The Laughter of Jesus

Dec 1, 2014 6345

– by Des Ford

the_laughing_JesusWe think of our Lord as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief and thereby we think rightly. We would never find solace in a man who knew only laughter. That Australian painting of a laughing jackass sending forth its song from a tree branch over the carcass of a dead kangaroo, strikes us as incongruous because laughter and death clash so severely.

Thus we’re not told about the laughter of Jesus and yet Scripture does say that he was “anointed … with the oil of gladness” (Heb 1:9). Elton Trueblood, Quaker philosopher, wrote a volume called The Humor of Jesus. He invites us to consider the humor implicit in such sayings as: “Why do you see the sawdust in your neighbor’s eye and not the log in your own?” “If the blind lead the blind, shall they not both fall into the ditch?” “They strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel.” The only reason we do not laugh at such Scriptures is because we have a feeling that it would be irreverent. Either that, or we do not dwell upon them with our imagination to perceive all that is intended.

Human beings were intended to laugh. We’ve been told since childhood about how many less muscles it takes to laugh than to frown. Should we not cultivate the laugh of faith, rejoicing in the assurance that God is good and more than good? He delights in our joy and has made provision that it should be a joy unceasing. Should we not see in the experience of release that comes with laughter an indication of the wellspring of joy that the gospel furnishes? What greater joke could there be than that the king should transform his rebels by sheer love and grace instead of in rage sentencing them to a firing squad? Let the straws of humor in our daily experience indicate to us which way the wind of divine grace is blowing.

– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32 (From “The Laughter of God”)

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