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    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Laughing at Jesus

    I'm sure you remember what it's like to be laughed at, I know I do. It's the moment you say something or do something and someone thinks it would be a great time to laugh at you for your words, or your actions. Have you ever thought that God was laughed at? When someone laughed at you, what was your response? What do you think God's response would be?

    These and many more questions piled into my brain as I was reading through Luke's Gospel. Here, we see Jesus getting laughed at and ridiculed...before the cross! Here's the story from Luke 8:49-56

    "While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, "Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher anymore." But Jesus on hearing this answered him, "Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well." And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, "Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand he called, saying, "Child, arise." And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.

    This struck me because I never thought anyone ever laughed at Jesus. I remember when Sarah laughed at God when He told her she was going to bare a son in her old age, but I never thought someone laughed at Jesus.

    They laughed because Jesus said: "...she is not dead but sleeping". To them, they clearly saw that the girl was dead and not merely sleeping. Yet Jesus saw a girl who simply needed wakened. They laughed because they doubted anything could be done at this point. If you remember, the people from the house came out when she had died that Jesus was no longer needed because she was dead. Don't have him even bother now, this situation is hopeless.

    When I first read that they had "laughed" at Jesus I was pretty angry with them. How could you laugh at Jesus? I was thinking they must have real balls to make fun of God.

    Then I asked myself: "Has God ever said something to me and I laughed at Him?"

    When God tells me something I think is impossible, or just plain stupid (in my mind) do I not also laugh at God? Do I not also ridicule His thoughts and words to me, thinking that what He has just said to me is absurd?

    I must confess, I have indeed laughed at God. I have heard His words to me and I laughed at how silly it sounded, or how impossible it seemed. That's why Sarah laughed. She was WELL passed birthing years, yet God said you will give birth. She was WAY passed breast feeding days, yet God said she would wean her child. The only outward expressions she could show was her doubt, which came about by her laughter.

    When I think of crazy things God said in the Bible that I would've laughed at, I always come to the books of Joshua and Ezekiel. God told Joshua and Ezekiel to do some crazy, weird and wacky things. Ezekiel had to lay siege to his clay model of Jerusalem. Joshua had to march around a city seven times, and then tell the people to shout loudly (all in an effort to destroy a whole city). Ezekiel also was asked to cook a meal in front of people using his own poop! I would've laughed really hard at that (probably because I work with Middle Schoolers and "poop" is one of the funniest words in their vocabulary)!

    God may call us to crazy things that seem absolutely impossible to us. Those things may make us laugh, but God can accomplish them without flinching!

    Look at Jesus reaction to the laughter. "But taking her by the hand he called, saying, "Child, arise." And her spirit returned, and she got up at once."
    Jesus reaction was to ignore the laughter and do what he said was able to be done. He brought her back to life, or in Jesus own words: woke her up. He didn't scorn the people for laughing, nor did he defend himself; Jesus simply did His miraculous work.
    God did the very same thing with Sarah in Genesis. She laughed at God, but God didn't reprimand her insolence, nor did he defend Himself...he simply did what He said would be done.
    My take away from this obscure passage is that even when God calls me to something that is laughable to me...He will do as He says. His word is true and His word will come about in my life!