Was Jesus Funny?
- 2007 Apr 26
Yesterday I asked folks to send me in whatever ideas they might like to have me blurg about. One especially interesting response that I got read, “I have always wondered if Jesus ever told a joke, or was humorous at times. What do you think?”
Well, I’m no theologian, but if I had to guess whether or not Jesus was ever out-and-out funny, I would guess that he was. He was, we are told, fully human; people are funny; it seems to me a reasonable guess that every once in a while Jesus could be quite the crack-up. Especially given that his whole ministry involved communicating with people—which, of course, almost necessarily entails at least some humor. That Jesus was sometimes funny seems like a simple enough call.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about Christians and Christianity, it’s that when it comes to matters of Jesus and Bible, things are never as simple as they might seem. Plus, as I say, I’m hardly a Leading Bible Scholar. What do I really know about it? I don’t speak ancient Greek or Hebrew. And I sure don’t speak Biblical Aramaic; I found it astounding that Mel Gibson was able to locate so many actors who do. I don’t know if it’s how he did it, but I’m guessing that there are a lot of great, very old community theaters in … Aramaia.
Anyway, I know a lot of people aren’t comfortable with the idea that Jesus was ever funny. That makes sense, too. Maybe the proclivity for humor was a human characteristic that, for some reason, the Lord simply chose not to adopt for himself.
Of course, the whole “plank in your eye” metaphor does seem pretty funny.
I think the best thing to do, after we’ve died and come directly into his presence, is to wait, and see whether or not Jesus cracks a joke first.
Frankly, I hope he does. Because if he doesn’t, chances are that, before too very long, I will. And when I do, I want him to laugh.
Can you imagine, cracking a joke to Jesus, and him going, “What? What are you talking about? I don’t get it.”?