As I think back, I don’t remember much about Jesus rejoicing and getting really excited. Based on how some of my early teachers taught, I always thought the instruction you would receive coming into his presence was “shut up, sit down, and no fooling around”. Certainly he was always very serious about his important mission…. as you would expect.
But I do would wonder ….. did he marvel at a sunset or jump for joy at a miracle? Did he exclaim “can you believe it….. is my father in heaven great or what?” I know he got upset with the Pharisees and the money changers in the temple and others who were “pushing people around”, but what about celebrating. Gee, did he ever get excited? While I presume that there were many of those occasions, there is a passage in Luke Chapter 10 that I think speaks directly to this issue. In that passage, Jesus is getting excited; he’s getting stirred up. He had sent his disciples out on mission and they were returning home. Jesus is excited. In his excitement, he’s “pulling back the curtain” on his relationship with his father in heaven.
Listen to this:
“The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. (Whoa, that must have been a scene…then he goes on….) Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:17-20)
Then listen to this:
“In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea,Father, for such was thy gracious will. All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”(Luke 10:21-24)
I love this passage. He seems to be saying, Hey, you guys have seen a lot and you’re going to see more, but let me tell you a couple of things…”I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven. Jesus was rejoicing in the Holy Spirit and thanking his Father, the Lord of heaven and earth. Wow, I would have liked to see the expression on the Lord’s face and the look in his eyes when he said this.
Well, the good news is that God is planning an eternity for us that will be exciting and filled with rejoicing. We will get unlimited opportunities to see his face light up with joy and wonder and excitement. Heaven is going to be great. Oh, and by the way, I don’t think there will be any “shut up, sit down, and no fooling around.”