One of the most effective rhetorical devices which men can use is humor. The evangelists were serious-minded people, and probably thought humor beneath the dignity of Jesus. They have left us, however, a number of illustrations of the humor of Jesus. You remember how one day Jesus was talking about intolerance. He told His listeners that any one unwilling to make allowances for the faults of another was as if one carpenter should ask his comrade to let him remove a splinter from his eye, when he himself had had a timber driven into his own. Speaking of the difficulty which rich men have to handle their wealth, and at the same time be kind and generous, He pictured a camel loaded with a great bundle, trying to squeeze through the eye of a needle. Ridiculing the punctilious Pharisees, He said they would strain out a gnat and then swallow a camel. He made light of the readiness with which people followed the most foolish and burdensome requirements of the Pharisees, by saying that it reminded Him of blind men trying to lead blind men. His words suggest a number of blind men putting their hands upon each other's shoulders and forming a line behind another blind man, who, leading them along a winding lane in the meadow, topples them all off into the muddy ditch at the side. Humor flashes a sudden light upon a dark subject. It is much more effective than wit. A witty remark causes a laugh, but may hurt the feelings of a listener. Humor causes the hearer to take sides with the speaker.
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