Jesus told stories during His three years of adult ministry on the earth. During that short time, he had to teach a message that wouldn’t simply change people during His lifetime, but transform the world for ages to come. If you had faced that challenge, what would you have done? Most pastors I know would start with a mission statement.
Then they would outline their doctrinal principles and statement of faith. Then they would find a building, preferably one with good parking and the ability to expand. Then, realizing the need to leave a legacy in the faith, they would start working on their theology and perhaps throw in a handful of leadership principles and church-growth tips.
Then they’d be ready. But it’s worth asking the question on the famous bracelets: WWJD? (What would Jesus do?) Jesus did what many pastors in that position would probably consider a real career killer. He started telling stories. And He told stories that He didn’t even explain. Sometimes He would enlighten the disciples in private, but rarely did He say the words in public, “Now let me tell you what that story means.” Plus, the stories weren’t that profound. They didn’t involve kings or princes, wars or major conflict, and they certainly weren’t particularly deep. All the wonderful elements that make great legends were left out. There weren’t even any epic tales of heroes and damsels in distress.
Most of Jesus’ stories were just everyday people doing everyday things. They weren’t particularly exciting, romantic or even thrilling. Why was Jesus ready to risk only three years of ministry by telling simple stories?
Good question. What’s your answer?