Mockery Topical Study

<p><font color="#0077c8"><span style="font-size: 28px;"><b><span class="heading-lg">Mockery in Scripture</span></b></span></font></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">2 Chronicles 36:15-16</a>, mocking the messengers of God</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Job 17:2</a>, &quot;Surely there are mockers around me, and my eye dwells on their provocation&quot;</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Psalm 22:17</a>, &quot;I can count all my bones. They stare and gloat over me&quot;</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Psalm 35:15-16</a>, ruffians mocked me and gnashed their teeth</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Psalm 69:12</a>, &quot;I am the subject of gossip for those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me&quot;</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Psalm 119:51</a>, &quot;The arrogant utterly deride me, but I do not turn away from your law&quot;</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Proverbs 9:7</a>, &quot;Whoever corrects a scoffer wins abuse; whoever rebukes the wicked gets hurt&quot;</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Proverbs 20:1</a>, &quot;Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise&quot;</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Lamentations 3:14</a>, &quot;I have become the laughingstock of all my people, the object of their taunt-songs all day long&quot;</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Matthew 27:27-31</a>, the soldiers mocked Jesus</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Matthew 27:39-44</a>, bandits mock Jesus</span></span></li></ul><p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Reflections about Mockery</span></strong></p><p><span class="body-copy">People who like to mock other people are often resistant to rebuke (&quot;whoever corrects a scoffer wins abuse&quot;). You can see the pattern in comment threads following online news pieces. Someone will mock a statesman, and another reader will attempt to show that the mockery is inappropriate. The mocker then turns his scorn on the other reader. This suggests that mockery may come from the kind of arrogance that makes its owner unteachable. Rebuke of him is therefore futile.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Several psalms and proverbs associate mockery with drunkenness. Drunk people lose the restraints of civility or decency and thus may text, Tweet, or otherwise post derisions that their sober self barely recognizes. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy">What is it about mockery that hurts so much? Mockery causes shame. It strips off our bark. It exposes us. Mockers isolate some feature of another human being and then hold it up so everybody can see it and laugh and whistle. You isolate what you find so peculiar about another human being. Maybe you imitate it. Or, best of all, you force your victim to mock himself. So if you are a Nazi, you capture a rabbi and you make him preach. If you are Babylonian guards, you force the Jewish exiles to put on a nightclub act for you with their sacred temple songs. In the 16th century, Calvinists could simultaneously mock and murder Anabaptists by drowning them. (&quot;You believe in baptism by immersion? Here, get your fill of it.&quot;)</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Much childhood mockery seems to arise from ignorance and insecurity. Provincial<span class="body-copy">children mock an accent or a style of clothing. Cruel children mock another child for being clumsy or homely. Ignorant children ridicule classmates who are artistic or gay. But knowing that the mocker is ignorant does not remove mockery&#39;s sting. Mockery hurts. Most 12-year-olds would rather be slugged than mocked. If you are the parent of a child who is being mocked by a group, and you see i</span>t just once, you will never forget.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">In&nbsp;</span><em><span style="font-size: 16px;">What Was It Like in the Concentration Camp at Dachau?</span><span style="font-size: 16px;"> </span></em><span style="font-size: 16px;">Johannes </span><span class="body-copy">Neuhausler tells us that Nazis had a special fondness for mockery as a pleasant way of killing time and entertaining visitors. The camp commandant at Dachau used to lead bigwig Nazi visitors to the jail where especially distinguished prisoners could be presented. Much was made of the presenting: it showed who controlled whom. In looking over their visitor list, the Nazis could decide which prisoners they wanted to feature. It was so amusing on a given Thursday to feature a scabby, dehydrated bishop or a professor now clearly insane. It was so satisfying to gather in a ring around some humiliated officer or artist or journalist, to have them in your power, to make them go through their paces. Sometimes the prisoners were stripped and forced to run back and forth in front of the guest a</span><span style="font-size: 16px;">ssembly&#39;s whistles and catcalls. </span><span class="body-copy-sm">(<em>What Was it Like in the Concentration Camp at Dachau?</em>, 17th edition, Trustees for the Monument of Atonement in the Concentration Camp at Dachau, 1981)</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">Matthew shows us some of the depths of Jesus&#39; suffering. Here are some Rom<span class="body-copy">an soldiers who are bored sick with their job. But they&#39;ve gotten hold of this Jewish carpenter who thinks he&#39;s a king. So the soldiers set him up and run him through their burlesque. They strip him down and dress him up. They hurt him and jeer at him and smack him around. In a vile irony, they kneel before their king not in humility, but in mock humility. They horse around with the Lord of life, never see</span>ing for a moment that he had come into the world to absorb just such wickedness as theirs.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">The soldiers think they have a fool on their hands and they think that&#39;s funn<span class="body-copy">y. But he is a Jewish fool, and that&#39;s not so funny. These soldiers are as anti-Semitic as an occupying force can be. They hate Jews and try to hurt them whenever they can. Doesn&#39;t everybody know Jews </span>are hard to govern? Doesn&#39;t everybody know they&#39;re pushy and demanding? Aren&#39;t they famous for their chutzpah?</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 16px;">And now here&#39;s one who takes the cake. So, then, time for a little worshi<span class="body-copy">p. &quot;Hey, there, King of the Jews!&quot; they shout at this silent man. &quot;Yo! King of the Jews!&quot; &quot;Hey! Kike-King! Jew-King!&quot; In another cultural context they would have said &quot;Nigger-King.&quot; And in his crucifixio</span>n, the mockery continued &mdash; all of it a mortification, a humiliation, a horror.</span></p>