I blame Rachel Held Evans and her blog’s “Week of Mutuality.” I was doing some idle net surfing this morning, and I came across a banner advertisement for a hotel chain that was advertising a complimentary hot breakfast. The only problem was, I initially thought that it was advertising a complimentarian hot breakfast. What, I wondered, was that? Was that a hotel that gave you a place to send your wife to so that she could make you breakfast? Was it a meal that gave hierarchal status to meats over fruit?
Anyway, things have been a little too serious on this blog lately. A little, dare I say it, dour. It’s been a long time since I haven’t been stressing about something related to Christianity. So, in the spirit of maybe chilling the hell out just a little bit, I thought I would do a quick mini-post on something that tickles my fancy.
Funny Bible verses.
Funny Bible Verse the First
The first Bible verse is one of Brandi’s favorites. It comes from 1 Kings 22: 6-8. The king of Israel, Ahab, has decided that it’s time to bring some “end of days” action to the town of Ramoth-gilead. He’s shooting the breeze with the King of Judah, where they’re basically high-fiving each other, drinking brews, and writing “Fuck Ramoth-gilead” on their tee shirts. Then Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, points out that maybe they should make sure that God was cool with all of this.
6 So the king of Israel summoned the prophets, about 400 of them, and asked them, “Should I go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I hold back?”
They all replied, “Yes, go right ahead! The Lord will give the king victory.”
7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not also a prophet of the Lord here? We should ask him the same question.”
8 The king of Israel replied to Jehoshaphat, “There is one more man who could consult the Lord for us, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but trouble for me! His name is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
Jehoshaphat replied, “That’s not the way a king should talk! Let’s hear what he has to say.” (NLT)
I just picture these two big bearded dudes. They’ve asked over four hundred prophets if they should go to war, and every single one of them was for it. But then one of them suggests that they bring in one final prophet (just in case?) and King Ahab immediate starts sulking. “Not thaaaaaaat one, he never says nice things!”
And of course, Micaiah tells the King that if he attacks the town he’s going to die, because God is trying to “off” him in a way that can only be described as “uncharacteristically subtle” for Old Testament Yahweh.
What’s funny about this is that I get the feeling that King Ahab must have been deliberately avoiding Micaiah the whole time – I’m sure he was in the Yellow Pages, and clearly Ahab had dealt with him before. I’m sure he thought, after trotting out four hundred other prophets, that Jehoshaphat surely wouldn’t ask about that one.
Bummer that didn’t work out for him.
Funny Bible Verse the Second
Here’s the set-up –
Book of Acts.
The apostles have just witnessed their Lord ascending to the heavens. Angels in white raiment have consoled them in their grief. Then, gathering together, they set about to replace the position within the twelve disciples that had once been held by Judas Iscariot. It is a time of solemn reflection. “What now,” they must have wondered, “shall we do?”
Then, the day of Pentecost arrives. All of the disciples are gathered together in one house, when suddenly –
– a violent wind fills the house! Tongues of fire come to rest on those within! The men and women begin to speak in the languages of all those assembled! A crowd of onlookers forms. . .
“7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”” (NIV)
Undeterred, however, a small number amongst the onlookers come to their own conclusion.
“Bullshit. They’re drunk.”
Now, that isn’t the part that makes me laugh. What makes me laugh is how Peter responds to it. Remember, Peter is part of a crowd that has just been visited by the Holy Spirit in a way that is awe inspiring. The violent wind, the tongues of flame, the magical ability to speak a speech that every person hears as their native tongue – Peter has just been experiencing some crazy, crazy God shit. He could justifiably ignore the idiots in the crowd – idiots who have to ignore several miracles and the consensus of the hundreds of people around them just to hold their stupid opinion – but instead, he attempts to reason with them.
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!” (NIV)
Seriously, Peter? These people aren’t swayed by an otherworldly manifestation of the Holy Spirit, but you think they’ll be silenced because you’re pointing out it’s not happy hour?
Funny Bible Verse the Third
Jesus is Lord. Jesus is Savior. Jesus is the most christened Christ in Christendom. And if Jesus the Christ, Lord and Savior, wants a fig, you give him a goddamn fig.
18 In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, 19 and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up. (Mat 21:18, 19 NLT)
Waitaminute. . . did Jesus just “Finger of Death” a tree for not having any fruit on it?
To me, this verse really shows that Jesus wasn’t just God – he was also a man, with a man’s desires, and pains, and limitations, and. . . a man’s temper. Because I know exactly how the Lord felt right at that moment. Just the other day, I was at work, plugging away at my desk, when it occurred to me that nothing in the world would be as tasty, at that exact moment, as an ice cream sandwich. So I went up to the cafeteria on the second floor, went to the little freezer where they keep the ice cream – and found they had emptied the freezer and turned it off so they could clean it. And I tell you the 100% truth, if I could have smote that freezer right then and there, I would have left a smoking hole in the cafeteria floor. In this one case, the biggest difference between me and Jesus wasn’t what we would do, it’s what we could do.
Bonus – the disciples had a question! Let’s hear it.
20 The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?”
21 Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. 22 You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
Kudos to those guys for asking such a practical question. It’s more than I’m capable of. If I’d just seen the Lord destroy a fig tree for not having a fruit on it, my first question wouldn’t have been, “How did you do that?”
Mine would have been, “. . . anyone know if it’s fig season?”
Do you guys have any Bible versus that ever made you laugh out loud, or even LOL?