Difficult as it may be to imagine, they were laughing at Jesus. The Jews who had assembled to weep and wail at the death of a young girl had turned their attention to mock the only One with the power to bring her back from the dead. He had told them that she was not dead, but merely sleeping (Mark 5:39), and, “they laughed Him to scorn.” Jesus was often the subject of ridicule because of the things He said, and He made many enemies because He told the truth (cf. Gal 4:16).
I wonder what went through the Lord’s mind while those people mocked Him. Righteous anger because of their ignorance and stubbornness (cf. Mk 3:5)? Pity for those who were so blinded by pride that they refused to see (cf. Jn 9:41)? Maybe it was sincere grief because He knew that their rejection of Him was the rejection of hope itself (cf. Mk 3:28-29). Whatever His reaction, it’s important to emphasize that Jesus never allowed the ridicule of ungodly people to turn Him away from His purpose.
Even today this world will often, “laugh Him to scorn,” when God-fearing people dare to say and do what is right! Have you noticed the mockery?
People laugh at Jesus when they reject His teaching on salvation. He Himself said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16),” and yet countless thousands rush headlong toward eternity without obeying His will on this matter. He said, “except you repent, you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:3),” and yet we find those whose only desire seems to focus on being worldly in their thoughts and conduct.
People laugh at Jesus when they fail to respect His authority in matters of worship. He said, “the words that I have spoken will judge you at the last day (Jn 12:48),” and yet so many seem to be focused on ignoring His wishes as they, “spice up,” the Lord’s pattern for New Testament worship with mechanical instruments of music, drama presentations, unbiblical preaching, and other human innovations for which there is no authority.
People laugh Him to scorn by refusing to accept His will on proper roles and relationships in the home and in the church. Jesus has given men and women very specific roles (see 1 Cor 14:34-40; Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Timothy 2; Titus 2; 1 Peter 3), and He is glorified when we humbly accept His will in these matters. The world calls Jesus, “archaic,” “oppressive,” “insensitive,” and “insecure,” and people laugh Him to scorn as they rush to place women in pulpits and in unscriptural positions of leadership within the church. They laugh Him to scorn as they encourage the breakup of families and homes because of what they call, “irreconcilable differences (see Matthew 19:3-9).” Have we forgotten what He taught on these issues?
With a mixture of pity, righteous anger, and sincere grief, we acknowledge that others are laughing at the Savior. Brethren, people desperately need to know both what He said and what it means to them! Let’s be ready to answer those who ask a reason for the hope that lies within us (1 Peter 3:15).