OK, so it’s a little irreverent to say God is a comedian, but look at the scripture from Genesis to, well not so much in Revelation, and you see God’s sense of humour coming through.
There’s so much I can only touch on a few scriptural examples, but let’s start in Genesis. God makes a Covenant agreement with a man named Abram who has no children and says his children will inherit the land of Canaan. Then He promises Abram a child born of the Covenant through his wife, Sarai. Abram meets God again at the age of 99 with no children and God tells him his name will now be Abraham – meaning Father of a multitude – but still no child. God tells Abraham that Sarai is now Sarah – and she’s 90. Then the punchline “Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?“” (Genesis 17:15-17)
God’s sense of humour makes a mockery of our knowledge. Isaac is born, and named “Laughter”.
Then in Numbers 22 there’s Balaam. Balaam had a donkey who spoke. It’s ridiculous to think about. More than that, Balaam enters into a debate with the donkey! Imagine you go downstairs first thing on a winter morning to let your dog out and the dog looks up and says “In this weather? You’re kidding!” Now we’re not talking about a cartoon donkey voiced by Eddie Murphy or the family pet. This is a real donkey that this man has been riding for years. This man, Balaam, is a prophet himself, and God opens the donkey’s mouth to prophesy to the prophet!
If we look forward to 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 we see Jabez. His mother named him, and the name means sorrow-maker. Jabez cries out to God and despite his name, God answers his request. All we know of the man is his name, his petition, and God’s sense of humour dancing over his faith!
The Gospels are full of the humour of God. Jesus Himself is a walking joke – until the power flows. From the worldly perspective, Jesus is the illegitimate child of a carpenter. Not a king, descended from David’s line, definitely, but so far removed from Israel’s throne that it’s almost impossible to count how many other heirs would need to die before he got that crown.
But Jesus’s humour was a message with meaning that the “learned” people couldn’t understand. They were so far removed from Godliness that when God Himself walked with them they couldn’t recognise Him.
His birth was announced by shepherds, and news reached Herod because three men stopped to ask for directions. Then there’s His miracles. Cana, just after He’s baptized by John and He’s at a wedding. The host runs out of wine, and Jesus’s mother asks Him to help. So He does – Each amphora used to hold water was probably between 4 and 5 feet tall, and probably held gallons of liquid. Imagine the twinkle in His eye as He tells them to fill the jars to the brim, then take the contents to the taster. I can see the “Wait for it” look in His eyes as the bemused servers take the contents across and the purest red wine of the highest quality pours into the cup and the startled taster declares it to be the best wine of the night.
Peter says he needs cash to pay the Temple Tax. Jesus tells him to go fish – literally – and there in the fish’s mouth is enough for both of their taxes!
The disciples are drowning on a sinking ship, Jesus casually strolls over to them on top of the sea and as if that’s not enough, Peter calls to Him and His response “Come!” and Peter walks on top of the waves as well.
God’s Truth makes mockery of Man’s facts. The crowning punchline of the Gospel is the Resurrection itself. The Pharisees crucified Him and walked away, Jesus got up again with the sun three days later. Peter had denied Him three times, and after the resurrection he goes back to the life he knows – fishing. He’s dragging the nets all night with nothing – just like 3 years before. Then Jesus stands there on the shore and calls out – like before – let down the nets again. And the nets are filled with a mammoth catch. They go to the shore and Jesus is already cooking fish for them. There must have been a twinkle in His eye as He sat with the disciples just like old times. They must have enjoyed the joke together as they went out into the World to tell everyone about Jesus.
The Truth of God makes men’s thinking sheer folly. His wisdom is so far removed from ours that we are totally baffled by His ways. The only logical thing to do sometimes when a miracle hits your life is laugh. If we try to understand it we’ll just end up with a headache, so just enjoy the ride.
We’ll have Eternity to ponder the humour of God together!