Read Luke 10:17-24
17 The seventy came back triumphant. “Master,even the demons danced to your tune!”
18-20 Jesus said,”I know. I saw Satan fall,a bolt of lightning out of the sky. See what I’ve given you? Safe passage as you walk on snakes and scorpions,and protection from every assault of the Enemy. No one can put a hand on you. All the same,the great triumph is not in your authority over evil,but in God’s authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you-that’s the agenda for rejoicing.”
21 At that,Jesus rejoiced,exuberant in the Holy Spirit. “I thank you,Father,Master of heaven and earth,that you hid these things from the know-it-alls and showed them to these innocent newcomers. Yes,Father,it pleased you to do it this way.
22 “I’ve been given it all by my Father! Only the Father knows who the Son is and only the Son knows who the Father is. The Son can introduce the Father to anyone he wants to.”
23-24 He then turned in a private aside to his disciples. “Fortunate the eyes that see what you’re seeing! There are plenty of prophets and kings who would have given their right arm to see what you are seeing but never got so much as a glimpse,to hear what you are hearing but never got so much as a whisper.” (THE MESSAGE)
Most of the films made about Jesus have him being rather solemn. He speaks in a ‘religious’ tone of voice and has a facial expression which spells “this is serious business I’m on about.” It was wonderful to observe that in the ‘Jesus’ film widely viewed some years ago,the Jesus figure actually smiled. He wasn’t always ‘po-faced’.
An episode described in this text would surely have Jesus smiling if not laughing his head off. He was sharing in the gladness of the disciples. But more than that,he was delighted that they had ‘got it’. That they had realised that in him the rule of God was being inaugurated on earth. What he had told them in words they had seen proven in actions.
No wonder he was delighted. He couldn’t wipe the smile off his face. Like seeing your child take her first steps or speak his first words. The response is not one of calm and collected reflection but sheer enjoyment.
Being Messiah was certainly serious business. Tears and lament played a prominent part (as they do in any well lived human life). But let’s allow Jesus some moments of sheer pleasure. Let there be smiles on the face of our Saviour.