I have a hard time believing that Jesus did not laugh. I have done a
A child in Jesus' presence must have sensed love to the extreme when they looked at Jesus. He genuinely cared about the children and their seemingly insignificant [at least to the disciples] desires. The children clearly loved this smiling Jesus.
There is nothing wrong with laughter or desiring to use humor in a play. Humor engages the audience and can be an outlet for serious emotion. It is important, however, that in our attempt at writing humor into a play of Christian proportions, that we do not damage the credibility of God or His representatives. Humor should be purposeful and not derogatory or deprecating in any manner. In fact, I will go one step further and encourage writers to not use this kind of humor [although it is sadly prevalent on the big and little screens today] in anything they write – biblical or otherwise.
Unfortunately, some have difficulty hearing the laughter of Jesus because too often He is portrayed as a stern, authoritative person, stoic in appearance and pokerfaced in response. But, excuse me, people. Jesus embodied humanity. He was put on this earth so that He could experience what we experience. He cried. He felt sorrow. He demonstrated anger and He displayed deep compassion. He got excited. He experienced trepidation. And He laughed.
Jesus used sarcasm, puns, enigmas and paradoxes as he communicated. We need to understand how and when to effectively use them, too. Remember the sarcastic comment Jesus made to his disciples and the gathered people about snakes and stones? The conversation was serious in tone but Jesus used a sarcastic line or two to make the people sit up and think. “If a child asks his father for a loaf of bread, will he be given a stone instead? If he asks for fish, will he be given a poisonous snake?” Matthew 7:9-10 TLB. Can you envision the smile on His face as He spoke? What a funny guy Jesus must have been at times.
We need to study the parables and His teachings and see how he used these techniques to captivate His audience. Jesus' parables usually had an O. Henry surprise ending that would have left people chuckling. Jesus loved to use the absurd to make his point. Remember the camel going through the eye of a needle story? Now that's a bit of a knee slapper when you consider the futility of such a goal. Jesus had to have been parleying that one with a smile on his face.
Jesus was no dreary and dull Messiah. His standard greeting to his disciples was, "Rejoice!” Isn‟t that a pretty obvious command to put on a happy face? And how could he possibly dish out that directive without a smile? A stern, wrinkled brow wouldn't have worked. A hearty laugh and beckoning arms raised heavenward is more how I picture it.
So whether you are concerned about injecting the occasional bit of humor into a play you are writing, or perhaps you are creating a full length comedy for an outreach, do it with Jesus in mind. Follow His example. He did smile. He had to. [I'm still laying my PB& C sandwich on the line.]
Our Creator God Himself willingly and purposefully gave us the gift and appreciation for discerning humor. He never once said, "Whoops,‟ as he looked upon and listened to the hearty laughter of His people.
Tasteful, well-timed humor written thoughtfully into a stage play can engage an audience and make characters come alive and seem real. People can relate. And there is nothing better than an audience being able to relate to something you have written to the glory of God.
Laughter is a good tonic. God said so. “A cheerful heart does good like medicine...” Proverbs 17:22 TLB.