The Meaning of John 15:11 Explained

John 15:11

KJV: These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

YLT: these things I have spoken to you, that my joy in you may remain, and your joy may be full.

Darby: I have spoken these things to you that my joy may be in you, and your joy be full.

ASV: These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

What does John 15:11 Mean?

Verse Meaning

Loving obedience is the cause of the disciple"s fruitfulness, but joy is its result. The fullness of believers" joy was John"s purpose for writing his first epistle, as it was Jesus" purpose in giving this discourse ( 1 John 1:4). Specifically Jesus had told His disciples that joy would follow their obedience to His teachings ( John 15:10). He intended His teachings to produce freedom and joy, not bondage and grief (cf. John 10:10; Matthew 11:30).
"How can we tell when we are "abiding in Christ"? Is there a special feeling? No, but there are special evidences that appear and they are unmistakably clear. For one thing, when you are abiding in Christ, you produce fruit ( John 15:2).... Also, you experience the Father"s "pruning" so that you will bear more fruit ( John 15:2). The believer who is abiding in Christ has his prayers answered ( John 15:7) and experiences a deepening love for Christ and for other believers ( John 15:9; John 15:12-13). He also experiences joy ( John 15:11)." [1]

Context Summary

John 15:10-16 - "i Have Called You Friends"
We must estimate the Father's love to Jesus before we can measure His love to us. We are told to love one another with the same love, but enabling power is needed, or we can never fulfill His command. Our love is not like His, unless it is prepared to sacrifice itself even unto death. Not servants, but friends! The first stage is that of the bondservant, who does what he is told, not because he understands, but because he has no option. Friendship involves obedience on our part; and on His part the making known of the deep things of God. Even the Son learned obedience by the things which He suffered. It is by implicit obedience alone that we can pass into the closer intimacy of friendship and ultimately of sonship. There is no limit to what the Father will do for those whom His Son calls "friends." [source]

Chapter Summary: John 15

1  The union of Jesus and his members shown under the parable of a vine
18  The hatred of the world
26  The office of the Holy Spirit

Greek Commentary for John 15:11

That my joy may be in you [ινα η χαρα η εμη εν υμιν ηι]
Purpose clause with ινα — hina and the present subjunctive ηι — ēi (some MSS. have μεινηι — meinēi may remain), Christ‘s permanent absolute joy in the disciples. And that your joy be fulfilled Same construction with first aorist (effective) passive subjunctive of πληροω — plēroō consummation of the process preceding. [source]
My joy []
The joy that is mine; characteristic of me. See on John 15:9. [source]
Might remain [μείνῇ]
The best texts read ᾖ , may be. [source]
Might be full [πληρωθῇ]
Rev., more correctly, may be fulfilled. The A.V. loses the distinction between the absolute joy which is Christ's, and the progressive, but finally consummated joy which is the disciple's. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for John 15:11

John 16:24 May be full [ᾖ πεπληρωμένη]
Very literally, may be having been fulfilled. Rev., more correctly, fulfilled. Compare John 15:11. [source]
John 15:9 In my love [ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ τῇ ἐμῇ]
Literally, in the love, that which is mine. Not only the love of the disciple for Christ, nor the love of Christ for the disciple, but the Christ-principle of love which includes both. See the same form of expression in the joy that is mine, John 15:11; John 3:29; John 17:13; the judgment (John 5:30; John 8:16); the commandments (John 14:15); peace (John 14:27). [source]
John 16:4 Have I spoken [λελαληκα]
Perfect active indicative as in John 15:11; John 16:1. Solemn repetition. When their hour is come Indefinite temporal clause, οταν — hotan with the second aorist active subjunctive of ερχομαι — erchomai “whenever their hour comes.” The time appointed for these things. Now that Simply “that” (declarative conjunction in indirect discourse. Forewarned is to be forearmed. Cf. John 13:19. From the beginning As in John 6:64 but practically like απ αρχης — ap' archēs in John 15:27. While Christ was with them, he was the object of attack (John 15:18). [source]
John 16:24 Hitherto [εως αρτι]
Up till now the disciples had not used Christ‘s name in prayer to the Father, but after the resurrection of Jesus they are to do so, a distinct plea for parity with the Father and for worship like the Father. May be fulfilled Periphrastic perfect passive subjunctive of πληροω — plēroō in a purpose clause with ινα — hina See John 15:11 for some verb (first aorist passive subjunctive with ινα — hina) and 1 John 1:4 for same form as here, emphasizing the abiding permanence of the joy. [source]
John 17:13 That they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves [ινα εχωσιν την χαραν την εμην πεπληρωμενην εν εαυτοις]
Purpose clause with present active subjunctive of εχω — echō “that they may keep on having Christ‘s joy in their faithfulness realized in themselves.” Πεπληρωμενην — Peplērōmenēn is the perfect passive participle of πληροω — plēroō in the predicate position. For the use of πληροω — plēroō with χαρα — chara (joy) see John 15:11; John 16:24; Philemon 2:2. [source]
1 John 1:4 Full [πεπληρωμένη]
More correctly, fulfilled. Frequent in John. See John 3:29; John 7:8; John 8:38; John 15:11; 2 John 1:12; Revelation 6:11. “The peace of reconciliation, the blessed consciousness of sonship, the happy growth in holiness, the bright prospect of future completion and glory, - all these are but simple details of that which, in all its length and breadth is embraced by one word, Eternal Life, the real possession of which is the immediate source of our joy. We have joy, Christ's joy, because we are blessed, because we have life itself in Christ” (Düsterdieck, cit. by Alford). And Augustine: “For there is a joy which is not given to the ungodly, but to those who love Thee for thine own sake, whose joy Thou thyself art. And this is the happy life, to rejoice to Thee, of Thee; this is it and there is no other” (“Confessions,” x., 22). Alford is right in remarking that this verse gives an epistolary character to what follows, but it can hardly be said with him that it “fills the place of the χαίρειν greetinglit., rejoice, so common in the opening of Epistles.” [source]
1 John 1:4 May be fulfilled [ηι πεπληρωμενη]
Periphrastic perfect passive subjunctive of πληροω — plēroō stressing the state of completion in the purpose (ινα — hina), remain full, precisely as in John 16:24. See aorist subjunctive in John 15:11 and perfect indicative in John 17:13. The MSS. differ as often between ημων — hēmōn (our) and υμων — humōn (your). [source]

What do the individual words in John 15:11 mean?

These things I have spoken to you that - joy My in you may be and the of you may be full
Ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν ἵνα χαρὰ ἐμὴ ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ ὑμῶν πληρωθῇ

Ταῦτα  These  things 
Parse: Demonstrative Pronoun, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: οὗτος  
Sense: this.
λελάληκα  I  have  spoken 
Parse: Verb, Perfect Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: ἀπολαλέω 
Sense: to utter a voice or emit a sound.
ὑμῖν  to  you 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Dative 2nd Person Plural
Root: σύ  
Sense: you.
ἵνα  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ἵνα  
Sense: that, in order that, so that.
Parse: Article, Nominative Feminine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
χαρὰ  joy 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: χαρά  
Sense: joy, gladness.
ἐμὴ  My 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Nominative Feminine 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐμός  
Sense: my, mine, etc.
  may  be 
Parse: Verb, Present Subjunctive Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: εἰμί  
Sense: to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.
ὑμῶν  of  you 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive 2nd Person Plural
Root: σύ  
Sense: you.
πληρωθῇ  may  be  full 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Subjunctive Passive, 3rd Person Singular
Root: πληρόω  
Sense: to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full.