The Playfulness of Jesus (A Testimonial)
The Playfulness of Jesus (A Testimonial)
Many, if not most believers see God as a loving, caring but distant and somewhat stoic God. But He is much more than most realize, He has a personality, He is everything that He created in us and the rest of His creation. We have personalities, so does He, He created them. Part of Jesus’ personality is His playfulness, and it’s something we can experience as we grow closer to Jesus. If you look for it, you can see Jesus’ playfulness in the gospels. A good example is on the road to Emmaus,
That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.
(Luke 24:13-31 ESV)
Here Jesus has just won the greatest battle ever, over death! But instead of coming back and boldly proclaiming His victory, He decided to have a little fun at His friend’s expense. Jesus hides His identity from the two and asks them what they are talking about, why so sad? Cleopas, amazed that this stranger doesn’t know what has just occurred, asks Him. Jesus, who was at the center of it all replies, “no, what happened?” After walking with Jesus and telling him everything that happened, they arrive at their destination and Jesus acts like He’s going farther. After a little cajoling, the disciples convince Jesus to stay for dinner and when Jesus blesses the bread, He reveals Himself. And disappears! Can you see the humor, the playfulness in this? Jesus is having a little fun with His friends! We too can experience the playfulness of Jesus. Let me relate an experience I’ve had.
I work at Home Depot, and we had just had a visit from some higher-ups. Anyone who has experienced “manager panic” will know what it was like for a week! Fortunately, (or so I thought) I had the late shift that day and didn’t get in until after the visit was over. Unfortunately, I was the one given the list of things that the managers were told to fix before they left. After getting the list done, I had only a couple of hours to my regular work which I would normally do in six hours. After rushing around, cutting corners, I got finished in time. All I had left to do was put a couple of things away in the outside garden area. While I was outside, I noticed the forklift had been left out. Knowing that they would need the lift in the morning, and that if it were left outside the lift probably wouldn’t start, I decided to bring the lift in. When I got around the corner, the automatic doors opened, but as I approached the doors, they closed. Putting the lift in reverse, I backed up to try again, but this time the doors wouldn’t open at all. Getting off the lift, I opened the doors and got back on the lift, but as I drove forward, they closed again! (stupid doors!) So I got off and opened them again, this time they closed as soon as I turned to get back on the lift! (stupid doors!) I opened them again, and this time they closed right on me, as I pushed them opened, they would close back up! (stupid doors!) Getting frustrated, I noticed a half full bag of sweeping compound near by, so I grabbed it and put it in front of the doors to hold them open. As I got on the lift, I watched the doors close, pushing the bag of compound! (stupid doors!) Finally, I opened them up, put the bag in front, kicking it up tight, and drove the lift inside the building. After parking the lift, I removed the bag to let the doors close, and they stayed open! At this point I threw my hands up and walked away thinking what a perfect ending to a thoroughly messed up day!
As it turned out, I couldn’t have been more right about the ending of the day. When I got home, I started going over the sermon I was working on about Jesus’ personality. As I was reviewing the part about Jesus’ playfulness I said to Him “I wish you would play with me sometime, I’d like to experience your playfulness. Immediately, His reply came to me, “What do you think I was doing with the doors?” “That was you?” I asked. “Yes, you were having a rough day, you needed to lighten up and laugh a little bit!” At this revelation, I was amazed, the Creator of the universe loves me enough to actually take the time to mess with me at work, just to cheer me up! I went from feeling extremely frustrated to extremely blessed!
We can all experience Jesus personally like this. He is always with us, we just let the world distract us and don’t notice what Jesus is doing for us. I didn’t, Jesus had to tell me later. If I had opened my eyes and seen what Jesus was doing, I would have left work laughing and in a good mood instead of grumbling!