G.K. Chesterton famously said that the Gospels don’t reveal Jesus’ mirth. It’s true we never catch Jesus laughing. But can we believe He never did? I don’t think so.
Laughter is human, and Jesus was fully human. Jesus promised that those who mourned would laugh. He mourned; would He not also have laughed?
Jesus spent so much of His time eating and drinking that His enemies accused him of being a drunk. Is it conceivable that He never cracked a smile at one of those dinners?
We know Jesus rejoiced. When the seventy return with a report on their mission, Jesus rejoices in the Spirit and praises the Father (Luke 10:21).
We can say Jesus laughed and rejoiced because He led a fully human life. We must also say that He laughed and rejoiced because He was True God.
Yahweh laughs at the futile agitation of the nations (Psalm 2). He laughs at the wicked because their day is coming (Psalm 37:13). Wisdom laughs at folly (Proverbs 1:26).
Yahweh exults over His Bride; He rejoices over her with shouts of joy (Zephaniah 3:17), even as Zion rejoices in Him (Zephaniah 3:14).
Christmas begins to bring redemption to a climax. Christmas also reveals God. In Jesus, the laughter of heaven comes to earth, as the God who rejoices over His bride rejoices as man.
Peter Leithart is President of Theopolis Institute.