Was Jesus sarcastic?
I’ve asked myself many questions this past year. Questions that have yet to be resolved. Many with my faith at the forefront – some without – but still questions unanswered nonetheless.(Sidenote) There are three things in life that wet my whistle:
- Questions without solutions
- The moment I completely forget what I wanted to say
Moving on. I’ve been reading The Shack over the last week or so and this is my main chicken (or is it beef?*) with the book. The Carpenter, as well as other members of the Trinity – I won’t mention names*, reply sarcastically to the main character of the story in many instances. Yes, all in good fun, but it has me thinking about what the everyday dialogue of Jesus looked and sounded like when He walked the earth. We don’t have every word of Jesus’ in ink, but it would be nice if we did. I guess that may cause some issues though. In any case, this is my short imagining of a modern-day sarcastic Jesus. Think of it presented as in a story or a play…
After a series of arguments and fighting, Peter decided to find out the truth of the matter for himself.
“Jesus,” Peter inquired, “who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
“Your mother!” Jesus snapped snidely, letting out a heap of laughter.
Maybe this is a little extreme, but nonetheless, I seem to think sarcasm seldom fell upon our King’s lips. Much less than I find in my own conversations, at least. But don’t take my word for it. C.S. Lewis had this to say in his final book of the Narnia series, The Last Battle:
“There is a kind of happiness and wonder that makes you serious. It is too good to waste on jokes.”
The more I rediscover this statement, the less fault I find with it. The wonder, awe, love, and fear God consistently upholds are irrefutable to any born-again Christian. For instance, whenever I take in a breathtaking sunset, I am not naturally inclined to joke and jab at the brilliant colors. Awe inspires wonder and fear, which go beyond words – even words of affection. This view of God motivates us to joy and love that go beyond empty joking. I’m starting to view sarcasm and such joking as more of an escape and divergence from the reality of who we really are, rather than as a tool for building others up in love. In my own case, I joke and poke sarcastic fun with good intentions whenever I feel uncomfortable in a conversation, have little else to say, or even when I feel a comfort with a group/person in which I am accustomed to mocking them. This sort of joking can bring down any well-meaning relationship to a shallowness difficult to retrieve.
The tongue steers the ship and sparks a fire in the forest, but it has the power, when submitted to Christ, to bring healing (James 3). I still don’t know if Jesus came as a caustic, knee-slapping Savior, but as long as we choose to die to our human desires of comfort and pleasing people – as Christ died for us – He promises His life in us, and ours in His.
“2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:2-3 (NIV)
We are no longer under the oppression of the Law or slavery. It’s not about what we say or what we don’t say, but it’s about dying to our desires and allowing His life to shine through us. No two lives will reflect Christ the same (some laughing and joking more than others!), as we are all created beautifully different, but our character will grow nearer to that of Jesus’ as we take up our cross daily and follow Him.
Allow Christ’s life in you to change your environment, rather than letting your environment change your life in Christ. The latter is proven a path to minor and passing fulfillment. Love wins. Every time.
*Please note sarcastic remarks.