Did Jesus ever laugh?

What do you think?  Did he ever tease his disciples?  Did he ever play a trick on them?  I’m going out on a speculative limb here and say yes to all the questions above.

Jesus characterized his ministry in a lot of different ways.  Not only are there statements of suffering and persecution, but there are also statements of feasts and parties.  Jesus, if you look at the gospel accounts, is frequently going to parties and he is eating a lot.  He’s my type of guy, somebody who likes to laugh and likes to eat!

Biblical commentator William Barclay would point out that the symbol of the Kingdom of God was the happiest thing that human life could know.  I think about my own experiences at weddings (not all weddings, but an elite handful, including my own) and can recall how much fun they were.  A party that brings together good people, good food, and good drink can truly mark happy times (at the risk of sounding obvious).  Christianity should be a joyous thing, not a brutal chastising life.

Jesus thought of the kingdom as a feast, encompassing laughter and happiness.  Philosopher John Locke would aptly describe laughter as a “sudden glory,” and this sudden glory should be a mark of a Christian.  NT Wright would accurately paint the Christian faith as characterized not just by joy, as C.S. Lewis would describe, but also as a hope filled one.  Hope, joy, laughter, and eating — this is the kingdom life!  To end with Barclay, “there is no healthy pleasure which is forbidden to a Christian man [or woman], for a Christian is like a [person] who is forever at a wedding feast.” [1]  So for those who are in Christ, I hope that joy is a characteristic that marks you and I!

 

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[1] William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke, Revised Edition, 195.