HeWept, He Got Angry, and He Smiled.
Did He Laugh?
Did Jesus Laugh?
We all have that one friend who tends to laugh at inappropriate times. Flat tire, they’re laughing. Trip and fall, they’re laughing. Breakup, they’re laughing. If you don't have a friend like this, chances are, you’re that person. Psychology tells us it’s more of a nervous reaction to discomfort rather than a vindictive response. I'll agree it certainly can cut the tension, but can you say, a-w-k-w-a-r-d?
I've always wondered why there isn’t a single verse in the Bible about Jesus laughing. We know he wept; we know he got angry; we know he doubted; and we know he smiled. But nowhere does it mention him laughing. I've read articles that state he didn’t laugh because of the tremendous burden he carried. The weight of the sins of all humankind is not a light load. And definitely, the work of our Savior is not to be taken lightly. But if we are truly made in the image of God, and Jesus experienced everything we experience as humans, then he must have laughed in his earthly life. And if you study the 12 pals he hung out with, there is certainly a lot to be entertained by in that group.
Who Laughs in the Bible?
The majority of laughter occurring in the Bible is a reaction of doubt, disbelief, or confusion. For example, Sarah literally laughs at God when he tells her she will bear a son after being barren for over 80 years (Genesis 18:12). And when Jesus healed Jairus’s daughter, the crowd laughed at him in disbelief (Matthew 9:24).
Does this mean laughter is wrong? Ha!
We don’t learn to laugh. It’s an innate response. Laughing is in our God-given DNA. One of the first emotions newborns express is laughter. And there is nothing more contagious. Just try holding a laughing baby without laughing yourself.
We’re told to Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! (Philippians 4:4).
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness...
Pure laughter is a gift from our Creator, flowing from joy. And we know that joy is a gift of the spirit. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (Galatians 5:22). Laughter, like tears, is a preprogrammed outlet for our soul…to release an overflow of emotion.
So did Jesus ever laugh? I believe he did. And I certainly believe he makes a joyful noise every time a lost child returns home.