Common English Bible (CEB)
46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and don’t do what I say? 47 I’ll show what it’s like when someone comes to me, hears my words, and puts them into practice. 48 It’s like a person building a house by digging deep and laying the foundation on bedrock. When the flood came, the rising water smashed against that house, but the water couldn’t shake the house because it was well built. 49 But those who don’t put into practice what they hear are like a person who built a house without a foundation. The floodwater smashed against it and it collapsed instantly. It was completely destroyed.”
One of the blessings of having 4 different versions of the Gospel is that you get to see Jesus from 4 different perspectives. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, while all authoritative, see and interpret the teachings of Jesus in their own ways.
John is hellbent on getting you to believe in Jesus, and that Jesus is God. John just doesn’t understand why anyone can’t see that Jesus is the light of the world, the son of the father, yadda yadda yadda. As a result, Jesus just comes off as angry almost all the time.
Luke, on the other hand, makes Jesus seem very believable, at least in this passage. Jesus isn’t just God, he’s also a human. In fact, he rather likes people. He’s giving a sermon. He’s accessible. He’s using the language of the people, speaking in examples, images, and yes, even jokes.
I think that’s a part of Jesus people forget. We always focus on just one aspect of Jesus, but we forget that Jesus was a 3-dimensional, living, breathing person. Jesus was kind of funny, when he wanted to be. I mean, this part comes right after that whole “love your enemies” kick. Jesus lightens the mood by telling people to get a log out of your eye.
That’s actually pretty funny. So is telling people about a house built without a foundation, the first thing you do when you build a house. He’s trying to engage people’s imagination, get them thinking, and people think more when you’re telling jokes. That’s why comedy is such a powerful tool.
Comedy is thought provoking. Indeed, it is provocative. It gets people to do stuff, more than just telling people to do stuff. It’s bringing people around to your way of thinking. It’s persuasive. It’s accessible.
A fuller treatment of the humor of Jesus is given in countless books, and here’s an article that illustrates the point in a different way.
Personally, I’m grateful for this. I like being humorous. I like to laugh, and point out the absurdity in all of this, especially after yesterday’s post. I need to laugh; we need to laugh. It’s therapeutic as much as it is thought provoking. I can’t stand people who can’t laugh at themselves, and recognize life for more than being just doom and gloom. Life is silly. Life is absurd. Life has beauty and joy, and if we ignore that, well I don’t think we’re very human.
Lent is a time of self examination, and if we only see the sin in ourselves, we are denying the beauty and goodness God created us with. I don’t deny that humans are broken, but those broken bits are still beautiful We’re still God’s children, fearfully and wonderfully made, and that should give us joy. If we can’t laugh about ourselves, we won’t learn about ourselves. If we can’t laugh about it, we still have that log in our eye.
I think it’s time we had a log-ectomy.