“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”
Hebrews 1:9 KJV
What picture you have in your mind of Jesus? Most of us picture a solemn, quiet, pale and sickly looking man who is very serious and hardly cracks a smile. But the picture the Bible paints of Jesus is quite far from the picture religious Christianity has painted of Him. Jesus was “anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows”; that means that He was the happiest person on earth. And if Jesus was the happiest person on earth, then His followers should be living pictures of His example in being the happiest people on earth!
A lot of Christians don’t expect to be happy and enjoy their Christianity because they have the wrong picture of Jesus. You tend to become like the God you serve; people who see God as harsh, judgemental and angry usually are harsh, judgemental and angry, too. Many people see Jesus as boring and so they don’t expect to enjoy being a Christian. But if you think about it, there is no way that Jesus could have been boring. People wanted to be around Jesus; they were drawn to Him. People aren’t drawn to boring, or unhappy people.
“Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.”
Matthew 14:21 NKJV
Jesus had spent the day teaching and ministering to a multitude of people. The Bible records that there were 5000 men present, excluding women and children. 5000 men spent the day listening to Jesus teach and receiving ministry from Him. These 5000 men weren’t thinking about food because they were enjoying Jesus so much. It’s a miracle that 5000 men were enjoying hanging out with Jesus so much that they didn’t think about food! They were in the middle of nowhere (a “deserted place”). There were no food stalls around. And it seems that the disciples were starting to get hungry because they approached the Lord saying,
“This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.”
Matthew 14:15 NKJV
I personally think that they were using the people as an excuse to get some food for themselves! “Lord, the people are hungry…” sounds more spiritual than, “Lord, I’m starving! Can we break for dinner?”. I doubt that this would have happened if Jesus were boring. If Jesus were like most preachers today, I doubt the people would have stayed as long as they did. People wanted to be around Jesus. At most churches nowadays, as soon as the pastor says, “Amen”, the people disappear in record time. There are many reasons for that – some good reasons – but a lot of the time it’s because people are coming out of obligation and the services are lifeless and boring (nothing like they would be if Jesus were leading them).
“Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him.”
Luke 15:1 NKJV
People aren’t attracted to unhappy or boring people. Sinners aren’t really attracted to religious folk and don’t really want to hear what they have to say, but sinners were attracted to Jesus and did want to hear what He had to say! I think it’s safe to say that Jesus wasn’t judgemental, harsh or unloving, and that He wasn’t boring. I’m sure He had a sense of humour, laughed and had a good time.
I’m sure Jesus smiled, and even shouted with joy when healing the blind or raising the dead. I doubt that He was emotionally dead or that He was always serious and solemn. You can be spiritual and happy. In fact, if you aren’t happy, you aren’t as spiritual as you think you are. God wants you to be like Him; He wants you to be happy and full of joy.
“For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty saviour. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."
Zephaniah 3:17 NLT