Was Jesus the Jerry Seinfeld of his day?

Not really, says James Martin SJ, who has written a blog based on his recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal. 

His ministry on earth — to announce the Kingdom of God — was more important than being a stand-up comic. But the prevailing image of Jesus as the grumpy, dour, depressed prude who spent most of his life suffering is inaccurate.

When you look carefully at the Gospels, you find a man with an obvious joie de vivre, a preacher who told funny stories to make a point, a leader who gave his disciples nicknames and a former carpenter who enjoyed a good joke.

So why do we often think of Jesus as gloomy and why do all those statues, paintings and mosaics portray him as downcast?  

For one thing, it’s a reflection of the historical emphasis on the Passion and Death of Jesus.

Think of it this way: the time from the Last Supper to the Crucifixion represent only about a week in Jesus’s life.  Most of the rest of his ministry — which lasted from one to three years – was often spent doing joyful things: sharing meals with disciples, welcoming those on the margins of society, healing the sick and preaching the “Good News.”  Along the way, he showed some good humour.

FULL ARTICLE: Was Jesus the Jerry Seinfeld of his day? (America)  

LINKS: 

Jesus of Nazareth, Stand-Up Comic? (Wall Street Journal)

Jerry Seinfeld