His Joyful Disciples

Steven Laman

Read: John 17:9-26

I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. (v. 13 NIV)

My great-great grandfather was an ornery, opinionated, crotchety old Dutchman. His favorite pastime was to head to the town square looking for an argument from the other Dutchmen. His children left home as soon as they could. During college my grandfather stayed with him, and to survive, he did everything possible just to stay out of his way.

Jesus wants his followers to be joyful instead of crotchety. Just before he was arrested Jesus prayed his high priestly prayer. He prayed for his disciples, and us as followers, to be protected, holy, unified, and to have joy. We would think that joy would be the last trait on his mind, but Jesus felt that having joyful disciples was critical. Why? I think Jesus wanted joyful followers so he could use them to change the world like he did. Enormous crowds followed him. Some came because of his miracles, but mostly people were drawn to his personality. He was upbeat and compassionate and people could tell that he enjoyed life.

Do people enjoy being around us like they enjoyed being with Jesus? Or do we have a personality like my great-great grandfather, who drove everyone away? Jesus longs for joyful followers to spread the good news. I want to be one of Jesus’ joyful disciples, how about you? —Steve Laman

Prayer: Work in our lives, Lord, so we have your joy living inside us.