It cannot be denied that no one suffered more than Jesus Christ- from the day He was born to the end of His ministry- and even now He continues to suffer greatly in soul and spirit as He intercedes for all of us on a constant basis and shares each of our sufferings WITH us. He knows how we feel. Yet with all of the sufferings, Jesus also experienced the most full Joy through them. He also laughed and has a wonderful sense of Humor. His Joy and humor transcend all that He suffers.
If you have ever heard of what an Empath is- you know that an Empath is a person who is more sensitive to other people’s emotions more than the average person. In some paranormal circles, they reccomend that Empaths learn to “shield” and put psychic blocks around them so that they can find peace and not constantly be picking up everyone’s tensions and emotions around them. Without the grace of God, this can be very overwhelming to the Empath. Well, Jesus is an Empath of empaths- with the most heightened sensitivity of anyone. During His ministry, He was even able to feel someone touch the hem of His robe out of desperation for healing. In Mark 5:30, we read: “…and Jesus, perceiving in Himself that power had gone forth from Him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, “Who touched Me?” And He looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
Because of this heightened Empathy our Lord has, He enters into all of our sufferings with us- and His compassion and sensitivity for us is genuine and pure love. Some of His Body on Earth share the same Mind He has with suffering. Many saints became transformed to have the same Mind of Christ — to think like He does. One such saint is a Catholic saint, known as St. Therese of Lisuex, “The Little Flower”. St. Therese lived a short life of only 24 years as a Carmelite nun, but yet throughout her young life, and even more so before her death, she welcomed sufferings and found joy in them that many around her could not understand.
In a letter to her missionary brothers that she was assigned to as a Carmelite nun, she wrote :”The Cross has accompanied me from the cradle; but then, Jesus has made me love it passionately.” Later when St. Therese was dying a horrific slow painful death from a rare form of tuberculosis–in which she was deprived of medication, one of her novices told her, “How it grieves us to see you suffer, and to think you may perhaps have still more to endure,” “Oh!, do not be troubled about me, I have arrived at the stage of being no longer able to suffer, because all suffering is sweet to me.” St. Therese never wore her sufferings on her sleeve. She offered them to Jesus and only rarely shared them in a journal she was commanded to write by her Mother Superior– Even in this journal, she never complains or laments– but actually rejoices over any opportunity to suffer for Christ and accept all He permitted in her life. This , too , is the same attitude Jesus had and has. He rejoiced in suffering and when death seemed eminent due to extreme Satanic psychic attacks on His soul in the Garden of Gethsemane, He asked that if the Father willed so, that this cup would be taken from Him so that He could still be permitted to die on the cross for our Sacrifice — nevertheless, He would still accept whatever the Father willed- whatever change in Plans.
In the book, “I Am With You Always: True Stories of Encounters with Jesus”, by G. Scott Sparrow, Ed.D, We read how many who have encountered Jesus in modern Near death experiences or visitations experienced His humorous , light-hearted disposition. Betty Eadie recalled in her own Near Death testimony how she , too experienced Jesus as a humorous , light hearted Being. “I’ll never forget the Lord’s sense of humor, which was as delightful and quick as any here- far more so. Nobody could out-do His humor. He is filled with perfect happiness, perfect goodwill.”, she said of her experience meeting Jesus.
In the scriptures, there are hints of Jesus’s sense of humor. When Jesus chose His 12 disciples from out of a larger group of apostles in the beginning of His ministry, He “nicknamed” James and John, “The Sons of Thunder” due to their volatile temper they were known to have.
When Jesus was walking ahead of the disciples and not knowing He was able to hear them, they quietly discussed who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of God. We can imagine the smile and chuckle He made when He called them on their secret discussion — interrupting them and asking them, “So , what is it that you are discussing together”. I think He actually enjoyed their reaction when they all got embarrassed and were too afraid to reply– knowing that their conversation was pretty childish.
In the book, mentioned above by G. Scott Sparrow, there is a woman’s testimony shared of her encounter with Jesus that reveals His Joy. “I was in a wide open playground with a merry-go-round. It was a sunny day and I was blissfully dancing around, feeling immense love toward everyone and imagining World peace. I sang out, “I love God” at the top of my lungs. It was out of tune, because I couldnt sing, but I didnt care. In my peripheral vision, there was a figure of a Man also happily dancing-trying to mimic my movement. This was very amusing to me, but I just kept flailing around doing my own thing. I kicked up my leg and saw His leg and sandal go up from under the edge of a white robe.
I felt a great sense of friendship and love toward this Person, but turned to continue my dancing by myself and focusing on World Peace. Before I could turn, however, He gently grabbed me by my forearms. I found myself looking straight into the glorious , sparkling eyes of Jesus. He was radiant, joyous, and laughing, and I felt complete love, acceptance, and fun.
Then it slowly dawned on me that this was actually Jesus Christ! I became slightly self-conscious and vaguely realized that I had been singing out of tune and dancing around like an idiot in front of Him. Still smiling and holding my arms, He led me closer to the ground, where we were in almost a meditative position.” (Note: While typing this woman’s experience here in this blog, The Lord just now made me feel His humor within me at the part where this woman confesses that she was singing out of tune!)
There are other testimonies of Jesus’s Joyful disposition and laughter– One recollection is from Dr. George Ritchie in his book, Return from Tomorrow. When he met Jesus in his Near death experience, He never forgot Jesus’s wonderful laughter when he thought “What about the insurance money coming when I’m seventy?” The words were out before He could stop from thinking them and he continues, “If I’d suspected before that there was mirth in the Presence beside me, now I was sure if it: the brightness seemed to vibrate and shimmer with a kind of holy laughter–not at me and my silliness, not a mocking laughter, but a mirth that seemed to say that in spite of all error and tragedy, joy was more lasting still.”