The irony is comical

THERE’S much irony in our existence. Soren Kierkegaard said “the most thoroughly and substantially a human being exists, the more he will discover the comical’’.

The paths that God chooses for us bend and wind in ways we can never expect. And sometimes, when we think we are lost, a signpost appears.

As the old Yiddish proverb states: We plan and God laughs.

It’s easy to buy into the false stereotype of a Jesus who was always sad, pious, mild in manner, endlessly patient, grave in speech and serious almost to the point of dourness.

Yet, Jesus often deflated pomposity with humour. Jesus did not fit the pattern of what people expected a holy man to be like. He was, among other things, the Lord of Laughter.

Jesus pictures the legalistic Pharisees as fastidious diners, doing their best to strain a gnat from their soup, but swallowing a whole camel in the process.
For his first miracle, He doesn’t end a war or poverty, or even heal someone. Instead Jesus spikes the punch at a wedding.

He was a master storyteller; with a robust gift for words. The Bible speaks often of Jesus gathering children around him. It was surely a combination of love, compassion and some humor that endeared Jesus to the kids.

The disciple Peter sees Jesus walking on water and wants to do the same. Jesus encourages him to walk out of a boat, telling him, it just takes faith.

Then Peter loses faith and falls into the water. It’s pure slapstick. You can imagine Jesus laughing as he pulls Peter back into the boat.

Jesus tells of a man who leaves 99 sheep by themselves so he can hunt for one. It’s funny because it seems so silly, but the silliness is that of unconditional love. He tells of a father who gives half his fortune to a good-for-nothing kid who throws it all away. It’s a joke, but the biggest laugh is that it doesn’t matter in the end. The father still loves his child..


8 thoughts on “The irony is comical

  1. Amen, brother! Love your examples — they really do hold the essence of laughter, it’s just that the bible doesn’t spell it out — I think due to brevity concerns, but perhaps also as a way to not “give away the joke” thus ruining it. (John Stewart, another all-time great Jewish comedian, could have told us that.) “And then they all laughed.” Or: “And they weren’t sure if it was okay to laugh so they kind of smirked and squirmed uncomfortably while Christ guffawed.”

    I’ve written of Jesus’ and his father’s sense of humor quite a bit. They both have a flair for the sarcastic. “Why, God,” Jesus wails on multiple occasions, “Why must I endure these faithless fools! Why me WHY OH WHY WHY just kiddin’, not annoyed here. You’re healed. Love you, bro.”


  2. God works in mysterious ways, and has a wicked sense of humor. Now Tony Abbott is going after an easier target. He, together with Fred Nile are working on the Mardi Gras to Stop The Floats …


  3. ….a thought arises.
    Does god tell his jokes in english, hebrew or yiddish?
    ….and wouldn’t they lose something in the translation?
    eg. If he said something in hebrew, and it was funny in its english translation, wouldn’t that mean it WASN’T funny in its original form?

    …and vice versa:
    Something as serious (in english) as the Ten Commandments might in fact have been as funny as a Woody Allen stand-up routine in the original. 🙂

    If not, why not?


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