Did Jesus ever laugh?

There are many who believe that Jesus never laughed. Many people even prefer to picture Christ as a stoic or silent Savior. The root of this perception may be because popular portraits of Jesus depict Him broken on the cross, or sternly administering to His followers. Because Jesus experienced every emotion that we experience today, He felt loneliness, rejection (Mark 6:1–6; Isaiah 53:3), anger (Mark 11:15), sadness (John 11:35), and fear (Matthew 26:42). Jesus is able to empathize with our human struggles because He has experienced every human emotion.

This means that Jesus also experienced joy, surprise, love, and lightheartedness. The Gospels contain a picture of Jesus as a well-rounded man. He was magnetic and enjoyed being around people! We can read much laughter and joy into Jesus' interactions with children. He carried them and loved time with them. It is in a child's nature to play and experience joy. Oftentimes we envy the joyful innocence and laughter of children. Children were drawn to Jesus, and Jesus stated that children should be able to run to Him unhindered (Matthew 19:14).

Jesus also displayed humor in his teachings by using hyperbole. He does this in the sermon about the camel fitting through the eye of a needle (Matthew 19:24) and in the sermon of the log that an individual may find in their eye if they judge someone (Matthew 7:3–5). Jesus encouraged laughter in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5; Luke 6), and told parables that ended in rejoicing (Luke 15). At times, he was even chastised for being too joyful (Luke 7:34).

Jesus shows that we should experience joy and laughter. Jesus experienced it, and as the Son of God, made in God's image, God experiences joy as well. Jesus even describes the angels rejoicing (Luke 15:10).

To deny that Jesus laughed or ever had joy bubble up from His spirit is to deny a huge aspect of His humanity. How could Christ experience the depth of our sorrow or pain if He never experienced joy or laughter on the other side of our human spectrum of emotion? Although there is no verse that says, "Jesus laughed," we know that He could not have been the Son of Man if He did not share that large aspect of humanity with us. Laughter is a part of our lives, and we know that Jesus empathized with us in all of our humanity (Hebrews 4:14–16).

Related Truth:

What was the historical Jesus like? Who was Jesus as a person?

Does the Bible talk about the way Jesus interacted with children?

We're taught that Jesus loves the little children, does He?

How is Jesus a friend of sinners?

What were the key events in the life of Jesus?

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