In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Luke 10:21-22)
The life of Jesus was an arduous and difficult journey to a certain end at a Roman cross. His work would be an exhaustive daily schedule of teaching, preaching, healing, rebuking and admonishing that would have tested the limits of most men. Often the Lord would have to go away to a mountain for solitude and peace from the multitudes. He seldom got rest. The scriptures bear out the challenge of His ministry to prepare the world for the greatest gift God could give accomplished in the death of Jesus on the cross. There were bright moments in the life of Jesus and one such that is recorded by Luke is when the scripture says that Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit. The Lord was not a sullen man prone to mood swings of sadness but the overwhelming nature of His work seems to highlight the writing of Luke to declare that Jesus had something of which to rejoice over. The seventy had returned with joy at what they were able to accomplish and while commended by the Son of God for their diligent work reminded them the greatest joy was to have their names written in heaven. It seems the Lord was overtaken by a spirit of joy at the faces of the seventy that were excited to be part of the work of God and accomplishing so many things for the purpose of the kingdom. It was defining moment for Jesus and He was filled with delight and joy. The mind of Jesus was filled with the eternal happiness of what He had come to earth to accomplish. Through His sacrifice men would be drawn back to the Father. In His death salvation would be given to the world. What the seventy were able to accomplish was but a small part of the larger picture of the plan of redemption. Jesus had seen Satan fall like lightening from heaven and the work of subduing the evil one was well on its way to fruition. There was something to rejoice about.
Jesus was a man tempted in all points as other men. He had the same needs that all men had and imbibed in the carnal challenges of the flesh through temptation yet without sin. Luke is the writer who brings out many of the human characteristics of the Son of God as he testifies to the humanity of God. Unique to Luke is the phrase “Jesus rejoiced.” Luke wanted his readers to see Jesus as He really was – a man who enjoyed the joy of laughter, spirit of rejoicing and kindness of a happy heart. There was much for Jesus to accomplish and little time to bring all the eternal plans of His Father to bear upon the world. Luke is the gospel writer who wants the reader to appreciate the life of Jesus was very much like the life of all men. The Lord required sleep, food, and drink. He grew tired and weary and at times became angry. His mind was on His journey to Golgotha but he showed continual compassion for others. And yes there were times that Jesus felt joy, happiness and contentment. Like a breath of fresh air, Jesus peered into the eyes of His disciples and felt an emotion of joy. It is remarkable to see He who was God expressing the basic human quality of rejoicing.
All men must see Jesus for who He is: God and man. John the gospel writer declares the divinity of Jesus by His miracles and Luke unfolds the humanity of Jesus as a man. It is difficult to see Jesus as a man. For most, He is God alone and they find it a challenge to see Him as a person fighting the carnal will of the flesh. Jesus was born of a woman and grew up in Nazareth with His brothers and sisters and had to learn how to walk, talk and care for Himself. There were times of laughter for Jesus around the family table. The son of Mary would have experienced the same maladies of all men. Luke opens the curtain on the life of He who was God as one of a man when he declares that Jesus rejoiced. What a remarkable statement. How refreshing to see Jesus for who He was and what He left for men to see as the dying Savior of the world. A man would be crucified on the cross that once felt joy. He endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. Jesus Christ became the Savior of all men. His greatest joy came when the Father raised Him from the dead and set Him on high at His right hand. Now all men can rejoice that He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Rejoice. And again I say rejoice. Jesus did.