Would Jesus Laugh At A Dirty Joke?

laughingAbout a week ago I had the rare privilege of meeting some friends I hadn’t seen for 43 years. We all grew up in the same area of what at the time was the greatest city in the world—our birthplace, Abadan.

Those of you who’ve read my book know that at our small community in Abadan Iran, we all attended the same school, swam at the same pool, went to the same clubs and attended the same movie theaters. Consequently, we knew each other very well.

The four of us, among whom one is a believer, spent the first hour of our meeting reminiscing about those glorious days in Abadan, but then everything changed when our fourth friend joined us.

By nature, most Iranians are joke tellers. And, as one of the guys who speaks 5 different languages said, “There’s no other language that tells jokes better than Farsi.” No sooner our fourth friend joined us, jokes began to fly. By the way, some of these were dirty, but FUNNY!

At this juncture of my story, long before I am able to finish the rest of it, the few Christians I’ve shared it with have all rolled their eyes and made comments that surmounted to, “How dare they?”

As I was sitting there laughing my head off —Did I tell you that the jokes were dirty? I began to wonder how, so often, we Christians are not worried about what Jesus might think about something we’re doing, but what other Christians might think about it. That’s why many of us could never live like Jesus out of the fear of APPEARANCE—not what something actually is, but what it might come across as. Personally, I gave up the above fear long time ago. It is more important for me to be like Jesus than what some people might think of me.

You see, I didn’t’ get together with my friends as a “Morality Police”. My intention that evening was to enjoy my reunion with some great friends I hadn’t seen for a long time. I wasn’t there to correct them, especially since I wasn’t bothered by their jokes. I wanted them to know that I loved and accepted them for just who they were and where they were in life.

As I sat in the outdoor café laughing, I asked the Lord for an opening, which didn’t come till the end of the evening. After almost three hours of non-stop laughter, when everyone was about to say goodnight and leave, I asked if I could have just a few more minutes of their time. I then shared my journey with Jesus, which was received with an open sincerity. By then, there was no doubt that they knew I wasn’t there to judge them for laughing at some funny jokes, albeit, dirty funny jokes and I had gained the right to speak the Truth into their lives.

If we believe what the gospels tell us about Jesus, then we know He spent an awful amount of time hanging out with people who were considered to be the scum of the earth. I’m sure being around these homies; Jesus must have heard a few dirty jokes. But I don’t read anywhere that He rebuked anyone for not living up to HIS standards off the bat. And that’s exactly how I wanted to treat my homies.

The starting point for Jesus was where people were, and not where He wanted them to be. He never expected the homies of his time to start from where He was before He would befriend them at exactly where they were

What is YOUR starting point?









11 thoughts on “Would Jesus Laugh At A Dirty Joke?

  1. I don’t think Jesus sinned. Joining in with dirty jokes is a sin. “Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes–these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.”

    Jesus did not seem to have a problem being offensive. He seemingly rebuked the people who thought they were good enough on a regular, consistent basis. Pharisees, Romans, disciples, rich young rulers, Jews, Samaritans, close friends.

    I work with people that tell nasty jokes and stories and I usually try to not laugh or even respond. Blank stare or subject change or I walk away. Not because I don’t think what they are saying is funny or appealing or that I am morally superior. On the contrary it is usually funny and quite appealing to my fleshly desires. But by doing so I feel I am betraying my King, and I when I do, I usually think what a hypocrite I am. And how am I going to tell them about Jesus after I just wallowed in the filth? They would say, or at least think, “weren’t you just telling or at least participating in nasty jokes (sin) with seemingly no remorse or hesitation? And even if they didn’t, they would likely think that being a Christ follower must include not only participating in jokes and stories but also participating in the actions also. For by laughing, and therefore making light of sin, a person testifies that sin is not a big deal.

    But God hates sin. Jesus said, “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.” By joking about sin it implies it is not a big deal and could therefore encourage a person to sin. Millstone. Jesus is serious about not causing one of His little ones to sin. Jesus is quite serious about sin. He said, “And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” Think about how serious that is: cut it off and throw it away! He did not say, “And if your right hand causes you to stumble make joke about it.” Does Jesus seem to be laughing about sin? Are we not supposed to, as Christians, repent and fight tooth and nail against our own sin? Is it not a hallmark of a redeemed life to hate sin? “Let those who love the LORD hate evil…” How can I joke about something I hate? That would be like joking about racism. Nothing funny there.

    Getting on common ground: If you you carry “getting on common ground” to the nth degree, why not frequent prostitutes and rob people and beat up your wife and worship idols? In Jesus economy it is no less a sin to contemplate adultery than to carry out the act. I think that’s why Jesus hung out with “sinners”. Not because they were sinners (everyone is a sinner) but because they were aware of their sin and their bankrupt state. They beat their breast and prayed, “have mercy on me, a sinner”. I think when the Bible records “sinners” it means people considered sinners by the people who thought they were not sinners. It is sarcasm. When considering God’s standard for sinner everyone is a sinner. Mother Teresa was a wicked sinner. Paul was a wicked sinner. I am a wicked sinner. Only by God’s unmerited favor am I saved or is anyone else saved.

    So I know Jesus did not laugh at dirty jokes because laughing at sin is a sin. Since He never sinned He never laughed at dirty jokes. That would be in direct contradiction to the Bible’s recording on His reaction to sin. And it would be like saying Jesus committed adultery or murdered someone.


  2. PS, going along with dirty jokes because you don’t want to offend is worrying about what others think. Maybe you did because you did not want them to mistake you for a “Hollier-Than-Thou” and you wanted to make an “entrance point”. But if being like Jesus was not participating in “course jokes” would you refrain? “It is more important for me to be like Jesus than what some people might think of me.” But if you went along because you did not want to offend your buddies (by not going along) then you were more worried about what others thought more than being like Jesus. Of course this assumes dirty jokes are a sin. Or maybe it is only followers of Christ who’s thought are not important? Do ends justify means? If so, can a Christian participate is human trafficking in order to reach human traffickers? Well, I guess so.


    1. Dennis, It’s always good to hear from you, and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this post. I wish I could talk about these things face to face with you because there’s always room for misunderstanding when communicating in written forms.I’ll probably repeat what I’m going to say here over and over again with other readers also. I think many who read my post missed the point.

      The point of my post lies in the last question in the article. It had very little to do with Jesus, or Christians laughing at dirty jokes, but it had everything to do with our approach in sharing the Gospel with those who have not experienced Christ personally. “Where is your starting point?” was may main reason for posting that blog.

      Some people have written saying things like, “I work with people, or have friends who tell dirty jokes, but I always walk away from them because I want them to KNOW I am not like them and…” Well, in the story I don’t talk about people I’m around 24/7, but friends I hadn’t seen for almost 50 years. Do you honestly believe that Jesus would have wanted me to leave these friends because they were not were I would have liked them to be in life? That I should have gotten up and left the meeting to show them how offended I was, and how much more righteous than them I was? How would that had conveyed the love of God to them? If my faith is so fragile that hearing some dirty jokes might conform me to the image of this world , then maybe I have a much greater problem than hearing dirty jokes—a crises of faith.

      Today, almost every pastor I know, every Christian article I read talks about how the church is dying mostly because she is not making new disciples for Christ. Maybe, just maybe a great part of that has to do with a church that is so concerned with protecting her righteous image by not being around unbelievers that she’s forgotten that it is our duty as followers of Christ to make disciples? Maybe in the name of not “conforming to this world” we’ve neglected Christ’s most important mandate of loving God and with that love, loving our neighbors. Is it possible that the fear of coming across as be conformers of this world has paralyzed the body of Christ from loving her neighbor as herself? Most my readers completely neglected my privilege of sharing my testimony with my “dirty joke telling” friends. Maybe to some it is more important to protect their appearance than snatch some from the jaws of hell. Well, I am not and will NEVER be one of those.
      I think you enjoy watching this video.


      1. That video confession is a contradiction. She condemns herself for condemning and trying to change atheists and then goes on to condemn and change Christians.

        Shah, we are like two ships in the night…


  3. I think I agree with both opinions: it is important to approach others where they stand, and it is important that I do not sin. Maintaining the balance on the fine line between both is tricky. It needs a lot of wisdom.


    1. I don’t know what I’d do if I were in your exact situation, but what I usually do in similar situations is that I just smile (I don’t laugh as if I’m enjoying the jokes, which I’m not), and I usually don’t comment so I wouldn’t make them feel like I’m the saint criticizing them sinners. And people understand that I don’t like this kind of jokes and that I wouldn’t share in such talks.
      Sometimes, when the setting permits, I just leave.
      I don’t know if this is the best way to handle it but this is what I know how to do for now!


      1. Diana, Ahlaan! I would agree with you in your situation. My situation was a bit different than being around friends you see on regular basses, or strangers you don’t know. These were friends I hadn’t seen for almost 50 years. One friend objected to me even asking the question since the scripture doesn’t say anything about Jesus listening to a dirty joke. However, I’m willing to bit that the same friend went around for years wearing one of those bracelets that said, “WWJD” on it. Do you remember that? It was extremely popular in this country. As if Jesus would wait till he faced a crisis and then He would start running around franticly asking, “What would the Father do?” Anyway, thanks for your replies.


  4. Hello Shahrokh,

    Thanks for sharing this. I can picture you laughing with your friends. I am grateful God gave you an open door. I am also grateful that you resist the diktats of the morality police.

    David DeKraker

    On Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 7:42 PM, ShahShankedRedemption wrote:

    > ShahShankedRedemption posted: “About a week ago I had the rare privilege > of meeting some friends I hadn’t seen for 43 years. We all grew up in the > same area of what at the time was the greatest city in the world—our > birthplace, Abadan. Those of you who’ve read my book know that at our” >


    1. Thanks, Dave! I think many of us fear more what others might think about us than what God is concerned about. Jesus was faced with that challenge constantly. I have a hard time believing that, as much as He hung out with sinners, He never heard a dirty joke, or He went around demanding that all who listened to him to first be perfect before offering them LIFE.


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