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Bible Greek Jesus

Jesus with a Sense of Humor

You either hear him as a smart alec or as a guy with a sense of humor. As Jesus and his mother interact, he’s either being sharp and dismissive or he’s being playful. Here’s John 2:4–5:

καὶ ὑστερήσαντος οἴνου λέγει ἡ μήτηρ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ πρὸς αὐτόν· οἶνον οὐκ ἔχουσιν. 4 λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί, γύναι; οὔπω ἥκει ἡ ὥρα μου. 5 λέγει ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ τοῖς διακόνοις· ὅ τι ἂν λέγῃ ὑμῖν, ποιήσατε.

When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They don’t have any wine.” Jesus said to her, “That’s not my problem, lady. My time hasn’t come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever he says to you do it.”

Is there anything in the text itself that should shape how we hear Jesus’ words? I think so. Look at how his mother responds. She isn’t offended. She responds as though Jesus words mean he will do what she asked.

I imagine she rolls her eyes with a smirk as she turns to the servants. She gives Jesus a “Boy, don’t give me that” look in response to his jest. If Jesus were genuinely irritated and he was saying the matter wasn’t his responsibility, why would she have responded by telling the servants to be ready for his instructions?

When his mother came to him, I imagine Jesus himself listend with a smirk, and that smirk turned to a full-faced smile and maybe a chuckle as he said, “That’s not my problem, lady.”

Isn’t that change of tone significant? If you struggle to see and hear Jesus this way, but then you see it enough times, might that not affect how readily you run to him when you need help? When confronted with your brokenness and you need somewhere to run, are you more likely to go to a person that is kind and knows how to laugh or to the sharp-tongued, stoic wise man?