Family Movie Devotionals: Inside Out

In Inside Out, we get to see Riley’s emotions working in her head. She experiences joy, sadness, anger, disgust, and fear. The whole movie, she is trying to keep sadness from touching her happy memories. But in the end, she learns that sadness is just as important as all her other emotions. As she grows up, it’s okay for her emotions to become more complicated.

This is a lesson we all need to learn. While it would be awesome if we were joyful all the time, that’s just not how our lives will be. Like Riley, we will all experience joy, sadness, anger, disgust, fear, and many other emotions. And that’s okay! It is not wrong to have strong feeligns. In fact, Jesus has felt all of these emotions.

We might think that Jesus was just calm and happy all the time. But Jesus feels all the emotions that we do. Even though He is the Son of God, Jesus became a human who has human emotions. That’s actually one of the reasons He came to Earth, so He could share in our joy, sadness, anger, disgust, and fear and then teach us what to do with these emotions. Let’s look at some of the times that Jesus had these emotions in the Bible:

  • Joy - Jesus shows us what brings him joy in a parable He told. (A parable is a pretend story that teaches us a real lesson). In Luke 15, Jesus says, “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!” One thing that brings Jesus joy is when we turn away from our sin and turn towards Him and His grace! We bring Jesus joy because he loves us so much.

  • Sadness - One place we see the sadness of Jesus is when His friend Lazarus died in John 11. Lazarus was buried in a tomb, and Jesus went to the tomb to raise him from the dead. But even though Jesus knew what was about to happen, the Bible still says, Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, ‘See how much he loved him!’” Jesus loved Lazarus so much, and knew that Lazarus’s friends and family were so sad, that He cried even though He knew Lazarus was about to be raised. So even though we know that God is faithful to us and that one day all things will be perfect, it’s okay for us to be sad when sad things happen. Jesus was.

  • Anger - Sometimes Jesus gets angry in the Bible. In Mark 3, Jesus went out to heal a man with a deformed hand. The religious leaders were trying to stop Him, because it was the sabbath. You were not allowed to work on the sabbath, and these religious leaders hated Jesus so much they were going to try to get Him in trouble for helping a man. The Bible says, “Then Jesus turned to his critics and asked, 'Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?' But they wouldn’t answer him. He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! Jesus knew that God’s law about the sabbath was made to help people, and the religious leaders were trying to use it to hurt people. He was angry at them because they were trying to stop Jesus from helping people by twisting God’s own words against Him.

  • Disgust - Hebrews 4:15 says, “This High Priest of ours [Jesus] understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.” Jesus experienced all of the things we do as humans. He was hungry, thirsty, tired, and even smelly sometimes. Because he was fully a human, Jesus went through the gross parts of life, too.

  • Fear - Jesus experienced the scariest thing in all of history: dying on the cross with the weight of all our sin. Jesus loved us so much that He felt the worst pain anyone has ever felt. And before He did this, He was scared. Jesus was praying in Luke 22 and said, “‘Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.’ Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.” Jesus was so afraid he was sweating blood! But even in his fear, Jesus prayed to God the Father and said, “I want your will to be done.”

Even when Jesus was afraid or angry or sad, He was always faithful to God’s plan for and He never sinned. Because Jesus did this, He has given us permission to feel big feelings, and power and wisdom to help us know how to be faithful to God no matter how we feel.