• The Wit & Humor of Jesus

         We often overlook the fact that, as a man, Jesus shared the same emotions we were all created with. Rarely do we discuss the Lord's sense of humor, yet, we see many examples of His wit, sarcasm, parables and analogies that contained humor relevant in His day. For instance, in Matthew 23 Jesus pronounces several "woes" (curses) against the Pharisees and religious elite for their hypocrisy. Two of my favorites are found in verses 24 and 27. In verse 23, He uses the analogy, "You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel (NIV)." Common men and women would have found this funny at the time. Along rivers and other water sources, people would gather with their beasts of burden to collect drinking water, wash clothes and utensils, and bathe. While standing in water, camels would relieve themselves and anyone downstream collecting drinking water would have ingested their urine and waste but removed any insect swimming in the water. In other words, the people would remove something which wouldn't have hurt them if they drank it (the lesser evil) but leave in the material that would have made them sick (the greater evil).

         The meaning of the analogy in verse 27 about hypocrisy was similar, however, Jesus explains exactly what He means in verse 28: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and every impurity. In the same way, on the outside you appear to be righteous, but on the inside, you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness (NIV)."

         Hypocrisy is NOT funny, though. It is spiritually distasteful and deadly. Let us strive to be genuine in our faith and interaction with others like Christ.

    Something to think about.

    Jeff