If you asked a millennial, most would attribute the saying Captain Obvious to modern advertising and or screen writers. This phrase has taken on a life of it’s own in my household. When sarcasm is present, the punch line “thank you Captain Obvious” suggests someone is shallow or merely stating the obvious. After reading the Bible earlier this week, the origin of this expression can be attributed to Jesus.
But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition, Matthew 15:5-6.
One day, the Pharisees attempted to spiritually police Jesus and his disciples. The context of the passage above spawned from religious leaders strict adherence to Old Testament law. Taking Leviticus literally, these Jews believed not washing your hands before you eat made you unclean. After listening to their complaints, Jesus responds by highlighting the flaw in their accusation, throwing their own words back at these religious zealots.
Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” – Matthew 15:12
A few minutes later, the disciples play the role of Captain Obvious. Looking serious and sincere, the disciples felt the back lash from the Pharisees, hoping Jesus would smooth over this situation. While the specific outspoken disciple is not mentioned, I’m assuming Peter stood up to Jesus, saying something like, “Jesus, do you know that you hurt the Pharisees’ feelings?” While Jesus never sinned, I believe he came close to some sort of sarcastic reply, “thank you Captain’s obvious!”
One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table close to Jesus, John 13:23.
One of the problems with modern comedy is that people try so hard to be funny, that they end up not being funny at all. Meanwhile, other professionals believe if you don’t curse or focus on politically correct issues, you won’t be make it in Hollywood. Yet, in my experiences the most humorous individuals are naturally witty in normal every day settings. When most people visualize Jesus, they see him as a healer, speaker or teacher. However, in the passage above, Jesus was a normal human being who enjoyed hanging out, reclining and shooting the breeze with friends. In these settings, comic relief is found. Perhaps, it’s time to drop your phone, turn off the television and engage family members to crack a smile, have a good laugh or reflect upon what you have in common. Have fun with others today.
by Jay Mankus