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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’ shows here that following the paradigm of the love of the Father and Son among the disciples is the basis for the abiding experience 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 is 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 need not fear what is before them. They can rejoice that Jesus made every provision for them. He imparts joy. The joy that Jesus had in His life of fruitful service, He wanted the same 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 challenges 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. Jesus argued that believers joy should be complete in 1 John 1:4. He did not want them to live bleak, barren lives without production. They could do this 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 inner animation of the soul based on knowing the Lord personally.


Those who follow Jesus have more than existence but a 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 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 love 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 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 in 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.

David after a two-year hiatus from God 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).