Irony is an instance used to draw attention to something that is irrational or incongruent. Something that doesn’t make sense.
Dramatic Irony is when that incongruence is obvious to the audience, but not the characters.
In Mark, chapter 3, Jesus is hanging out with a bunch of religious leaders on the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a holy day. A day devoted to God. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had all sorts of rules and regulations concerning what you could/could not do on the Sabbath. In the crowd was a crippled man. A man with a deformed arm. Scripture tells us that the religious leaders were watching Jesus to see if would heal this man on the Sabbath. This, according to them, was against the rules. (Work on a day with devoted to rest).
Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he invites the man with the bum arm to stand up in front of everyone. Then he turns to the religious folks and asks them what is right to do on the Sabbath- good or evil? To heal or destroy? The religious leaders were silent. Silent because it was a rhetorical question. Jesus healed the man’s arm. But here is the kicker: The story ends with the religious leaders leaving “plotting how they might kill Jesus.”
Did you catch that?
According to the religious leaders:
1) It was against the rules to heal on the Sabbath
2) It was completely okay to plot murder on the Sabbath.
Talk about irony!
In Jesus’ day, Pharisees and religious leaders were the champions of dramatic irony.
Where do you see irony today? Where do we mimic the misplaced passion of the Pharisees? And where do we mimic Jesus (cutting to the heart of God)?