Ever wonder –
how much joy happened?
who had the joy?
what kind of joy was it?
when was this joy?
what did darkness have to do with this joy?
How much joy?
Gosh, how do you measure joy – by the cup, by the gallon, by the barrel?
Is there such a thing as immeasurable joy? You bet. We all need this immeasurable joy?! In fact it is part of our inheritance.
Who had this joy – way back when?
- Baby John (AKA John the Baptist)
- The Angels
- The Shepherds
- The Wise Men
- The World
For this post let’s do
Baby John’s joy
Two key dynamics here – a voice and a leap
The setting –
Mary, was in the midst of hearing incredible news, from the angel Gabriel no less. She heard the Holy Spirit would come upon her and the power of the Highest would overshadow her so that she would conceive, and give birth to God’s Son (God’s incarnation). As if that wasn’t enough baffling good news, the angel also explained that her relative, Elizabeth (a barren woman, now in her old age), was six months pregnant! Goodness gracious, what a day of news!
Mary takes off from Galilee, for an 80-100 mile hike to the hill country in Judah to visit her Elizabeth!
Was Mary so full of joy and wonder that she just couldn’t sit still? I bet there was a lilt in her step over all those hills as she walked, and walked, and walked. Figure about 24 hours to get there.
Mary arrives with a greeting. Ever wonder what Mary said?
But, it wasn’t her words, it was her voice that sparked a special response!
When Elizabeth heard the greeting, six 6 month old John, while in her womb, leaped. (Lk 1:41)
Elizabeth explained, “…as soon as the voice of your greeting came into my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” (Lk 1:44)
Okay, gotta do a little Greek to get this joy.
heard – akoúō (ak-oo’-o) – I hear, listen, comprehend by hearing; properly, to hear (listen); (figuratively) to hear God’s voice which prompts Him to birth faith within (cf. Ro 10:17). akoúō) is the root of the English term, “acoustics.”]
voice – phóné (fo-nay’) – a sound, noise, voice
came – ginomai (ghin’-om-ahee) – I come into being, am born, to emerge, become, transitioning from one point (realm, condition) to another
leap/leaped – skirtaó (skeer-tah’-o) – I leap (for joy), skip, bound
for – en (en) – in, on, among. En (a preposition) – properly, in (inside, within); (figuratively) “in the realm (sphere) of,” as in the condition (state) in which something operates from the inside (within).
[Obviously the word ‘for’ used in this passage is not the most accurate translation on en!]
joy – agalliasis (ag-al-lee’-as-is) – exultation, exhilaration, wild joy, ecstatic delight, exultation. (from agalliáō, “to exalt” – exuberant joy; “intense joy and gladness”)
John didn’t do just a little leap in his mommy’s womb.
We’re talkin’ about an inward exhilarating, wild, ecstatic, intense joy and delight of skipping and bounding – that manifest itself physically!
Geesh! Did that leap hurt? Apparently not, Elizabeth, being filled with the Holy Spirit after her son leaped, shouted out with a loud voice… (Lk 1:42)
Realize – Elizabeth was one wild crazy old lady at that moment. She shatters the ‘little old lady’ mindset.
A little more Greek
loud – megas (meg’-as) – large, great, in the widest sense
voice – kraugé (krow-gay’) a shout, clamor, outcry (from 2896 /krázō, “cry out” – loud crying, done with pathos (great emotion); clamorous screaming (shrieking) that is extremely boisterous
Whoa! Can you cop a picture of Elizabeth?!
Now some might think – well, I don’t want to look that stupid. However, it sure looks like this kind of reaction can happen when you tap into the pure Gospel.
Of course Mary, Elizabeth, and John only had an inkling at how good this news was really going to be. We on the other side of this wondrous story have a clearer opportunity to realize what this immeasurable joy is all about. Just remember though that religion is really good at stifling fullness of joy by its ignorance, misunderstanding, and proper decorum mindset.
Next post – Mary gets ‘whacked’ with joy!
- Looking up some key Greek words really helps to dig into what is really being said in a passage of scripture. BibleHub.com (LINK) is my go to source for getting the goods.
- Jesus stated, “out of the mouth of babes You have established strength.” Scripture also states “the joy of the Lord is my strength”. In light of baby John, we could also include, ‘out of the movement of babes…’ Hmm, how strong was baby John at just 6 months in the womb?! Now don’t forget, this exhilarating joy burst forth all because of a sound. It’s that simple. You can’t work it up. Let the sound (the acoustics) of His voice reverberate in you – the same wild joy can be yours. It’s part of fullness!
- Something else to ponder – ginomai – the Greek word used when Mary’s voice came into Elizabeth’s ears, is the same word used in Jn 1:14 “And the Word became flesh…” Hmm, now that’s a whole ‘nother point to dig into! Just sayin’ – those Greek meanings are worth the search.