Apparently the type of humor I really enjoy is not dry, it’s absolutely arid. Don’t ask me to tell a joke, no one can survive that desert. Let me give you a few examples of the jokes that make me hee-haw. Ready?
“I totally understand how batteries feel because I’m rarely ever included in things either.”
“It’s hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.”
“I used to think the brain was the most important organ. Then I thought, look what’s telling me that.”
“The midget fortune teller who kills his customers is a small medium at large.”
“A farmer in the field with his cows counted 196 of them, but when he rounded them up he had 200.”
“What does a nosey pepper do? Get jalapeño business.”
[All jokes courtesy of Christopher Hudspeth]
Often when I would be preaching or teaching and tell one of these type jokes, I might here a snicker or two, one particular lady got my humor almost every time. But for the majority of my listeners, most would kind of cock their heads, like a dog does when its owner talks baby talk to it. Occasionally, a few minutes later someone would start laughing quietly, and I knew they finally got it. I know a few pastors who can’t preach a single sermon without several jokes planted somewhere to keep their audience listening to the lesson.
What about Jesus? Was He funny? Did He laugh? Are there actual examples we can draw from in the Bible? Yes, Jesus was hysterically funny, but like the arid jokes above, sometimes he had to point it out later to His disciples. For example, think about the name He gave Simon Peter. Jesus called him, “the rock.” Which is ironic and humorous all at the same time, since this fisherman vacillated back and forth between trusting the Master, and wanting to do it his own way, usually comically failing in the process.
Here’s another few examples. His encounters with the Pharisees are just loaded with one-liners Jesus tossed their way to poke fun, hidden in a truth. You might have to think a little about these. “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” [Matthew 22:21 -irony] “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” [Matthew 15:14 – slap stick] “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” [Matthew 23:24 – juxtaposition] There’s more but you get the point.
Humor is an integral part of the human condition, there is a reason for laughing as much as there is for crying, and what it does cathartically in our souls. Don’t be one of those people who live barren-dry humorless lives, always taking life so seriously, and making those around you miserable. Laugh a little. Jesus did.