Headship: A Place of Fullness of Joy
John 17:13—But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.
When Jesus is our Lead Pastor, we can count on Him being desperately interested in our joy. Having lived in the Godhead with the Father, He has experienced the ultimate joy. In fact, Psalm 16:11 is David speaking prophetically of Christ’s resurrection as referenced in Acts 2:28, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” This is the way Jesus felt when He was in the Father’s presence, and this is the way He wants His church to relate in unbroken fellowship with the Father.
A good balance statement here is to say, “Joy is not the absence of trouble, but rather the presence of the Lord.” Joy truly is the serious business of heaven, and a church needs to sense that they are being carried by the Lord rather than being driven by man.
Here are some amazing direct quotes from the Bible in Jesus’ own words. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11). Jesus made this statement while face to face with His disciples. There was something about His joy that He wanted them to have which was like a jump start for their joy. He said something similar in John 17:13, but this time He was in prayer with His heavenly Father. “But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.” These are amazing words, and they come from His holiness spoken in the Holy of Holies. For a world that is looking for love and happiness in all the wrong places, this should be a warning. But for sad, discouraged, grumpy, and self-pitied Christians, this should give us hope! Jesus cares about our joy and has prayed for it—yes—lived for it and died for it.
Why was Jesus so joyful? Listen to these words spoken from the Father to Jesus and recorded in Hebrews 1:8-9. “But to the Son He says: ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.’” Because Jesus loved righteousness and hated lawlessness and lived in unbroken fellowship with His Father, He was anointed with supreme gladness.
Most churches want to be and need to be missional, intentional, and strategic. What joy it should bring to our congregation when they learn that the Father has given Jesus, our Lead Pastor, the nations. “Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession” (Psalm 2:8). It is already the Father’s heart for all nations to kiss the Son (Ps. 2:12). He also offers a blessing on all who put their trust in Him (Ps. 2:12).
These prophetic words were given 1,000 years before Jesus came in the flesh and will be completely fulfilled at His return. In the meantime, our churches can set their sail and catch the wind of the Father’s will for His Son. We are not fighting a losing battle. When we have Jesus in the lead, we are becoming one with the Godhead in the Father’s mission. The Kingdom is already but not yet; we are obeying our part of the mission.
We are not fighting a losing battle. We are more than conquerors in God’s kingdom where God reigns through God’s people over God’s place, and that should bring us joy. In fact, it is a mini-demonstration of a little heaven on earth.
From Belief to Behavior
Review the Scriptures used above.
Pray them up to the Lord.