The Bible and Current Events:The humor of Christ focus of book
by Clyne W. Buxton
Dec 28, 2012 | 539 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Elton Trueblood, a professor of psychology in a Christian college, published a 125-page book on the humor of Christ.

He contends there are at least 30 passages in the synoptic gospels that are humorous.

For example, there is the very humorous statement by our Lord in the gospel of Luke.

It reads: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your own eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye?

“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (6:41, 42). Ouch! That humor pierces like an arrow. What an effective way to teach!

Christ knew that humor, well placed, can probe, instruct, or entertain. Once He said, “Do not look dismal” (Matthew 6:16).

Some fail to find the humor in Jesus’ life. For example, Nietzsche, the German theologian, complained: “Would that He had remained in the wilderness and far from the good and the just! Perhaps He would have learned to live and to love the earth — and laughter too.”

Most of us like humor. James Hefley compiled the book, “The Sourcebook of Humor,” which is widely known. Hefley’s wife, Marty’s favorite humor is a couplet she uses after hearing a joke for the 70 times seventh time:

If he can remember so many jokes

With all the details that molds them,

Why can’t he remember with equal skill,

How many times he’s told them?

Then there’s the story of three American servicemen in Korea who decided to move off base.

They rented a house and hired a Korean man to cook and clean the home. The young soldiers were constantly pulling pranks on the elderly housekeeper.

They tied his pant legs in knots and put buckets of water over doors to wet him. They even nailed his shoes to the floor. The housekeeper-cook never complained.

Finally, the servicemen felt sorry for the old gentleman. They told him they would play no more tricks.

He responded: “No more tie pants in knots?”


“No more water on head?”

“No, never.”

“No more nail shoes to floor?”

“Never again.”

“OK, me no spit in your soup no more!”

Trueblood discusses Christ’s humor throughout his book. He says: “There is sly humor, as well as deep meaning, in Christ’s words about where to put a light.

“The message is about the necessity of witness, but the failure to ... witness is rendered laughable when Jesus asks, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under a bushel, or under a bed, and not on a stand’ (Mark 4:21).

“Since the lamp mentioned has an open flame and since the bed is a mattress, it is easy to see that in this situation the light wold be suffocated or the mattress would be burned.

“The appeal here is to the patently absurd. The sensitive laugh, because they get the point.”

The Bible says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). Just as two Advil can stop a headache, or other medicines may bring relief; likewise, a good story can bring cheer.

A pastor had a kitten which climbed a small tree in his backyard and was afraid to come down.

The next morning the kitten was still sitting in the top of the sapling. The pastor tried to pull the small tree over to reach the kitten but was unable to do so.

So he tied a rope to the sapling and the other end to his car. When he pulled forward the rope broke and the kitten went sailing through the air.

That afternoon the pastor went to the supermarket and just ahead of him at the checkout was a woman of his congregation. Noticing cat food in her basket, he said he thought she did not like cats.

She replied: “Pastor, this morning an amazing thing happened. My little girl was begging for a kitten, and I told her the only way she could have one was for it to fall from the sky.

“My trusting child knelt in the backyard with hands clasped and looking heavenward in prayer. Suddenly, a kitten plopped down right before her on all four paws!”

The pastor responded, “The Lord does provide!”