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Was Jesus Against Humor?

April 10, 2012  by: Paulose  Points: 15   Category: Health    Views: 673

Did Jesus ever express his sense of humor? Was he against laughter or did he ever tell a joke? Does Christianity forbid heartfelt laughing? Is the sense of humor a sin of forbidden fruit?


Is there any proof in the gospels, showing Jesus humorous? Why didn’t he never express his sense of humor anywhere in the gospels?

I have always been wondering why Jesus is always portrayed as a sober and sorrowful man carrying unbearable burden.

Jesus was never against humor. As a child, as a boy, as a youth and as a loving man, full of emotions, did he not express his joy in a burst of laughter? A laughing Jesus or a weeping Jesus? Who can give us solace and encourage us? I am sure people would like to see the face of a laughing Jesus.

A tickling Heavenly Father asks us to be happy always

A father makes his child happy and laughing by tickling it. A mom caresses her child and tries to make the child laugh it laugh. The Heavenly Father may not be different from this in His attitude of affection.

What did Jesus mean by laughter?

Jesus always taught about bringing the kingdom of heaven down on this earth. He showed how it can be achieved by being happy through loving others. For him, laughter had been an inbuilt attitude of living a life of love and faith. He pointed out how sufferings and problems in life can be changed into happiness by finding the kingdom of God on this earth. He assured blessings to all those who suffer for justice and truth. He promised heaven on the earth if people live in faith amidst their sufferings. He said, “Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh” (Bible RSV, Luke 6:21).

Why are we unable to find laughing situations in the gospels?

1) Expressions of emotions differ from place to place and languages. The first-century Palestine situations may not be amusing to the people of the world in the third millennium. Amusing situations depend upon time, language, and situations.

2) Amy-Jill Levine, a New Testament scholar at Vanderbilt University, says, “The parables were amusing in their exaggeration or hyperbole. The idea of a mustard seed sprouting into a big bush that birds would build their nests in would have been humorous.”

3) People in the time of Jesus would probably have laughed at many of his funny illustrations. For example, the idea that a father giving a child stones instead of bread, the illustration in the “talent parable” about the man who had received one talent dug up the ground and buried the talent, etc would have definitely created laughter.

4) The verses of the gospels passed through many t writers and translators who aimed at projecting Jesus as a Saviour and a comforter. They had no intention of introducing comedy situations in their texts which they thought would affect the aim of their work.

Humor in Christian life

Laughter is a healthy tonic for our emotional life. St. Thomas Acquinas, a great theologian of the Church, points out that humor is important in human life. He says that jokes relax the mind and keep us free from stress.

The Tamil Saint Thiruvalluvar, who wrote Thirukural 2000 years ago, insists in his couplet on “sorrow” that laughter is the best medicine to conquer sorrow (Thirukkural 621). Most of his poetic couplets go with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Jesus wants us to be stress-free with humor

Jesus asks us not to be sad and morose. While we do penitential deeds like fasting, Jesus advises us to be cheerful with a smiling face. He guides us to be free from all worries, by handing over all our burden on him. He points out that we should be free from every anxiety or stress. It is stress that leads to depression and other diseases. Jesus recommends the “laughter pill” for all our problems. He advises us to be free like birds of the air.

Sense of humor is the sign of humility which helps us accept ourselves. It enables us look away from the faults and shortcomings of those around us who fail to meet our expectations. Humor is a part of life and the gospels do not say that Jesus was against it.


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