It’s Trivia Time!
OK, let’s see how well you know your Bible. Here’s today’s question:
What is the shortest verse in the Bible? Think about that...
If you’ve ever done a scripture reading during a church service you remember that a lot of Bible verses, especially in the Old Testament, can go LONG. Some passages seem to go on forever.
The people who wrote or translated the Bible weren’t big on brevity.
But for Bible trivia buffs this question is an easy one. Guessed it yet?
Pull out your Bible and go to John 11:35. Just two words...
There are MANY different translations of the Bible, and many of them use different words in different contexts. But if you do some web searching of different translations, nearly all of them have this two-word verse exactly the same.
The shortest verse in the entire Bible. But one that carried a lot of weight.
His friend Lazarus had just died and was buried in a tomb. Mary and Martha, sisters to Lazarus, had urged Jesus to come quickly to heal him but he was too late.
The popular remembrance of Jesus is that he was a stoic man, didn’t show a lot of emotion. But read more closely and things look a little different.
Go to John 11:33, just two verses earlier. Mary had come out to meet Jesus and was crying, telling Him that if He had just come a little sooner her brother would still be alive.
Verse 33, in most translations – “He was deeply moved and troubled.” One version actually says “a deep anger welled up within him.”
Jesus, angry? Sure, we know the story about the moneychangers and Jesus flipping their tables in disgust. But that was a one-off, right? Apparently not.
Of course you know the end of this story – Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, attracting even more believers. All on his eventual trail to the cross.
There’s always been a verse that’s missing from the Gospels. Surely this happened sometime...
Now think about it – you recall any Gospel story where it says Jesus laughed, busted a gut, even just giggled? Unfortunately you won’t find that anywhere.
There are entire websites devoted to wondering if Jesus ever guffawed or chuckled or chortled. Someone is apparently writing an entire book on the subject.
Why is that such a foreign concept when discussing the Son of God? He was also human like the rest of us, even to death on a cross. It’s doubtful He ever did a comedy routine but surely He found things in life to be amusing. Or He was happy one day and just let out a good old fashioned laugh.
When do you feel your best? It may be physically impossible to feel badly while you’re laughing. That’s why we have a comedy industry. Go check out the tragedy industry – no fun there, no real audience.
Here during the season of Lent we will be constantly reminded of the oncoming suffering that Jesus will undergo during that final week. Can’t get away from that and we shouldn’t.
But during His three year ministry with his disciples in tow, surely there were many times when Jesus smiled and swapped childhood or young adult stories – and laughed. Just like the rest of us.
“Laughter is the best medicine,” we’ve always heard. And Jesus was the greatest physician of them all.
Take some time today and every day to smile and laugh, no matter what. And assume that our friend and brother and savior Jesus Christ did the same.
Please join us for church this Sunday at 10:45. We’ve certainly been known to blurt out some laughter during services, that hasn’t changed. Yes, even during this usually solemn Lenten season.
Sunday School begins with our nearly-famous brunch at 9 AM or thereabouts. Please come and bring something to share but if you can’t just COME, adults and kids alike. We’ll have plenty of food.
For the adults we’ve started a new book on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. With that large crowd on hand to hear Him speak, surely He flashed a few smiles that amazing day. Please join us!