At that very hour, Jesus rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit … Luke 10:21
The word “rejoiced” in the above passage is truly an amazing word in the Greek.It opens up a window into the person of Jesus Christ which could leave you never looking at Him quite the same again.The Greek word for rejoiced is “agalliao”.The literal definition of the word is to “jump for joy, to exalt, to be exceedingly glad with exceeding joy, to rejoice greatly”.The word agalliao comes from another primary root word which means “to jump, to leap, to spring up”.Uh, Oh.Now what in the world are we going to do with our very pious and religious image of a dignified Jesus?
Can you picture this?The Lord got so excited in the Holy Ghost that He leapt up and began to jump for joy and to be not just glad, but exceedingly glad with GREAT joy!
Rejoice is a word used in the Old Testament quite a bit too.Psalm 13:5b-6 says My heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation.I will sing to the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me.
The Hebrew word here for rejoice corresponds to the Greek agalliao. The Hebrew definition for rejoice is “to spin around (under the influence of any violent emotion), to rejoice, be glad, be joyful”.
Something awesome stirred Jesus very deeply in that passage in Luke 10.Something which so profoundly affected His emotions that He could not contain Himself.He had to leap up and spin around and leap and jump and rejoice and spin and spring up and leap and be joyful and exceedingly glad with great joy!By now some of you are saying, “Okay, we get it.Can we just move on now?””Can we just sort of put that back up on the shelf? And maybe, at the back of the shelf?”I can’t help but smile.It’s funny how uncomfortable those religious spirits can make us, huh?But, oops.What are you going to do now?I’ve messed you up.Because Jesus has now broken out of your religious box? He dances in the Spirit!
Oh yes, the verse in Luke 10 said very clearly that Jesus rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit!
One of the pitfalls in the Westernized church is that we tend to forget that the Bible is not an American or European book.It was born out of and is colored by the culture of the Middle East. Jesus was a Jew.And His responses to the Holy Spirit and His Father flowed out of that rich heritage; generation after generation of people who knew God and walked with God.To the Hebrew mind, leaping up under the influence of a stirred emotion and responding exuberantly was not considered in poor taste.It was recognized and valued for what it was — passion. Hallelujah! May God help us to develop to the place where we will not miss some of the most profound demonstrations of the Spirit of the Living God because of our own cultural prejudices and biases.I’m not saying that Jesus’ display of praise was strictly Jewish. But, what I am saying is that He would not have felt the pressure to avoid that type of passionate display, because His particular cultural influence gave Him a liberty we sometimes don’t have.Not that He would have given place to any kind of pressure or limitation anyway. But, we would.
Now, at this point in my comments, if we were talking about anyone else but Jesus, the temptation would be to say, “But all of that emotion stirs up and gives occasion to the flesh.And the Bible says the flesh profits nothing.”But, as I pointed out before, refer back to our original verse in Luke 10.It says that Jesus rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit.Jesus never didanything in the flesh.And as He leapt up and began to spin about and jump for joy, yes His emotions were stirred and He was behaving passionately, but He was in the Spirit and operating by the Spirit!
So, now what are we going to do with all of this, as it pertains to our own worship life and experience?How many of us clasp our hands to our heart and with all sincerity say “Oh, I just want to be like Jesus. I just want to live my life like Him.” Hmmmmm. Do you, now?I wonder.
But let us go back to Luke 10 again.What was the context of that outburst of praise?What was it that stirred Jesus so deeply?The disciples had returned from a ministry journey upon which Jesus had sent them.They were really pumped up.They were big time excited because of the power of God that had been demonstrated through them, as they spoke the word of the Lord in obedience to Jesus’ commission to them.They were astounded.Even the demons obeyed them! And Jesus was excited too.The results that they reported to Him were exactly what He had purposed for them.And, He clarified the whole thing for them, as well.When He said that they should not rejoice about demons submitting to them, but that their names were recorded in heaven, He didn’t mean not to be excited about and appreciative of God’s power, but that He wanted them to know and realize where the power came from.That it came from the fact that they were known in heaven and that the power they were seeing flowed out of salvation.
How greatly we undervalue our salvation.It is the very source of the river of God’s life from which flows everything else we long for.The Bible says Jesus came that we might have life and that more abundantly.He was driven to see His Father’s plan of redemption poured out on mankind and implemented.That day, as the disciples returned from their mission full of joy, He saw a glimpse of His Father’s plan.He saw the beginnings of what it was going to be like when His redemptive work was complete and salvation would begin to be poured out on the whole world.He saw the beginnings of a time when His children would be released to flow into all of the highways and byways and spread the reality of salvation and eternal life — the kingdom of God to all of mankind.The joy was so intense and so stirred from the depth of his soul that He rose up to dance and rejoice and leap and jump and spin!
Oh, that we too, could have even a small portion of this kind of devotion to the Father’s plan.Oh, that we could be so moved to a passionate exuberant response to the unction of the Spirit of God.Oh, that we really could be even a little like Jesus.Perhaps then, also like Him, we could have the kind of profound impact on our world that could even change the course of human life as He did. People would be truly drawn to the Father as He drew them, through us.Let us appreciate our salvation.Let’s make the choice to REJOICE!