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11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.


11 “These things I have spoken to you,

Jesus showed here that following the paradigm of the love of the Father and Son among the disciples was the basis for the abiding experience of His joy in their lives.

that [purpose] My joy may remain in you,

It is strange to the human mind that Jesus would offer His joy when He was about to be crucified in a matter of hours. However, it was joy for Him to die on the cross to save those who would believe on Him (He 12:2).

The purpose of Jesus’ provision of “joy” was to prepare His followers for the future—they did not need to fear what was before them. They could rejoice that Jesus made every provision for them. He imparts joy. The same joy that Jesus had in His life of fruitful service He wanted for His followers. His desire for them was to have the joy of a fruitful life in time and after His departure.

Previously Jesus promised “My peace” (Jn 14:27) and “My love” (Jn 15:10) but now He challenged His followers to remain in “My joy.” Jesus’ joy is not fleeting or temporary.

and that your joy may be full [complete].

Joy is the capstone of a vital interrelationship with Jesus. First John 1:4 argues that believers’ joy should be complete. Jesus did not want His disciples to live bleak, barren lives without production. They could have His joy by following His protocols for them.

Believers do not find joy in themselves but they find joy in the Lord (Php 4:4; 1 Jn 1:3, 4). Joy is not happiness but rather inner animation of the soul based on knowing the Lord personally.


Those who serve Jesus do so out of joyful purpose.


There is joy in completing what Jesus has for us. The purpose of abiding in the vine is to delight in our interrelationship with Jesus. Our future lies in the hands of God. The apostles could rest in Jesus’ provision for their future service, and we can as well. There is nothing superficial here but an abiding joy that we are in good hands. This is no shallow or maudlin joy concocted by man but a joy based on the operating principles Jesus set forth for us.

Jesus shares His joy with His disciples insofar as they appropriate His teaching. These are the principles of life that He offers to those who walk with and love Him. This is the dynamic or joy for which God created us. There is joy in a finished work. It is a joy of victory (He 12:2). There is nothing shallow or insipid about following Jesus.

Jesus’ way of life was not rules oriented. Rules often bring guilt for not measuring up to them. They result in a drudgery view of life, not a joyful life. However, appropriation of Jesus’ behests to our lives brings joy because His life is oriented to grace.

After a two-year hiatus from God, David lost his joy but, after rebounding in his relationship to God, he spoke of joy in restored fellowship (Ps 51:12; Ps 16:8, 9, 11).