I know it’s hard to believe, but I’m much less of a sarcastic person now than I used to be. In person, that is. (Writing is allowed to be sarcastic, reading a sarcastic sentence doesn’t have the same kind of cutting pain to it than if you said that same sentence in person to someone. For example, “Well, you’re just on the cutting edge of brilliant, aren’t you.” Trust me, you don’t want me to say that to your face.)
But oh MAN was I a little sarcastic twit growing up. When I moved to L.A. and got freaked out at just how hard it was going to be to achieve my goals. So I toned it down. Also got tired of the relentless cynicism necessary to fuel the sarcastic drive. So now it’s all internal, and I come across as a somewhat quiet chick who must be thinking deep thoughts, when really I’m laughing at your nose or something.
Frederick William Faber once said, “No one was ever corrected by a sarcasm—crushed, perhaps, if the sarcasm was clever enough, but drawn nearer to God, never.”
(which probably isn’t true when you look at the yards and yards of sarcasm that Paul used in 1st Corinthians, upbraiding the church to get them to come closer to God. Take THAT Frederick!)
But I’m always tickled pink when sarcasm’s used in the Bible. God will meet you where you’re at, and if you’re a sarcastic twit on the outside or inside, then here ya go – Biblical proof that sarcasm was used back then.
It’s the story of Jesus healing the blind guy; John Ch. 9. There’s actually a bunch of hilarious things running around in here – how Blind Guy’s neighbor’s supposedly don’t recognize the dude when he’s healed, though he looks exactly the same (v8), Blind Guy’s parents passing the buck about how their son was healed because they don’t wanna get kicked out of the synagogue (v20-23), the hysterical yet completely appropriate response of Blind Guy to the Pharisees when asked where Jesus was, “I don’t know (dude, I was BLIND! I couldn’t SEE him to SEE WHERE HE WENT!)” (v8-12)
But these are Pharisees we’re talking about, and when Pharisees are involved, SOMEBODY is getting their ass kicked. Much like when you call the LAPD on a domestic dispute call, SOMEBODY’s going to the station.
So the Pharisees question Blind Guy (He’s Healed Now) again, trying to get him to say Jesus is an imposter. And when they ask Blind Guy (He’s Healed Now) how was he healed, Blind Guy (He’s Healed Now) says, “I have told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” (V27)
Awesome, awesome use of sarcasm in the face of impending ass kicking.
There’s another swipe, where Blind Guy (He’s Healed Now) points out that Jesus has to be from God, because who else would’ve given him the power to heal the blind, but the Pharisees have had it, and start the ass kicking, and they kick him out of the synagogue. (V30-34) I can’t help but picture his parents breathing a sigh of relief Whew! At least it wasn’t us!
Chapter 9 ends with Jesus finding the Blind Guy (He’s Healed Now), so he can see what Jesus looks like, and even Jesus takes a swipe at some nearby Pharisees, "If you were really blind, you would be blameless, but since you claim to see everything so well, you're accountable for every fault and failure." (v41, Message translation)
So ultimately, the moral of this Sarcastic Lesson is – God thinks it’s okay for you to be sarcastic if you’re #1 – right about your answer and #2 – giving glory to God about it and #3 – have less than supportive parents more concerned with social synagogue standing then standing up for their child.