Jesus was surrounded by the tax collectors and sinners (thought to be the worst people) all wanting to hear what he had to say. But the Pharisees (followers of the Old Laws who considered themselves better than others and the only ones who could say for sure what the Laws meant) and teachers of the law were not pleased that Jesus spent time with these people, let alone explained God’s word to them. Jesus showed care and compassion for the people. The Pharisees were so focused on studying the law that they had lost all joy in God’s word. Think ‘looking through a camera’ and seeing a small picture. The Pharisees were like this, they looked so closely at a small part of God’s word, that they couldn’t see the big picture.
Jesus shared two parables: suppose one of you has 100 sheep and loses one of them. He leaves the 99 and goes after the lost sheep until he finds it. And when it finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over the 99 righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Or suppose a woman has 10 silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the hours and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbours together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.” In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
The Pharisees were so focused on their own “righteousness”, they could see the joy in someone turning to and following God.
Jesus spent three years searching, looking for the lost. He came looking for you because you are precious to him. And when you are found by Jesus, the angels in heaven rejoice over you, too. You are now his beloved child, one of his chosen people.
When you spend time with God you are filled with joy – “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11 NIV
Joy is a God given gladness that doesn’t change if good or bad things happen in your day. Joy comes from being with God and you can be joyful even in unhappy moments.
Do the “Filled with Joy Balloon Experiment”
Explorers & Adventurers
Your comfort brought me joy. Psalm 94:19 NIRV
I was very worried. But your comfort brought me joy. Psalm 94:19 NIRV
Filled with Joy Balloon Experiment
You will need:
Plastic Water Bottle
Funnel (Optional, but very helpful)
1- Optional: Write your child’s name on the balloon with a Sharpie (The balloon represents your child).
2- Fill empty water bottle about a 1/3 of the way with vinegar (Represents the Holy Spirit at work in their heart).
3- Insert the funnel into the opening of the balloon, scoop a spoonful of baking soda into the funnel to fill the inside of the balloon (The baking soda represents your worries, cares, and problems – they weigh you down).
4- Attach the balloon to the plastic water bottle filled with vinegar.
5- Slowly lift the balloon and watch what happens next (The Holy Spirit fills us with joy when we give our worries, cares, and problems to God. Joy comes from being with God which means you can be joyful even in unhappy moments).