Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Jesus the Comedian

I recently read this section of Peter Kreeft's "Before I Go: letters to our children about what really matters" (p. 94).

Jesus had a fantastic sense of humor. Even if you don't detect it in the Gospels (but how can you miss it?), you can detect it in nature. He's the mind ("logos") of God who designed nature, after all. How can you look at a basset hound and not know Jesus is a comedian? And some of those deep-sea fish -- absolutely over the top and of the wall.

The two greatest jokes of all time were the incarnation and the crucifixion. They were the two great jokes God played on the devil. The incarnation was the great disappearing act and the crucifixion was the great judo act.

Even if you don't get it now, you will in Heaven, where you will have the last laugh forever.

I love the "great judo act" image!

With regard to humour in the Gospels, I think Kreeft is pointing to the laughs Jesus probably got from the audience when he used hyperbole like passing a camel through the eye of a needle. A web search found these ...
  1. Matthew 23:24 "You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel." NIV. Now that's funny!Here's the same verse from The Message:"Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that's wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons?" Living Bible:"Blind guides! You strain your water so you won't accidentally swallow a gnat; then you swallow a camel!"
  2. Examples or irony, sarcasm, puns, hyperbole and situation comedy in the Old Testament
    • From Terry Goodrich 
      • Jesus suggested the critic should get the log out of his eye before being obsessed with a speck of dust in someone else’s.
      • When Peter told Jesus that religious leaders questioned whether Jesus paid the tax, Jesus told him to reel in a fish and check its mouth. In it was enough money to pay both Jesus’ and Peter’s tax.
    • Pictures of Jesus laughing

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