God Cracks Me Up

This morning the Bible class I’m in had a whirlwind tour of several Old Testament prophets, brilliantly led by teacher/elder Steve Stevens.

One of them was Jonah, and in hitting the highlights of the book, it struck me funny that the penitent Ninevites not only repented in sackcloth and ashes, but dressed up their animals and cattle that way as well. So when God closes His explanation for saving them to Jonah, He says: “Shouldn’t I be concerned about Ninevah? I have 120,000 people there who don’t know their left hand from their right … not to mention all those cows!”

That, on the heels of (previous post) recalling the words of Jesus in Matthew 23 for those who tithed their herbs but neglected justice, mercy, and faithfulness: “You blind guides! You strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”

Now there’s a couple of mental pictures.

Then there’s that small camel joke Jesus makes after the rich young man walks away, even after seeing such love in His eyes: “It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” That’s the kind of joke that just goes right through your heart, though. It must have been told through tears as the young man walked away … an attempt to lift the mood and communicate truth at the same time. Not a knee-slapper.

But some of God’s one-liners are truly a hoot.

Have any favorite ones?

5 thoughts on “God Cracks Me Up

  1. He who is without sin should cast the first stone….{You need to teach a how-to blog on templates…although I can now change my graphic very quickly…}

  2. I’ve always thought seeing Balaam’s reaction when his jackass talked to him on the dark road would have been hilarious. There’s got to be the great makings for a redneck joke in there somewhere, don’t you think? Wonder who the “rednecks” of Balaam’s time were. Balaam’s story greatly reminds me of some very TRUE stories a long time friend of mine who’s from way up in the country above Picayune told me recently about her dearly departed little cross-eyed mama, her two good ol’ boy country brothers, and a bunch of wild pigs and hogs they were trying to catch out in the woods to bring home, pen up, and fatten up to eat.One story led to another for over an hour about their pig escapades and I laughed until I cried. I couldn’t see a blasted thing for all the tears in my eyes and running down my face because of the way she was telling the stories and the images she was relating. I’d blog about it all, but it would NOT be the same. There’s no way to write the way she talked about them and about how they talked. The stories have to be told, you know? Probably like some of the stories in the Bible where you had to have been there or heard it first or second hand or else it’s not quite the same.

  3. I am a new subscriber to your blog and I loved this post. I also seem to find theses sorts of things while reading and studying my Bible. In regards to the camel and the eye of the needle reference I have something of interest for you.In Aramaic, the word for “camel” was also the word used to represent a particularly heavy rope made of camel’s hair. The threading of this through a needle would be almost as difficult as the popular mental picture of contortionist dromedary.One of the things I love about Jesus’ parables is that they make sense in a variety of literal and creative contexts. Now matter how you approach them they end up holding the same message for us.You can check out my blog at http://www.joshuaburke.org/blog.htmlJoshua Burke

  4. on one liners. One of my favorites is from Malachi, The prophets are good for this sarcastic language. God says, “Take that to your Governor” As in see if he will accept you blemished gifts.That one sticks with me because it was pointed out to me at an inner city church in Memphis, it was related as, “Its like you are going to court and you show up in some old Elvis t-shirt, Why do you think you should wear those here to church” .. . well I might not agree with the dress code thing, but I remember the lesson.

  5. I like the sarcasm in the Bible, especially of Paul’s. “I hear there is division among you, and I partly believe it.” To me, I find that hilarious, I partly believe it! Then in Galatians where he’s talking about the debate they’re having over circumcision and he says “I wish the members that trouble you were cut off!” It’s fun to watch the commentaries explain that this doesn’t mean what you think it means.

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