Did Jesus ever laugh?
No where in the Bible do we find an account of Jesus laughing. But we do know he had an acerbic wit. So as a human he may have laughed, but it wasn’t written down as it was not part of the message His disciples thought important.
My favorite quote showing the gentle and kindly wit of Jesus was John 1: 46-47
And Nathanael said to him: Can any thing of good come from Nazareth? Philip saith to him: Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him: and he saith of him: Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile.
An almost laughable understatement given Philip’s earlier comment. The D/R translates “guile” which in my opinion is far better than many translations which use “deceit.”
Good answer. I’m sure Jesus laughed, but the Gospels weren’t really written to record the details of his personality. His sayings and parables reveal a mind finely-attuned to the signs and symbols of Jews in first-century Roman Palestine.
Overall, I’d say that Jesus was truly human. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t laugh. Therefore, Jesus laughed.
But there were four authors of his life; they all detail his anguish, his anger, his compassion, all these human traits, but never laughter? You would think one of the central messages was that he wasn’t just son of God but a mortal, human living being with all the attributes that come with it. And yet not a chuckle, a guffaw; I don’t believe they ever even describe him as smiling.
Yes He did laugh; just like any other human being.
Funny, but when I read some of the gospel verses, even though it doesn’t say Jesus smiled… I see him smiling. Like at the wedding feast at Canna “Mother, what has this to do with me??” I see him with a little smile on his face looking at his mother getting ready to give her a big gift! And at the temple when he was 12 yrs old and Mary asks him, “Son, how could you do this to us?” I see a little grin from a 12 yr old boy saying, “Why did you worry?” Just my take on it…
I see him telling a lot of his parables in a joking voice, or at least like he’s telling a funny story, with a big smile on his face.
Fr. James. Martin, SJ spoke at a conference about a sense of humor and being a Christian. He says that since humor changes over time, we just might not get the jokes that Jesus uses! I recommend watching the video though, do a YouTube search for “The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything”.
Well, if you and the others see him telling parables in joking voices, big smile on his face, why didn’t at least one of the authors say the same? I mean four gospels totaling hundreds and hundreds of pages telling a man’s life story and not one smirk? Or is it that all historic writings from the 70 A.D. time never mentioned humor at all; writings of the time were just humorless?
Jesus drew many people to him. People aren’t attracted to someone who is always sour faced. I think he had a wonderful sense of humor but it doesn’t necessarily come through. Someone mentioned the parables. Don’t you think he was smiling and laughing as he told some of those stories?
Think about his reaction in Matthew 14 where Peter walks toward him on the water, then becomes frightened and starts to sink. Jesus responds “Oh you of little faith.” I think he was laughing as he said it.
Things don’t always come across in writing. The other day I made what was meant to be an amusing comment in an e-mail message and then went back and forth several times with the recipient explaining that I wasn’t serious, it was meant to be funny, and I didn’t really want him to take it seriously.
I tend to agree. Additionally, I can’t think of any humor in the lives of the saints during interchanges with Our Lord.
I can imagine the holy angels having a few good laughs witnessing some human stunts. I can’t wait to hang out with those guys in eternity :rolleyes:
Again, watch the video with Father Martin that I recommended above. I think you’ll find that people who are in tune with God and the Holy Spirit have an AMAZING sense of humor. The holier someone is, the better sense of humor they have. Therefore Jesus would’ve been a very funny guy, or at least very able to laugh!
So again, if what you say is true, and that Jesus would have been a very funny guy, or at least very able to laugh, we have four authors based on all that oral history of Jesus’ life and teaching and sayings, chock full of description of him being angry with the money changers, and sweating bullets days before his crucifixion, and description after discription of human emotion, since he was a human like you and I, and not one giggle/one guffaw.
The evidence, which are the gospels, don’t support your assumptions here.
So let’s get this straight… You’re saying that Jesus did not laugh or have a sense of humor? Okey doke, if that’s what you want to believe go for it… :shrug: :rolleyes:
As others have pointed out, he would’ve had a hard time attracting followers if he were a stony-faced mean guy who only preached fire and brimstone. Someone else mentioned when he had a joking exchange with Nathanael:
“What good can come from Galilee?”
“Ah, an Israelite with no guile!” Jesus then invites Nate to follow him.
Nate claims that he knew Jesus was the Messiah when Jesus asked him about being under a fig tree.
Jesus replies that if the fig tree was enough to make him believe he should be happy, because he’ll see much more impressive things later! THATS NOT FUNNY?!?
I have not read of any character in Gospels who laughed. Why single out Jesus then?
That’s the point. I am not supposed to believe; I have four gospels of proof and they don’t say he laughed. They say he cried out, he got angry, he exhibited emotions, but the authors never said he exhibited the emotion of humor. One one hand, Christians say go to the New Testament for evidence. But when the evidence of laughing is sought, there is none. And I’m fine with that. But is seems people are explaining away the lack of a human emotion that isn’t put into words in the gospels. I am now on my 37th year as a journalist, 22 as a reporter and 15 years as an editor. Believe me, if someone is laughing or smiling or guffawing or snickering I expect the reporter to write it, not for me to infer because inferences, like assumptions, can get you into trouble.
You might find what Jesus said about the fig tree funny but it never says he laughed. Or smiled. Or that someone laughed back at his humor.
I am inclined to believe Jesus appreciated humor and was humorous at times, because he was fully human. I’ll take atjar’s word that the Gospels don’t give direct evidence of it.
Why would the Gospels be silent on this? Those of you who believe Jesus had his humorous moments, tell us why you think they are not recorded in the Gospels.
I wonder if it was “edited out” in the oral tradition or the written word later on, to better transmit the message the teller or the writer intended to transmit. Maybe the writers thought it would detract from the serious message of the crucifixion, etc.
I also wonder about cultural differences. Maybe laughter, smiling, and levity in general were frowned upon in Galilee, Jerusalem, or communities of the early church. In some cultures today, they think you are simple-minded if you smile too much or laugh too loud.
Humor might be expressed by a tone of voice or a certain look which could be passed on in an oral tradition but not a written one. Furthermore, in the written word, it is very difficult to translate humor from one language to another.
Maybe he just wasn’t the guffawing type.
I can think of several possibilities.
Perhaps it seemed obvious. You don’t have to say that Jesus laughed because it was obvious to the writers that, of course, he laughed.
The information wasn’t essential. Why were the gospels written? They tell us the essential things about Jesus. Two of the gospels don’t mention his birth, yet we know he was born. None of them give accounts of his childhood (except for staying behind in the temple) yet we know he grew up and had various experiences as a child. But it’s not essential to understanding his message.
The gospel of John specifically states “There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25).
a) the writers weren’t journalists
b) they don’t say a lot of things. Did He pick up the stick with His right or left hand?
c) it doesn’t describe the Mom look that Mary gave Him at the wedding (trust me, she gave Him the Mom look)
d) it doesn’t say what games He played before He was 12.
There are lots of details missing. Perhaps the writers didn’t think it was germaine to the story, or they figured everyone already knew.