The Gospel is a Joke

I don’t mean “the Gospel is a joke” in a pejorative way. I mean it in a metaphorical way:

  • When you hear it, you either get it or you don’t.
  • You can explain it and explain it and explain it and people will still not get it.
  • Sometimes after years of not getting it, something happens in your life that makes you say, “Oh, now I get it.” We call this feeling an epiphany.
  • You can tell by the quality of their laughter whether or not people get it. Some laugh along because they think they’re supposed to. Some assume that to be good, the joke must be at someone’s expense…
  • …but the best jokes are not told at anyone else’s expense. The best presentations of the Gospel contain no malice or contempt.
  • Sometimes you hear it so often you stop laughing. But maybe one day it sneaks up on you and you get it again, and you start laughing and can’t stop.
  • Sometimes you laugh so hard it hurts. Sometimes you laugh through your tears.
  • Sometimes you hear it and it’s not funny. Sometimes it’s the delivery. Other times it’s your attitude.
  • Something about being with other people who get it makes you laugh that much harder. Sometimes a group of you start laughing and you can’t stop, because you keep each other going. These moments of joy are when you feel most strongly that life is good, that this is a slice of heaven, and you want it to never end.
  • Sometimes when you try to tell it, it’s not funny. Usually it is because you are trying too hard. The best humor and the best Gospel emerges from being authentically human.
  • When you tell a really good joke, nobody stops you by saying, “Yeah, I’ve heard that before,” because it’s worth hearing again.
  • Sometimes you don’t laugh, but you smile inside.

100 thoughts on “The Gospel is a Joke

  1. That last one is, I suppose, the whole John Wesley, ” I felt my heart grow strangely warm” thing… right? haha

  2. This line: “The best humor and the best Gospel emerges from being authentically human.” Haha…I had just finished a post on our humanity as God’s greatest gift to us. Thanks.

  3. I have to say, your title was jarring enough that I just had to see what you had to say. It’s an interesting metaphor; I might use it the next time someone tells me the Gospel a “joke” (thankfully, no one has yet),

  4. I used to hear several jokes about the gospel in church. One of them was, “Did you know the disciples drove a Honda? Yeah, they were all in one Accord.” Let the knee slapping and groaning begin.

  5. The one true gospel is the Mashiach, Yeshua of Nazareth, died for our sins according to the Old Testament, He was buried and He rose again the third day according to the Old Testament (Luke 24, 1 Cor 15:1-6). And Gal 1 declares twice, “If any person preach any other gospel unto you that what you received (what Paul preached- 1 Cor 15:1-6), let him or her be accursed!

    • The one true gospel I know I preach (Luke 24, 1 Cor 15:1-6) is foolishness or a joke to those who do not believe. To those who believe it is words of life.

      • To those who believe, it’s not about “life”, it’s about worshiping Jesus as a god so they can believe they will have an eternal life to do so. That’s not life, it’s servitude to a Narcissist to whom tells you that if you do not hate your life, self, and family that you would not be worthy of him. This to which is clearly noted in the NT.. The problem with believers is that they don’t actually read their Bible or comprehend what’s actually being said.

        It’s like trying to tell a Christian that Immanuel is not Jesus or a prophecy of Jesus as anyone that has actually read Isaiah knows (E)Immanuel is one of Isaiah’s own children among the 3 signs. Christians quote mine Isaiah and so does Matthew to which tells you how fraudulent the story of Jesus actually is. Much of the NT quote mines the OT.

  6. just one comment? are people scared? thanks for putting this out there. come over to my place, maybe you’ll see how i, uh, feel? think? believe … as far as the belief thing is floatin’ …

  7. really good title… I was like ‘whaaaat??’ With my eye brows puzzled. And it made me really wanna read the rest of it.
    You made some really good point there that yes, you might have heard the gospel before but it’s worth hearing again….coz yes at times, we hear it, but not living it.
    Live by the word. Walk by faith. Grace is enough. God bless.

  8. Nicely said, written. I just read something similar about the Tao. “When a conventional person hears about Tao, He breaks into loud laughter, If there were no laughter, It would not be Tao.”

  9. amen,.. anytime something provokes your interest if your smart, you see what it is, that’s if your faith is strong and you fear nothing,. but to lose the love, Jehovah shares with us,….

  10. Yes.. I needed that. Good similarities – I guess somethings the things we make jokes about are the essence of life itself 🙂

  11. Wow. I came here expecting to have to reprimand someone for calling the Gospel a joke – something I take seriously – and instead found something that encouraged me and gave me a good laugh. Nice job!.

  12. Totally great stuff. At first I felt like a skeptic about what you really meant by that title, but after reading on, I was able to understand the meaning behind everything. Very powerful. Love the way you use English to its full power!

  13. Pingback: The Gospel is a Joke | The girl with a heart tattoo. Joke.

  14. Your title really drew me in, and I will be honest, I didn’t want to read it at first but it was like a train wreck that you just have to see! I really love your analogy.

    • Yes, the title really made me sit up and pay attention. I was browsing the Freshly Pressed page and I saw this post: I assumed it was going to be something derogatory or critical but I was totally surprised!

  15. Your headline, made my brain clamor with rebuttals before I even clicked the title, that in itself is noteworthy. Few people excel at grabbing attention in away that plays on words, the way you did, bravo. And beautifully written.

  16. Jesus Christ is Not Dead!
    The Kingdom of God is within YOU!! Luke 17:20-21

    Got Christ?

  17. Two hours ago, I was sitting on a park bench in my new home, thousands of miles away from the place and church I’ve known my whole life. I was feeling discouraged and filled with doubt about the significance of the Gospel. I prayed for some little encouragement, something to remind me of the beauty and truth of God’s word. I’ll take this as my answer. Thanks.

  18. Amazing draw in with the title(only curiosity about the title drew me ) ..Pulled countless folks in & read a beautiful message..Preach! Preach! WORD

  19. Your piece IS the gospel! Here are all these people trying so hard to have the answers, or trying so hard to deny that they are spiritual beings, or trying so hard to set everyone else straight (as a few of your commenters were bent on doing — “reprimanding”), or trying to be perfect and holy…and really, it’s all one big cosmic smile from one big Love. We can stop trying so hard – the yoke is light! Jesus came to “give life to the full,” not to burden us with heavy crap. We are free to love one another.
    Congrats on the Freshly Pressed! Always refreshing to see one on faith. Peace-
    Melanie

  20. Just a thought of mine – will see if it proves valid. Congregations , groups of any faith (joke) are essentially the best proof of Evolution yet. visualize just 1000 people all on the same page / gathered in unity , pulling in the same direction, Yeah- very difficult to say “that doesn’t work” Usually the best of people, sometimes not..

  21. I thought at first you meant that the Gospel is a joke because people will give it to others instead of the help they really need. That’s too often the case right?

  22. Yes GOSPEL IS JOKE! because its from the expressible love of the Soul and Heart, that capture the hard realities……oh of the simple dearly.

  23. Dave, I wish you’d stop insisting that Mormons are normal. Our kids and grandkids have insisted all their lives that Grandpa isn’t right in the head, and I’d hate to think I’m the only one out here!

    There is no cause for sanity, because everyone knows there is no Sanity Cause. (At least in Virginia.)

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