A Dose of Joy
Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. … So there was great joy in that city.
- from Acts 8:5, 8
The proclamation of Jesus brought great joy to the city. What did you think would happen? Today’s passage is a happy reminder that the news we have to share with the world about Jesus is great good news. It’s the best news. There’s never been better news.
In a world that’s clearly not the way it’s supposed to be, God has intervened.
He clothed himself in humility and entered our world as a poor baby and took the name “Jesus.” He grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men. Filled with power, he healed the sick, reached out to the vulnerable, pursued the outcast, and accepted the sinners.
Despite his power, he submitted himself to the paranoia of unjust men and allowed himself to be carried away to death, even death on a cross. In the grave – beyond the reach of our sight or understanding – he brought his full power to bear on death, sin, and evil and won a tremendous victory. He emerged victorious from that grave filled with new life, life that he shares with us when he makes us new, when we call on his name and cry out to him. He gives us not only new life but new purpose, a call to love and serve God and neighbors in wild and beautiful ways … and the power to actually do it.
Can you see what great good news this is?
When Philip proclaimed Jesus in Samaria, the city responded with joy. They needed something to change. They needed someone to lift them up out of the mess in which they found themselves. They needed someone to set them free.
The news about Jesus is good news. When we share this news, we should not be surprised to see it received with joy. That joy-response fills us with courage and hope to share and share and share again.
Who do you know who needs a dose of joy today? How can you tell them the good news about Jesus today? Whether they’re already a believer or not, the news you have to share about Jesus could be exactly what they need to hear today: God cares about them and is actively at work for their ultimate good.