The Joy of the Lord
George H. Morrison
Our Lord, especially as the days advanced, frequently spoke about His joy, and the notable thing is that when He spoke so none of His disciples was surprised. Nobody ever asked Him what He meant. They did not look at each other in perplexity. To them it seemed entirely natural that the Master should make reference to His gladness. From which we gather that the joy of Christ was something they were perfectly familiar with, both in His radiant and lofty hours and in His periods of lowly duty. There is much that is quite dark to us unless His joy was an intense reality. There is the element of rejoicing in His teaching. There is the note of exultancy in the New Testament. There is the attitude of His Pharisaic enemies who, trained in the prophets, understood His sorrow but never could understand His joy.
It was not because He was a man of sorrows that the religious leaders looked askance at Him. It was because He was a man of joy, utterly different from John the Baptist. They were looking for a lone Messiah whose face would be marred more than any man's, and our Lord proclaimed Himself a bridegroom. His joy, then, was an intense reality even on the witness of His enemies. It is because He stands at the back of the New Testament that the New Testament is an exultant book. And it is a profoundly interesting question, and a question which concerns us all, to try to discover some at least of the sources of the joy of Christ.
One of the sources of His joy, for instance, was the fullness of life which He possessed. It is remarkable how often that word fullness is brought in as descriptive of the Lord. We all know how when physical life is full, its concomitant and sacrament is joy. We see that on every hand in nature; we see it in the healthy little child. And when one thinks of the inner life of Christ and of the fullness that characterized that inner life, one begins to understand His joy. Morally He was in perf ...
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