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Day 15: The time I couldn’t stop laughing

August 28, 2018

1Today is Picture Day at GCA. 

I decided to go formal and wear black.  

I have a few minutes to review yesterday and pull together a few thoughts before the day starts…

One of my students stopped by and showed me her engagement ring.  She will be getting married within a few weeks of graduation this May.  As a wedding present I gave her two Hershey candy bars I had in my desk.  I’m a big spender.

In Bible Doctrines I was able to share some items that I brought back from last year’s Israel trip.  I shared a pottery shard from Caesarea Maritima and a kippah that I wore at the Western Wall.

All through the week and especially yesterday, I noticed one young man who has been increasingly more and more enamored with the doctrinal teaching of the last few days, specifically on God the Father, Jesus’ humanity and, of course, the teaching of Heaven.  He is really getting charged up.

He likes the studies.  He stops by after class – even coming between other classes – and not only wants to ask questions, but just to talk about the depths of the Scripture.

Whenever he leaves, I sit back and my desk and grin.  Just grin.

A student really, deeply, truly wants to pursue Christ.  

Man, that gives me a satisfaction and a joy that can’t be matched anywhere else.

I recall the time that a student team gave a Bible class speech – two guys, two girls – that was both ingenious and hilarious and took us all totally by surprise.  Their presentation was on people in the church, if I recall correctly, and the PowerPoint pictures caught me off guard with humorous puns, quips and outright jokes.  It got so uproariously funny that I remember putting my head down on the desk and laughing  so hard that it broke up the other students just to see me lose my composure.  They would call out a funny phrase:  “Hey, lookit Doctor Zockoll!  Lookit!”  That only made me laugh harder.  I would raise my head and then put it down again.  Helpless.

Happiness.  Laughter.

These are some downright enjoyable times.

It bears in mind one of the most powerful phrases about Jesus that you will find anywhere in the Scripture.  Jesus had sent out seventy messengers to share the Gospel and in this new endeavor he gave them strict instructions and words of encouragement. When they came back in, they had great news of success.  God’s glory was being realized!  His response?

“At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit…”

Those specific words from Luke 10:21, on the heels of the seventy messengers who went out and spread the Gospel, don’t really match up to the depths of what the original language said.  The seventy returned with exciting news that the message was effective and even dynamic, even to overcome the works of the Enemy.  The translations I read are so very inefficient when they merely say “He rejoiced greatly”

The Koine Greek word is agalliasto and is better translated something like gushing or overflowing:  “He was overflowing with joy.  He was overcome with joy.”

Maybe a good paraphrase would be “He was awash in heavenly jubilation.”

The best way I can describe it is that it would be a fulfilling joy, like when you have overexerted yourself to reach a goal and have seen things come out just the way you hoped.   Jesus was abounding in joy when He saw that the eternal plan was being followed and that new names were being recorded in heaven.

Over-the-top joy.  We know Jesus was a man of sorrows but we often neglect to see that He was also a man of great, great joy when the glory of God was being displayed.

It’s what I wish for each classroom experience.  Joy in seeing God’s glory.  Deep satisfaction in realizing Heaven and Jesus’ invitation.

Christ in front, above all.

Let’s go out and make Jesus happy today.

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