Jump Start # 2833
Acts 10:38 “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil for God was with Him.”
Have you seen the series, “Chosen”? It’s an independent set of films about Jesus. And, I must admit I am most often not a fan of religious movies. I don’t like the inaccuracies, the liberties taken, the way the actors act and the settings. Just don’t like them much. I sat down to watch the “Chosen,” thinking this will be another one that I don’t like. But, amazing to me, I really enjoyed the series. The characters grow on you quickly. The settings seem real. The actor playing Jesus does a great job. There are a few things here and there that could have been more accurate, but overall, it sure beats most that I have seen in a long, long time.
One of things I truly like about the series “Chosen,” is a side of Jesus that we don’t consider much. We can make Jesus rather empty of emotions and feelings. The human side of Jesus really comes out in those shows. Jesus is laughing. Jesus is smiling. Jesus is kind and humble. And, especially, when He heals people, the show portrays Jesus smiling. He is glad to make lives better.
Our verse today, taken from Peter’s conversation with Cornelius, reveals a common thought that people knew about Jesus. He went about doing good. Even a Roman soldier like Cornelius would have known that. Word about the good that Jesus was doing spread far and wide. When the Lord entered small villages, the crowds were already gathered, waiting for Him. So many people. So many needs. Jesus would have to find ways to get away, but He always came back.
Our Gospels do not tell us that Jesus smiled when He healed people, but it’s not a stretch to believe that. He knew what He was doing. Someone who had never had sight in their life, was now given sight. He saw what the sky looked like. He saw what others looked like. How excited that person would be. How that must have made Jesus smile. Or, someone who has been unable to walk for a long time, now gets up, and leaps away, rejoicing. How that must have made Jesus smile. Or, the tears of sorrow, turned into the sunshine of happiness as a family member is brought back to life. How Jesus must have smiled.
Luke 15 tells us that the angels in Heaven rejoice when a sinner repents. Some how the angels in Heaven were aware of what happened. It seems that all of Heaven must have been smiling.
Here are a few of my thoughts about the smiling Jesus:
First, when a young, tender heart, lovingly prays to the Lord and thanks the Lord for the food he is about to eat. That sweet little heart names every person at the table. He thanks the Lord for butterflies, rainbows and sunshine. He thanks the Lord for chocolate milk and peanut butter and grapes. We adults smile, hearing such sweet expressions. Surely the Lord smiles.
Second, when two stubborn people who have hurt each other, finally extend grace and hug each other in love, the Lord must smile. Words were said. Feelings were hurt. Bad attitudes arose. They avoided each other. They ignored each other. They gossiped about each other. The tension ran thick. Months and months of this continued on, until one day, they decided to end the feud. Families rejoiced. The church rejoiced. Surely, the Lord smiles. This is what ought to happen.
Third, a preacher stands before a crowded audience on Sunday morning. He pours his heart out as he pleads with people to come to know the Lord. All week this preacher has thought and thought about what’s the best way to reach these people. He has prayed to the Lord. And, weary as the preacher is at the end of the day, the Lord must surely smile because His Gospel had been poured out into the listening hearts of so many.
Fourth, a couple takes a young college student out for dinner after services. The college student doesn’t have much money and the couple not only buys the dinner, but slides a couple of gift cards across the table for the student. It’s not much but it sure makes the day for the college kid. Other times, this couple has filled the gas tank for others. They have taken meals to many people through the years. This is just a simple couple doing what everyone ought to do. The joy, the help and the love that this couple extends to so many has encouraged and helped that congregation. If Heaven notices a cup of cold water given, then surely the Lord smiles at such times. This is the way things ought to be done.
Finally, when the Lord calls home one of His faithful ones, He must surely smile. I think about what my sweet dad must have seen when he first opened his eyes on the other side. I want to think that he not only smiled, but that the Lord was smiling at him. I like the think the Lord said, “Welcome home.”
Our Lord is good. And from good hearts comes goodness. You’ll find good deeds right next to a good heart. That’s just the way the Lord is. And, that just needs to be the way that we are. And, the Lord smiles!