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(T)he ability to laugh at one’s faith is a sign of growth and theological maturity... humor is a way of explaining religion — to its adherents and to others. Increasingly, believing members of orthodox faith traditions are able to joke about their foibles and shortcomings before an audience of their community (4).With these facts established, we will now look at a few specific examples of humor in the Bible. First let’s look at the Book of Exodus, chapter 32. Moses has been on Mount Sinai communing with God and receiving the Ten Commandments. While he was gone, he leaves his brother Aaron in charge. Unfortunately, though, we know what happens. The people’s commitment to God and to Moses turns out to be very fickle, and they have Aaron melt down their gold and make a golden calf idol for them to worship. Obviously, when Moses returns, he is not happy! He burns the idol, grinds it to powder, mixes it with water, and makes the people drink it.
We were reading to our eldest son from the seventh chapter of Matthew' Gospel, feeling very serious, when suddenly the little boy began to laugh. He laughed because he saw how preposterous it would be for a man to be so deeply concerned about a speck in another person's eye, that he was unconscious of the fact that his own eye had a beam in it...His laughter was a rebuke to his parents for their failure to respond to humor in an unexpected place. (5)Here Mr. Trueblood brings up a vitally important point: Many of Jesus' parables and illustrations had humorous overtones in the vernacular of that day. A common form of communication for Jews in that day was called hyperbole, or exaggeration to emphasize a point. A modern example would be “I haven’t seen you in a million years!” Here, Jesus uses it in a very funny way. Being a carpenter, He used the tools of His trade to make a stinging point about religious hypocrisy. “Why are you worried about a speck in your brother’s eye when you have a two-by-four in your own eye?”
"The more seriously we take God, the less seriously we need to take ourselves. Self-deprecating humor not only reduces the intimidation factor, it personifies the possibility of success of people with flaws. Pastors who can joke about their own shortcomings are paradoxically making the ideals of religion seem more possible by putting them in a common human experience (8)."It is sometimes said that "The medium is the message." While that may be true to some degree, we must also make sure that the medium does not obscure or compromise the message. As we have seen, there is certainly a place for humor in communicating spiritual truth, we must never let that distract from the seriousness of our message. The minister's chief role is to be a messenger of God, not simply an entertainer. The Bible says that walking with God is a life of pleasure (Psalm 16:11), delight (Psalm 37:4), sweetness (Psalm 119:103), joy (John 15:11) and freedom (John 8:32). Yet this relationship is built on very somber realities. In short, God is holy, man is sinful, but God loves us in spite of that. In His death on the cross, Jesus paid our sin debt so that we could receive God's forgiveness and experience this joy both here and forever! If you have never entered into this relationship, why not open you heart to Him now?