Daily D – Luke 10:21
At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.” (NLT)
At that, Jesus rejoiced, exuberant in the Holy Spirit. “I thank you, Father, Master of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the know-it-alls and showed them to these innocent newcomers. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.” (MSG)
God does what he pleases and is pleased by what he does. His pleasure overflows into pleasing outcomes for those he loves.
I’ve been pondering this Bible passage for the last month or so. I’ve heard it preached and expounded so often to such a precise understanding that I have somehow missed the heart of the matter. A few days ago, I wrote the two sentences above and tweeted this reflection. Since only one person liked my tweet, and since he is not one of my theologian friends, I decided I better do a little more digging.
I’m glad I did.
Joel B. Green’s massive The Gospel of Luke in The New International Commentary on the New Testament series provides more light than my two sentences of twenty-two words could even suggest. Reading biblical commentaries is seldom a leisurely, rapturous experience unless you are a major theological nerd. This commentary stands alongside Frederick Dale Bruner’s two volumes on Matthew as notable and enjoyable exceptions, even for those who are not theologically trained.
Leon Morris, in the Tyndale New Testament Commentary on Luke, says the words, “he (indicating Jesus) rejoiced,” is “far too colourless a translation,” (page 203). Yes, indeed. But it gets even better. Our Father in Heaven did not reveal these things to and did not empower “those who think themselves wise and clever,” but instead revealed them “to the childlike.”
God did not choose theological nerds alone to know and experience him. He draws everyone into his grace and truth and empowers them to express his grace and truth out of the overflow of their lives, out of the effervescent joy of life on mission.
This makes God happy. “Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.”
Consider how this verse begins: “Jesus was filled with the Joy of the Holy Spirit.” The next thing that happened is what ordinarily happens when a person is filled with the Holy Spirit: Jesus praised God for who he is. He is “Father, Lord of heaven and earth.”
Then Jesus thanked God for what he does: “Thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike.”
Then he gave us God’s Why: “Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.”
* Praise God for who he is.
* Thank him for all he has done.
* See Psalm 100 for more, particularly verses 4 and 5.
God’s gift of salvation with the brimming benefits of a full and meaningful life is what he most loves doing for us. It brings him joy. This joy, as we noted yesterday, cannot be hoarded. It inevitably overflows. Joyful people cannot hide their condition. If they can, they are not joyful.
Do not miss how all three members of the Trinity are completely united and make unique contributions. Each member esteems the others. Together, they empower us, express themselves to us and through us, and overflow us to everyone we meet with their grace and truth.
Say it simply: All of heaven has your back when you step out into God’s dreams for you. All of heaven gives you breath. All of heaven flows through those who are not caught up in their own wisdom and cleverness but instead yield to God’s glory and grace.
I will live an overflowing life of grace, truth, and joy!
Our Father, you are good and your love endures forever. Thank you for including me as part of your joy-filled troupe. Use me in whatever manner you see fit to join you in filling the world with joy. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”