The Bible has many humorous stories! And humor in the Bible teaches us a few things.
One is that God himself has a sense of humor.
Another is that it’s OK for us to also have a good sense of humor about a matter as important as the Word of God!
So here are 15 of the Funniest Stories in the Bible. And these are very funny Bible stories that describe actual events in the Bible!
While the business of salvation and righteousness is serious, the Word of God has plenty of opportunities to make important points in a humorous way.
Funny Bible Stories and Verses
Here are the funniest Bible stories known to man. See if you can catch a few good points along the way!
1. The Sons of Thunder
In Mark 3:17, we learn of Jesus’ hilarious nickname for his disciples James and John.
James and John were brothers, and their father was Zebedee. So they were properly known as the “Sons of Zebedee.”
So how did they come to be known as the “Sons of Thunder?”
We don’t immediately learn the answer in Mark. And it isn’t until a later time that we see evidence of their character from another story.
It’s on their trip to Samaria when they are looking for accommodations and nobody makes any room for them.
So I guess Jonah (see Jonah below) wasn’t the only one like this!
It would take them a while longer to learn about grace and mercy. As they grew more mature, they never offered to call fire down from heaven again!
Another way you can tell John eventually figured it out is because later when he wrote his Gospel, he described himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” (John 21:7 and other verses)
2. Can Anything Good Come from Nazareth?
When Nathaniel was told by Philip that the Messiah had been found in Nazareth, his reply was golden;
“Can anything good come from Nazareth?” –John 1:46
It’s even funnier when you consider that the word “Nazareth” comes from the Hebrew word “netser” which means “branch.”
Numerous Old Testament prophets had foretold that the Christ (Messiah) would be known as the branch. It would make complete sense that the Messiah would come from there.
But for Nathaniel, the joke was on him!
He didn’t know it at the time, but soon it would all come into focus. And what do I mean by that? Keep reading -and find out!
3. An Israelite in Whom There is no Deceit
What’s every bit as funny as the joke on Nathaniel above is the very next scene!
Nathaniel gets introduced to the Messiah;
When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him,
“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
What happens next?
Jesus makes him one of his disciples. Right on the spot!
Moral of the story: Make a snarky comment about Messiah’s hometown, and you just might become his next disciple!
4. The Disciple Who Could Run Faster Than Peter
In his Gospel, the disciple John described himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” (Oh where have I seen this verse before???)
But Jesus Christ described him as one of the “Sons of Thunder” (see above).
As if he doesn’t already have enough nicknames, John comes up with another personal nickname. And not for others. It’s for himself!
“The disciple who could run faster than Peter.” Here’s the verse:
“Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.” John 20:4
OK. He didn’t EXACTLY say “the disciple who could run faster than Peter!” But you and I both know that’s just what he meant.
5. The Most Boring Sermon in the Bible
I’m sure it never happens to you.
But have you ever seen other people in church begin to doze off during the pastor’s sermon?
Well, it wouldn’t be the first time! There’s at least one Biblical precedent.
Paul’s audience began to fall asleep. Especially one young sleepy lad who was sitting in a third-story window.
You can read the whole account in Acts 20:7-12
Now, sitting in a third-story window just might not be too safe to begin with. But I guess the building standards were different then.
Thankfully, this boring sermon had a very happy ending! Paul raised the young lad back from the dead after his big fall.
And the church grew by leaps and bounds!
And when he grew older, imagine what it was like for this young guy to tell that story to his grandchildren!
6. Elijah vs 450 Prophets of Baal
“Is your god sleeping? Or maybe he’s stuck in the bathroom –you know- relieving himself?”
These are some of the hilarious taunts Elijah made toward the practitioners of Baal worship.
But Elijah was just getting started. He didn’t just get the first laugh. He got all the laughs that day.
The god (notice the little “g”) of the Baal worshipers remained silent. He never showed up.
Elijah mocked them again.
“Maybe he’s on a journey!”
Soon, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel answered. And he answered with fire!
Want more fun Bible stories? “19 Crazy Bible Stories Decoded”
That was not a good day to be a prophet of Baal. That’s for sure.
You can read the whole story in 1 Kings 18:17-40.
7. Jesus’ Nickname for Simon
We know him as Simon Peter. But before he met Jesus, he was just Simon. He was very impulsive and unstable.
The name Simon means “reed” –something that sways in the wind. It easily moves whichever way the wind blows without any thought.
He was the kind of guy who jumped to conclusions without thinking things through.
He was the disciple who cut off the ear of the servant of one of the guys who came to arrest Jesus Christ just before the crucifixion.
But Jesus invented a funny new name for him. He called him Peter. It means “Rocky” –like the boxer played by Sylvester Stallone in the movies.
While it could have seemed like Jesus was making fun of him, what Jesus was really doing was giving him a new identity.
And here’s the funniest part.
Simon Peter grew to become that person according to his new name. His New Testament books of 1, 2 and 3 Peter are a testament to that.
And his devotion to Christ until the end shows that Simon really did become Peter.
And Jesus will do the same thing for anybody who is willing to become his disciple!
8. Sir I Perceive That You Are a Prophet
Here’s one of my favorite weird Biblical stories
When Jesus met the Woman at the Well in John 4.17-19, his response to her was;
“You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands and the one you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”
Yes, she had a past. And it wasn’t one she was proud of.
But the Lamb of God (see my post about why Jesus is called Lamb of God) came to take away the sin of the world.
And that means all of the world. Including this Samaritan woman.
Her understated punch line about the prophetic capabilities of the Messiah turned out to be comedic!
Here it is again:
“Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.”
Now that’s a mic drop!
9. Humble Moses
“Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth” Numbers 12:3
If you’re wondering what’s so funny about this verse, ask yourself who wrote it.
Moses wrote it. Yes! Moses!
Can’t get enough funny Bible Verses? “22 of the Weirdest Verses in the Bible”
Now that’s funny! I mean… who doesn’t think it’s funny that he bragged about his own humility?
10. Camels and Needles
A well-known quote of Jesus Christ comes from the discussion with his disciples after his an encounter with the rich young ruler:
“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24
Jesus showed us the value of satirical hyperbole and he cut straight to the heart of the matter.
Just before this, the rich young ruler had asked Christ what he still needed to do after following the law.
Jesus said to him: “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me. –Matthew 19:21
But the rich young guy just shook his head and walked away.
Now who else ever said anything in history about camels and needles? That takes a special sense of humor!
And humor is an excellent way to get a serious point to be understood:
11. Straining Gnats and Swallowing Camels
In Matthew 23:23-25, Jesus warns that the scribes and Pharisees are concentrating on things that don’t matter instead of the things that do.
Their priorities are all upside down.
But they don’t get it. Not until he exaggerates enough for them to experience the searing heat of his rhetorical flourish.
I don’t know about you, but for me –seeing how the Messiah speaks truth to power and wins every time brings a smile to my face.
Maybe because I can imagine the looks on the faces of the scribes and Pharisees when they realize they’ve been had!
Sarcasm and satire are a kind of humor that makes a point. Jesus was constantly being pursued by Pharisees who wanted to test him.
Well, he was always ready for the test. And guess what? So should you and me!
12. Have You Not Read?
There are multiple instances in the Bible of Pharisees pursuing Jesus.
They were always testing him –trying to catch him in an error. He turned the tables on them –and met the challenge- every time.
And every time, the Pharisees went back to their masters with their tails between their legs.
Numerous times, his taunting reply was “Have you not read?” Check Matthew 12:5, 19:4, 21:16, 21:42 and 22:31.
Well, of course they read. But their understanding was darkened because they concentrated on the wrong things.
Jesus knew that sometimes the best defense is a good offense.
This isn’t the way you share the gospel with a sincere seeker.
But if you are dealing with a sneering Pharisee who needs an attitude adjustment, it’s just what the doctor ordered.
And what’s so funny? Seeing the Pharisees put in their place…
Jesus Christ showed again and again his superior wisdom, knowledge and understanding against the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
They would try to trick him and corner him and he turned the tables on them every time.
Many times, Christians are reluctant to mock their opponents because it just doesn’t seem “Christian” to mock and ridicule them.
Well, it didn’t seem to bother the Son of God.
It’s appropriate to treat sincere people sincerely. People who are trying to stop the Son of God from carrying on his ministry due to their own pridefulness are a different matter.
13. Uz and Buz
“Now it came about after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, ‘Behold, Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor: Uz his firstborn and Buz his brother.” – Genesis 22:20-21
I’ve heard of some of the names children have been stuck with. Maybe you’ve got a middle name you don’t like.
But Uz and Buz! Now that’s special.
14. Sarah Laughed
God told Abraham that Sarah would give birth to a son. After that, 25 years went by.
Sarah was now 95 years old. It’s an understatement to say this is well beyond child-bearing years.
Then God appeared to Abraham again and told him that by this time the following year Sarah would give birth to their son.
The Bible records “Sarah laughed.” –Genesis 18:12-15
Why do you suppose Sarah laughed?
No wonder they named the child Isaac (Isaac means laughter!)
Jewish people can look back to this moment and realize they all came through this one child.
Believers in Jesus Christ can look back at this too!
Because we realize that by the spirit of adoption, we also share in this amazing work God did. He miraculously revived Sarah’s child-bearing ability at such an advanced age!
So we can now laugh every time we see a difficult situation, knowing that God has it all worked out.
15. The Worst Prophet Ever -The Back Story of Jonah
When you were in Sunday school and learned about the prophet Jonah, the big part of the story you probably learned was how he got swallowed by some kind of sea creature.
Maybe it was a whale. Maybe not. No matter.
He was inside for 3 days and nights and then Jonah was barfed out on the beach.
When Jesus was asked what sign he would give that he was the Messiah, he answered that he would only give the sign of Jonah.
So the story of Jonah has –embedded in it- a prophecy of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Now for the funny part.
This is like God saying “I’m going to choose the worst, most rebellious prophet I can find. And I will use this rebellious prophet to save Nineveh.”
Why did God choose one of the most rebellious prophets on earth for this task?
When God called Jonah to go to Nineveh, he went to Tarshish instead. When his ship was in treacherous seas, he told them to throw him overboard.
That’s like saying “I’d rather die than save Nineveh” –no matter what.
Never mind that he was a prophet! And never mind that God had specifically told him what to do.
And never mind the grace God later showed him by sparing his life after his rebellious decisions.
Then when he got to Nineveh, do you know what he said?
Some sweet invitation? Some description of how gracious God is even to the worst sinner?
It was a total fire-and-brimstone-burn-in-hell message. Our hero Jonah tells them they are going to destruction in 40 days.
Then Jonah sets himself up on a hill to watch the destruction happen.
But what happened next was something Jonah never imagined.
Nineveh repented! And God accepted their repentance.
Poor Jonah never got to see the destruction of Nineveh. The Ninevites followed God for 100 more years.
I guess you could say the joke was on Jonah!
16. Does God Laugh Bible Verse
Here’s a bonus. I promised 15, but now here comes #16. And there could be so many more…
God only laughs a few times in the Bible. Why does God laugh?
What can we learn from it?
It’s worth repeating: “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.”
This is the un-funniest verse in this post, because this one is dead serious.
When God laughs, it’s time to wake up. It means man has been rebelling against God big time.
And every student of the Bible knows; When man’s rebellion has gone too far, things are going to change.
And a few people just might get a visit from a reluctant prophet like Jonah!
Historians, philosophers and critical thinkers of all stripes know this; the Bible is unique among spiritual books for many reasons.
It has hundreds of fulfilled prophecies. No other “holy” book comes close.
Its thousands of details have been backed up by archaeological findings. And its historicity is unparalleled among all ancient writings –including spiritual ones.
But the Bible is also uniquely humorous.
You don’t find humor in the Quran, the Vedas, or any other spiritual books like you do in the Bible.
Also, Jesus Christ himself -Son of God and Son of Man- is no stranger to humor. Yes, God has a sense of humor!
And humor is one of the most uniquely authentic things you will find in the Bible and in no other spiritual book.