When you picture a “disciple,” what image comes to mind? Perhaps it’s a adult with a serious pose. Or, maybe, its someone filling a studious teacher’s role.
   Here is a provoking alternative. How about a person bubbling over with laughter? This is a believer bubbling over with Jesus-centered joy, contemplating all the blessings that fill one‘s life!
   Maybe a Gospel reference point will aid in this image. Let’s build the scene. In a matter of three days Jesus’ disciples had gone from faithful focus to the pit of despair following His arrest and crucifixion. And then there was Easter morning, ending in this summary verse by Luke -- “Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.” (24:12)
   No joy yet…just wonderment (likely mixed with lots of unanswered, anxious questions). And then, as Paul Harvey use to say, there is the “rest of the story” -- as God sets the stage for real joy!
   There are two, follow-up events that primed this joy. We have the report of the two, unnamed disciples who encountered Jesus en route to Emmaus (vss.13-32). The joy began to bubble when the “Eleven” heard the news that the risen Lord had made an appearance -- “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared ...

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