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I’m amazed at how many Christians think that humor is inappropriate and that Jesus was mostly a man of sorrows. I read an online Relevant Magazine article by James Martin, S.J., entitled “Jesus Was Funnier Than We Think.”  I loved it, and so did many others, but some of the reader comments had me scratching my head.

One said that there’s nothing funny at all about Jesus, that humor and joy aren’t related. Others said that because there’s no Scripture that specifically states, “Jesus had a sense of humor,” it’s a stretch of truth to suppose that he did. Roman oppression was just too serious and Jesus had his hands full taking on the sins of the world. Apparently, he couldn’t even crack a smile.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think Jesus did stand-up schtick, but he definitely did use tongue-in-cheek wit and sarcasm regularly. Some of it was aimed at the often-obtuse disciples, but most of it was aimed at the Pharisees.

Be of Good Cheer

I guess it all depends on one’s definition of funny and humorous, and how it relates to joy, laughter, and song. I’ve read of some Christians leaving a church that was too happy and not teaching the serious issues, which I can understand. We want a strong God who can relate to and handle the tough side of life. (more…)

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Well Done!

“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Mat. 25:21, 23, Luk. 19:17)

I think we’re so used to hearing that we can never do anything right that the thought of God praising His children seems strange—maybe even blasphemous. How sad! How disheartening that we’re told to love a grumpy God who doesn’t root for us, doesn’t like us much, isn’t interested in our problems or comfort, and has nothing good to say about us.

To the Gentile woman who appealed to the Jewish Son of David to heal her daughter, Jesus said, “Woman, you have great faith!” (Mat. 15:28) To the Roman centurion who called upon the Jewish Master of life, he said, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith!” (Mat. 8:10, Luk. 7:9)

“And the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.’” (Exo. 33:17)

“The LORD said to Jehu, ‘Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes…your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.’” (2Kng. 10:30)

Jesus praised the woman who poured perfume on his feet. (Luk. 7:46) The angel, Gabriel, told Mary that she had found favor with God. (Luk. 1:30) Paul proclaimed, “Now is the time of God’s favor.” (2Cor. 6:2) Jesus encouraged the crowds in his Sermon on the Mount, “You are the light of the world.” (Mat. 5:14)

It’s tough to love a stingy God who doesn’t think much of us. But God isn’t grumpy, stingy, or selfish; He’s rich with praise and encouragement if we simply listen to Him! “How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” (Jhn. 5:44)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jhn. 16:33)