2 Chronicles 28-29, John 17 • Key Verse: John 17:13
A cartoon showed two people sitting next to each other on a bus. It was obvious that the man was
answering a question asked by the woman next to him. There was nothing unusual about her
appearance, but his caught my eye.
He looked thin, with a gray complexion and hollow cheeks. His suit was black, worn, with a
white shirt and thin black tie. With his hands folded on his lap and his shoulders slouched, he
gave the impression of one both weak and meek.
The question posed by the woman was not in the cartoon, only the man’s answer: “No, ma’am, I
haven’t been sick. I’m a minister.”
That cartoon played off peoples conception of what ministers are like—pale, weak, meek, sickly.
The humor, as often is the case, is truth thinly veiled. Christianity suffers at times from an image
problem. We have conveyed the image of the character in the cartoon rather than the reality
Christ wants for us.
In what is truly “the Lord’s prayer,” Jesus said, “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). When we have the full
measure of His joy in us, we will not be mistaken for sick people.
A Christian has no guarantee that trouble will never come or illness will never strike. Some days
we look ill-because we are! But nothing should ever rob us of that inner joy that comes from
Jesus and is not dependent upon our circumstances.
Do people see joy in you? Think about what you say, how you say it and in what way you say it.
It could be that your focus is off Jesus and your joy is lost. “God, help me have the full measure
of Your joy within me.”
Woodrow Kroll & Tony Beckett