God Makes Me Laugh
"God has made me Laugh and all who hear about it will laugh at me." These are the words of Sarah after she bore a child to Abraham when both were in advanced old age. Sarah named this child "Isaac" which means "laughter." Thus believers, as descendants of Abraham and Isaac are "children of laughter." Luke takes the theme of joy and laughter through his whole gospel. The angels at Jesus's birth announce "good news of great joy" to all the people. Jesus presents his teaching in the form of grace and surprise which prompt joy and laughter on the part of the gospel audience. Luke has before him the image of a "laughing Jesus." As a climactic story, Jesus visits Jericho near the Dead Sea. The chief tax collector for Rome, Zaccheus, a most unpopular man, small in stature and character as well, climbs a tree so he can see Jesus coming in spite of the crowds. Jesus spots him with laughter, and calls out, to the dismay of the crowd, "Zaccheus, hurry up and climb down, I'm going to have dinner at your house today." Luke's gospel presents Jesus as a comic contrast to many ultra-serious religious teachers by his concern for the outcast, strangers, and marginalized of society.
Joseph A. Grassi