples saw Jesus as the long awaited messiah. Their idea of the Jewish Messiah was an earthly king, one who would restore the Davidic dynasty by restoring Israel to national prominence and usher in a time of justice and peace. So all of this talk about “a little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me” didn’t make any sense to them. And Jesus knew this- look at v. 19. Knowing their confusion and doubt Jesus gives them a personal promise (v.20), “Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. Notice that Jesus says most assuredly this assertive remark is given so that the disciples would have confidence in what He was going to promise.
c. And Jesus promises that they will weep and lament (because of Jesus’ death) and the world (unbelievers who opposed Jesus) will be rejoicing because they thought they had finally killed this trouble maker Jesus. He then promises that they will be sorrowful; but I love the last clause of verse 20, “But your sorrow will be turned into joy.”
d. Jesus gives them a personal promise of joy, that their sorrow will be changed, there will be a change in them because they will see the resurrected Christ again. How would their sorrow be changed so quickly? Jesus gives an illustration of a woman who suffers with intense labor pains while delivering a baby (v.21). The memory of the affliction gives way because the presence of her new born baby brings great joy. This illustration is given so that they would understand his promise to them.
e. But remember I mentioned this is a personal promise, here is why I call it a personal promise - pay close attention to Jesus’ words to them in v. 22 (read). Previously Jesus had said in v. 16, “a little while, and “you” will see Me.” Now in this verse He eliminates “a little while” which was troubling to the disciples according to v.18; now in v. 22 he gives a personal promise “I will see you again.
f. Christ seeing them is more foundational to the relationship than their seeing of him. Remember it was Christ who went to see them after His resurrection because they were fearful of the Jews they were hidden up in some house and Jesus showed up in that locked up house and showed himself and said “Peace be with you.”
i. Lastly this joy cannot be taken away because of....
3. The Joy Of His Personal Provision (v. 23-24)
a. “In that day” points to a particular time. It is when Jesus has ascended to heaven and the Holy Spirit has been sent. They will no longer ask Christ anything - because He would no longer be there face-to-face with them. However, there is a great provision and that is prayer, now they will have the ability to go directly to the Father in prayer (just like Jesus did while here on earth).
b. What a blessed provision to be able to go directly to the Father in prayer. Jesus says v.23, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” In v. 24 He says, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
c. Now in order for you to ask, and receive, that your joy may be full requires that you do all that Jesus had previously taught. Which requires you to continue in His word (8:31); It requires you to bear much fruit (15:8); it requires you to abide in His love (15:9); it requires you to obey His commandments (15:10-11); if all of this is done you can ask according to His will and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
d. No one can take our joy away… tells us, “And we know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
e. No one can take our joy away, because nothing can separate us from the love of God… , “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
f. But this earthly joy will not be compared to the coming joy. We’re living in a world that isn’t our own. It is filled with hate, pain and sorrow. says the whole creation groans and travails in pain until now. But one day soon, Christ will return and the joy of seeing Christ will swallow up the affliction of this present world.
g. Fear not Christian for we will have joy unspeakable joy when Christ comes thundering down in the clouds to retrieve us to Himself and we will be filled with joy which no one can ever take away from us.
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