Read Matthew 11:16-19
16-19 “But how can I show what the people of this generation are like? They are like children sitting in the market-place calling out to their friends,’We played at weddings for you but you wouldn’t dance,and we played at funerals and you wouldn’t cry!’ For John came in the strictest austerity and people say,’He’s crazy!’ Then the Son of Man came,enjoying life,and people say,’Look,a drunkard and a glutton-the bosom-friend of the tax-collector and the sinner.’ Ah,well,wisdom stands or falls by her own actions.” (JBP)
Then as now people have certain expectations of Jesus. Because he came on a mission of utmost seriousness we expect him to be rather po-faced and irredeemably solemn. Since his teaching is so profound we assume he would rarely if ever crack a smile.
We may need to reassess our assumptions. Our text today suggests that Jesus did in fact enjoy life. We need not assume he ate and drank with a range of people with a frown on his face and a sermon on his lips. Social gatherings like that were probably full of laughter and high spirits as they are in our own experience.
We know Jesus wept whereas we are not explicitly told Jesus laughed. But it is a pretty safe assumption given what has been already said. After all,Jesus came to show us what true humanity is really like. And none of us would want to argue that laughter and joking is foreign to humanity.
When we reflect on our own life,we acknowledge its seriousness. When we reflect on the message of Jesus,we acknowledge its seriousness. But just because something is serious doesn’t mean light and laughter is absent. If our lives are interspersed with tears and laughter we can assume it was true of Jesus as well.