The following is taken from the sermon preached February 3, 2019, at Miller Heights Baptist Church by Pastor Justin Childers. The sermon is titled ‘Jesus Gives Unshakable Joy,’ inspired by John 16:16-33. You can listen to the sermon here. Check out the previous sermon summary here.
John 16:16-33, KJV
16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.
17 Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us…
The key phrase in this passage is verse 20: our sorrow will be turned to unshakable joy. Jesus slays our fear with his promises. Jesus words dumbfounded the disciples. A plain reading implies the first ‘little while’ is Jesus’ death on the cross. The second ‘little while’ most likely refers to Jesus’ resurrection. The second may also reference the sending of the Holy Spirit, or the Second Coming. Notice how the disciples who wrote this passage are admitting fault and ignorance. The truthfulness of this passage validates the eyewitness testimony of the disciples regarding Jesus’ life.
Verse 19 shows us how Jesus knew what was coming. Verse 20 shows us that Jesus doesn’t leave us without promises and security. After verse 20, Jesus provides us with a visceral metaphor illustrating the coming joy of Jesus’ victory over death.
A Christian is joyful: believing Jesus’ promise in verse 20.
Christian Joy Is Based On Jesus’ Death & Resurrection
There is an incredible implication here. No matter our circumstances, Christian joy transcends them.
A Christian’s Joy Cannot Be Taken Away
A Christian’s joy is rooted in Christ’s Word and deeds. Our joy stands outside the world’s ability to influence it. The world can do nothing against the power of Jesus’ Word and victory on the cross.
Prayer In Jesus’ Name Increases Christian Joy
Verse 23 contains an incredible truth regarding prayer. Prayer produces joyfulness. A lack of prayer results in a lack of joy. Throughout John’s testimony, Jesus continually affirms the power of prayer in His name. Prayer aligned with Jesus’ purposes and the glory of God is infinitely powerful.
Christian Joy Is In Jesus
The absence of Jesus in one’s life will produce sorrow. In verse 22, Jesus promises to see us again. Again, before verse 22, Jesus says we will see Him again. Ponder the implications of the turn of phrase Jesus uses in verse 22. Is it more meaningful that we see Jesus, or that Jesus sees us?
- Peace is found in Jesus (verse 23).
- Unshakable Joy is found in Jesus.
- Synthesis: Our purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
- Repent of empty joy found outside of Christ.
- Realize sin is a reason Jesus died and brought us joy.