All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables [stories]; and without a parable he did not speak to them.
Why stories? Why not rules? Precepts? Propositional truth? Why in the world would the Creator of the universe sit around spinning yarns?
Could it be that Christ had something for us that was too round, too subtle, too textured and layered to be summarized into 3 points? Or 5 steps? Or 7 secrets?
A story isn’t really any good unless it successfully resists paraphrase, unless it hangs on and expands in the mind.
Expands in the mind?
Brothers Karamazov Peace Like a River Til We Have Faces Lilith My Name is Asher Lev The Alchemist …just to name a few. Stories that wrap themselves around me. That draw me in. Asher’s pain is my pain. When Ruben wonders why the healing his father gives to others is not given to him, I wonder too. What Santiago sees, I see. I breathe the same air. The same grains of sand sting my skin. When Lilith dies…I die.
And the stories roll around in my head for weeks…months…rankling, provoking, stretching me, giving me hope…
Truth we have lived is truth we own. Experience is a most effective schoolmaster. When we encounter great stories, those experiences become ours as well. We stand inside truth that is too complicated and messy, too transcendent and glorious, to be reduced to a principle. It must be wrestled with. Clawed at. Cursed. Clung to. Celebrated. And finally, taken deep within. Til it becomes part of our blood.
Why did God tell stories? What was it that He would give to us that could only be given in this form? What do you think?