(surely) Jesus laughed.


Jesus Wept.

We know that, not just because of John 11:35, but also from stories of Jesus weeping in the Garden, and weeping over Jerusalem.

That makes sense.  The Gospel stories are intense, and what Jesus goes through is very emotional.

But what about Jesus laughing?

There isn’t a single reference to Jesus laughing.  No laughing? I find it hard to believe that our Savior was on a life-long personal downer.

I’m invested in this topic because I use humor everyday, even in sermons. One of my favorite movies is Airplane!, for Heaven’s sake.

I couldn’t make it through a day without laughter.

I figure the Gospel writers were busy with other objectives than pointing out every divine chuckle, and so, I’ve been digging…

Here are six passages where I could picture Jesus having a good ole’ laugh.  Take a read through them, and you’ll notice where I’ve inserted [JESUS LAUGHED] into the text.

I may or may not be right, but see if you can picture a little holy laughter for yourself:

1. Peter Walks On Water

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” [JESUS LAUGHED], “why did you doubt?”      Matthew 14:29-31

2. Zacchaeus Climbs a Tree

So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-figtree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, [JESUS LAUGHED], looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”  Luke 19:1-10

3. A Gentile Woman

26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

28 Then [JESUS LAUGHED], “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.  Matthew 15:26-28

4.  The Children

16 But [JESUS LAUGHED] and called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  Luke 18:16-17

5.  The Boy

Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up,“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

10 [JESUS LAUGHED] and said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there).

6. The Plank

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, [JESUS LAUGHED], first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.  Matthew 7:3-5

What do you think?  Can you picture Jesus laughing in any of these stories?

If so, it would appear that Jesus has a special fondness for people who stretch and grow in their faith.

Hey, maybe I’m on to something, or maybe we’ll just never know.

Jesus’ sense of humor could have ranged from non-existent to really absurd.

For me, I’m gonna hold on to these examples that..

surely, Jesus laughed.

(But don’t call Jesus Shirley.)

Have a great week,