In this country we are obsessed with happiness. It is, afterall, a requirement written into our Declaration of Independence: “Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.” Pursuing happiness is supposedly one of those inalienable rights given to us by our creator. As a result many of us devote a lot of time and energy chasing things to make us happy: money, cars, a mate, the right house, the perfect career, clothing, and so on. But if our goals as Christians is to live like Christ, then it begs to ask: Was Jesus happy?
I tried to do a little research into the topic of Jesus’ happiness, if he laughed and what are some Bible verses to support that. I didn’t have much luck. Most the verses about laughter have to do with judgment coming on the wicked. Some writers wanted to debate that Jesus wasn’t happy but he had joy; unfortunately there isn’t much difference between the two terms as the dictionary often uses one to define the other. Galatians 5:22 does include joy as one of the fruits of the spirit so one could say that we are encouraged to be happy (although technically, Galatians was written after Jesus’ death so it doesn’t really address the question of whether or not Jesus himself was happy).
The only verse I could find that spoke of a happy Jesus moment was Luke 10:21 when the Seventy-two that has been sent out returned. “At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.” But even then, notice his joy came through the Holy Spirit, hmmmmmmm.
My conclusion: Jesus was just like the rest of us, he had his ups and downs. He had happy moments: he welcomed children, went to weddings, and accepted dinner invitations. I can’t imagine him participating in any of these events without some happiness and moments of laughter. Also like many of us he had a tough life so there were low times too: in the garden of Gethsemane he asked for “this cup (to) be taken” (Luke 22:39), he got angry with the money changers in the temple, and often frustrated with his disciples.
But at the end of the day Jesus understood his purpose and the importance of completing the task he was put on earth for. Finding your purpose and pursuing it trumps happiness every time.