Jesus, Our Model of Joy
By Rick Warren
— April 4, 2012
“And Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.” (John 2:2 NIV)
This devotional is based on Kay Warren’s new book,
“Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough.”
In yesterday’s devotional, we talked about a major roadblock we must overcome to experience the kind of joy the Bible teaches us about: our views of God and Jesus. I hope you’ve spent some time thinking about your perceptions of Jesus — whether he’s mostly the Man of Sorrows or mostly the Man of Joy to you.
It can be weird to think of Jesus laughing, smiling, rolling around on the ground with children, and making jokes to his disciples. We tend to see him in a limited way that minimizes his humanity.
But we know Jesus was a winsome man. His joyous attitude attracted people. He was invited to parties! Dull, boring people don’t usually get a lot of party invitations. Little kids loved him! They are usually really good judges of who is fun to be around.
People liked to be around Jesus. He was funny, too. We often miss his humor because we’re not first-century Jews.
Jesus came to Earth to die. There’s no doubt about his role and his mission. In that role, he bore our sorrows and suffering upon himself. But he also came reflecting the joy, kindness, patience, and loveliness of God, his Father. And in that, he was the Man of Joy.
This picture of Jesus is attractive to me. I can identify with him. He knew what it was like to experience pain and betrayal and immense suffering, but he was also someone who could laugh, play, and enter fully into life with all its brokenness.
His life gives me permission to seek a life of joy for myself.
Talk About It -
- How does picturing Jesus as a Man of Joy help you understand the person of God?
- Ask God to make you a person of joy instead of a person of sorrows.
Kay Warren co-founded Saddleback Church with her husband, Rick Warren, in Lake Forest, Calif. She is a passionate Bible teacher and respected advocate for those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS as well as orphaned and vulnerable children. Kay is the founder of Saddleback’s HIV/AIDS Initiative, author of “Say Yes to God,” and co-author of “Foundations,” the popular systematic theology course used by churches worldwide. She has three children and five grandchildren.