Friday, 23 December 2016
…that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again. Philippians 1:26
This verse is to be taken together with the previous verse for context –
“And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, 26 that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.”
Paul, led by the prompting of the Spirit, was confident that he would live and not die at this time. This would then result in the rejoicing of those in Philippi “in Jesus Christ.” The rejoicing in Him is the full result of what would occur, but it would also be in Paul’s return to them.
The translation is not literal, but it catches the intent of what is being said. The KJV, however, does not convey the correct meaning. The Greek of the verse says, “..in Jesus Christ in me through my coming again to you.” There is a parallelism in the repetition of the use of “in” by Paul to show that even though the presence of Paul is the immediate cause of their joy, it is a joy which has arisen out of the fact that Christ Jesus lives in him. They would rejoice “in Jesus Christ” for what had come about.
This verse shows us that it is acceptable to rejoice in the accomplishments, or even in the presence, of another. However, that rejoicing needs to be considered in light of the greater rejoicing which comes through Christ who dwells in that person.
In other words, we can rejoice in a great preacher of the gospel. However, it is that Christ is in him that the rejoicing finds its fullest sense. The use of the parallel “in” is thus instructive. In the end, all rejoicing finds its true home in the Lord. In the case of Paul, the Philippian church would receive its joy when he was released to come to them again, and it would be a rejoicing in him and in Christ Jesus.
Life application: Rejoicing in the Lord is good. Let’s do it today!
Heavenly Father, there is nothing better than to rejoice in You. You are the Source of all things and the Giver of all good blessings. Where could we go to find anything to rejoice in apart from You? As all things came from You, then You are ultimately where our rejoicing comes from, and so… let us rejoice in You! Great are You, O God, and greatly to be praised. Amen.