Read Luke 7:31-34
31 “To what can I compare the people of this generation?” Jesus asked. “How can I describe them? 32 They are like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends,
‘We played wedding songs,
and you didn’t dance,
so we played funeral songs,
and you didn’t weep.’
33 For John the Baptist didn’t spend his time eating bread or drinking wine,and you say,’He’s possessed by a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man,on the other hand,feasts and drinks,and you say,’He’s a glutton and a drunkard,and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ (NLT)
We don’t often imagine Jesus smiling or laughing. We rightly recognise he was a man of sorrows who endured the cross to bring us back to God. However,we need to remember Jesus was fully human and thus able to embrace humour and laughter. He was full of real life.
He is seen in this text as one who enjoyed celebrating life with others and so incurred the pursed-lipped disapproval of the religious authorities. Just as in our times together with those we love,we can presume there would be laughter and joke telling and seeing the funny side of life.
We so often miss the wit of Jesus in some of his sayings. When he talked about camels going through the eye of a needle he was making a joke to make a point. Trying to grapple with a literal meaning of this phrase is to miss the joke and miss the point. When we spoke of removing planks from the eye we can rightly imagine him smiling at the absurdity of it. Similarly when he speaks of straining a gnat and swallowing a camel. He was making serious points but doing so in a witty and memorable way.
The man of sorrows who was acquainted with grief was also a man of laughter acquainted with humour.