(This article comes from The Book Room - The Christian Post's new section for book enthusiasts and authors.)
April 1 – April Fools’ Day – is a day for comedy, mischief and Tomfoolery. Certainly not a day Christians, right? After all Jesus never told jokes, right? Well Coffee with Jesus cartoonist David Wilkie would argue that not only does humor have a place among Christianity, but Jesus did tell a joke or two during His ministry.
He explained, “When I read the gospel, I see a little bit of the jokester in Jesus. The classic example is of course is as He’s talking to the Pharisees, He [says they are] straining the gnat and swallowing the camel. We’ve read that and heard that so many times but we forget it’s actually a joke. You know that’s a line that probably got a pretty good laugh from the farmers and the shopkeepers and peasants standing around listening – Haha, did you hear what he said? He said they’re straining a gnat and swallowing a camel – that’s a good line and it’s kind of sarcastic.”
Wilkie explores the jokester side of Jesus reveled in Matthew’s gospel in his online comic Coffee with Jesus. The four-panel comic strip published regularly on the Radio Free Babylon website and Facebook and Twitter accounts allows readers to listen in on a funny yet insightful chat between Jesus and five of his friends. The Coffee with Jesus strips have made waves among Christians and non-Christians alike and were recently compiled into self-titled book.
The success of Coffee with Jesus comic does not come without some risk, particularly in trying to portray Jesus.
“There’s a danger, yes, in making Him) too human and not God but there’s also a danger in making Him too divine and not human. He was a human. He’s hanging out with these 12 followers of His for three years, they have to have had inside jokes and gotten to know each other’s’ personalities. Surely there was some ribbing. It wasn’t all walking with their eyes down to the ground and their hands folded,” reasons Wilkie.
Consider the comic strip “Silly, Passing Political Argument”:
Carl: One of my oldest friends has been posting stupid, politically ignorant things on Facebook, Jesus. We’ve been arguing in the comments a lot lately.
Jesus: It’d be a shame to lose an old friend over some silly, passing political argument, Carl.
Carl: Tell me about it Jesus! He’s being such an idiot! It’s eating me up inside. What should I do?
Jesus: Uhhh… quit arguing?
The rest of the interview is available here.