The Smile of Jesus!
I have been prompted to write this post after looking at the thumbnail sketches of a group of people recently appointed to new posts in our diocese (The Church of England’s area presided over by a Bishop and in most cases, roughly the size of an English county). They are all smiling and we can probably make reasonable assumptions as to why: they are, I imagine, all hoping that will help those who read about them to warm to them – rather more than any reader would if faced with a series of passport photos!
Now we know by implication that many of the people who met Jesus face to face, must have warmed to him: the way people followed him has to be evidence of that. I would, therefore invite you to consider that it is very reasonable to deduce that Jesus must have smiled.
With this in mind, I started to put a list together of occasions on which I think it is reasonable to think that Jesus smiled. Here’s my ‘starter’ list in no particular order.
At Zaccheus as he offered to eat with him:
At Mary at the Wedding Feast (maybe enigmatically):
In the carpenter’s shop when complimented by Joseph:
At the woman at the well:
With the grateful leper:
At the woman with the issue of blood:
At Jairus daughter and with Jairus and his wife:
With Mary, Martha and Lazarus:
With the Centurion with the dying servant:
At those who thanked him for the
bread and fish handed out in the wilderness:
At children who he watched playing:
At Nathaniel (I saw you under the fig tree):
At the blind man who was cured:
At the woman who was not stoned:
At the recovered Legion: Perhaps with pity for Pilate:
At the creatures during his time in the desert:
At John after his Baptism:
At the Canaanite woman ‘Even the dogs…’:
At the woman who anointed his feet with nard:
I could go on! But instead, I invite you to add to the list yourself, and then consider whether this list has any bearing on your existing personal image of Jesus or your overall perception of the occasion. Your conclusion might be a topic for prayer!