The Joke’s on Us!

Over the years many have pointed out that there are no instances in sacred Scripture of Jesus laughing. They are right, of course, and He was to be known as a “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”

But since Jesus was fully human, and humor is a built-in quality for us, who can doubt that Jesus not only laughed, but enjoyed a joke, pun, or funny story as much as any of us. His own subtle humor may have been at its best when he was poking fun at our constant fretfulness.

Here’s a challenge for you. Dial up or open your Bible to Matthew 6, and read verses 25-34. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you right here. . .
How many times in these verses does Jesus tease us about worry?

Do you really think Jesus didn’t have a twinkle in His eye when He. . .
Asks if we think life is all about food and clothes.
Compares the hard work of farming to birds picking up seeds.
Asks if we are not worth a little more than sparrows.
Asks if worry can make us taller or live longer.
Contrasts precious human life with fleeting field grass.
Asks if any human finery comes close to a flower’s.
Has to remind us that our Father foresees His child’s needs.
Quips that worry need not be stored: tomorrow packs its own.

He lets us seem silly in order to see the serious. We are people of little faith. We don’t believe. We doubt the love of our Father, who tends thoughtfully even the least significant and most fleeting living things. Jesus slips through the back gate of our defenses so we will hear Him and believe what He says. It works. I’m embarrassed.

Read through the list again and focus on those images. Jesus ensures that we’ll view God’s love differently, even if it is just for a day. Be a bird brain and be free. Imagine God as your tailor and smile. Get inside a sparrow’s head, contemplate a lily, and laugh at your doubt.

“Father, we work hard, but control so little. And all that we worked for can be gone in an instant! Help us take our cues from the creatures you feed and clothe, and never again doubt your love. Amen.”

Leave a Reply