Why Jesus Never Laughed

We watch, look, and wonder how it is that our culture can continue its headlong march into depravity. We think that there will be a turning point, where our country will suddenly turn around and actually seek holiness and God’s righteousness. But it is not happening.

Yes, I know the gospel is going forth in parts of the world where it has not been uttered in centuries, and that is a good thing. But alas, not in our country. We see headlines about pastors who fall into depravity and they feel no sense of shame. We see churches run off their pastors even though their pastors are being faithful in preaching the gospel. I wrote about one such episode last week, and learned of another one this past weekend.

We see the headlines in the news and find that its a sin just to be white and even a bigger sin to be a Christian who actually believes the Bible. Between Supreme Court rulings and condemnation of our culture, we ache. Between men who think they are women and white women who think they are black, we shudder.

Common sense, and even science, have been tossed aside in our culture. Collectively, all that is necessary for something to be right and just is for the collective to declare it so, and the collective changes it’s mind as to what that is, every few days. We shudder in response to it all.

The world is nothing like it should be. Human reason and logic are completely tossed aside. New levels of depravity are paraded as normal by the hour. All our attempts to point the culture and the world back to Christ and what is truly good, holy, and just, seem to be in vain. The world is not listening.

And it never has. Jesus said as much.

What we are seeing, experiencing, and feeling is what He saw, felt, and experienced while on this earth. We forget that He was the only true holy Being to ever step into humanity.  From the moment of His conception to His crucifixion, He experienced sin as no one else. Not that He joined in that sin, but wherever He looked, He saw the sin, and the depravity of mankind.

This is why I believe Scripture never mentions Christ laughing while on earth. He was burdened with the sin of mankind. For Him, it was always there. For Him, He lived with it daily, knowing that it was driving Him to the cross.

We forget that we are beings so entrenched in sin, that He had to give us His Law in order for us to know our sin. But He didn’t need the Law to know what sin is and was. He defined sin when He gave the Law.

Out of His love for His people, He stepped into the world filled with it’s sin and depravity. He willingly came here. Not so that He could point out to us that we are sinners. That is what I would have done. He came to rescue us from that which entraps us and binds us. He came to deliver us from the depth of our sin.

The beauty is that in the process, He allows us to join in the depths of His sufferings while He was on earth. We tend to think that His sufferings only took place while He was on the cross. But His humiliation began at conception, because He was subjected to the sinful, fallen world. He took on flesh in order to redeem His people and the weight of sin was there from the first moment on the earth, to the last.

Think of the humility involved in all this. He, who knew no sin, who was exalted as high as one could be exalted, laid it aside so that He might save some for Himself. Laying aside all the glory due to His name and person, He entered into the fallen world filled with sin that confronted His very holy nature. Sin is affront to God. It is rebellion against God. Yet, He humbled Himself and submitted to those who continued on in their rebellion to the point that they put Him to death.

This is all very serious and the weight of these matters was exceedingly abundant upon Him. Given that He never side-stepped the Father’s will on even the least of the laws of God, He was always about the Father’s business. It was serious business and He never had any time for gaiety or frivolity.

As believers grow in Christ and recognize their own sinfulness, and see the sin in the world, we begin to understand why He never laughed. The gospel is serious business. It is a burden that HE has given us. In joining Him in His sufferings, we truly begin to see what He saw. We feel what He felt. And when we do, we see how it is that He never laughed. He was serious about His calling, and we need to be serious about our calling as well.

We truly are in the midst of a spiritual war. We tend to forget this when those worldly distractions come into our purview. And worldly distractions are part of the enemy’s attack on us. We may not realize, but things like sports, entertainment, technology, fashion and a host of other things are part of the enemy’s plan to distract us. How do we counter such things? By remembering who it is that we serve.

Jesus Christ is more than just a Savior, He is also our King. We serve a living and true King everyday, not some political despot promising false glory. Our King knows our name and knows us personally. He died on the cross in order to win us from the bondage of the world, flesh, and the devil. We are not random people scattered across the earth, but His chosen people, a royal priesthood, rescued and called to serve Him, our King.

This is one of the reason why I have always wanted to start a church with the name Christ the King. It helps us remember who it is that we serve, daily. Remembering our King gives us a clarity to our labors like no other. If our King could come and wash feet, in His humility, and we remember that we are serving Him daily, then the things He calls upon us to do in our lives do not seem as trite. Becoming a bottle washer is no longer just mundane labor, but the calling God places on the bottle washer, for the bottle washer serves a King.

Our King is not looking for the bold and the beautiful, He is looking for the faithful in the ordinary. He is also looking for those of us who are serious about our calling. This doesn’t mean that we cannot enjoy life, laugh now and then, and enjoy fellowship. But it means we need to remember the seriousness of our King when He served on earth, and do likewise.


3 thoughts on “Why Jesus Never Laughed

  1. I agree with so much of what you’re saying here. The world around us keeps getting worse and worse every day. Just when one thinks they’ve ‘seen it all’: something even worse shows up.

    Yes–Christians need to be serious about their faith, and Whom it is they serve. At the same time, though–I see no mention of the joy and peace, with the forgiveness of sins, that God gives freely to His people. Am I to guess that real believers are to go around with sad and/or serious faces all the time? How will unbelievers be attracted to that?

    As for Jesus ‘not laughing’ while He was on earth: I can’t imagine Him not smiling at least, when in the presence of the children (the one incident mentioned in the Gospels). Or when He spent time in the company of Lazarus, Martha and Mary. Yes, He was the ‘Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief’, as Isaiah 53 says. But I can’t think that He didn’t smile sometimes, while with the disciples, or the two instances mentioned above.

    Just my two cents.


    • Good point. We are called to joy, but also being serious. I don’t believe the two are mutually exclusive. Remember joy is not the same as happy, but something completely different. WE can have joy in the midst of tribulation, and we should, as difficult as it is. As for drawing men to Christ through our actions, I think simply by keeping His commandments, we will do that. Yet, even given that, we must remember that we, and our actions, are not the gospel. Jesus Christ, His work, death and resurrection is the gospel, the power that saves men, not the church. We point to the gospel and proclaim the gospel, but we are never the gospel.

      Thanks for sharing your two cents, I do appreciate it.


  2. Oh yes–I totally agree that ‘we are never the gospel’. And ‘joy’ isn’t the same as being ‘happy’, for sure. I guess I was a bit inarticulate here; I am no theologian. Churches definitely don’t save–I know: I was brought up in Roman Catholicism, and they made it nearly impossible for one to be saved!


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