Among other things, he told stories. In fact, He was the world’s greatest story teller. Ask him a question; he’d answer with a story.
Give him an argument; he’d give you a story. . . . Give him a real tricky, catchy question; he’d give you a real trick, catchy story.
Have you ever watched seven-year-old children listening – inhaling – a story? Eyes wide, mouth slung open, mind churning . . . they live, accept, and believe. They are totally absorbed.
This man-God, Jesus. He was a good story teller. He knew what he was doing. (1)
“What happens when we are sorry for our sins?” people asked Jesus. “Let me answer you by telling you a story,” said Jesus. So, he began.
A young man was walking the long road home. His father ran to meet him.
“Where have you been?” asked the father.
“A long, long way from home,” said the son.
“Where’s the money I gave you?”
“I spent it.”
“What have you got to show for it?”
“Just the rags I’ve got on.”
“You look thin.”
“I haven’t eaten for days.”
“How come you’re so dirty?”
“My last job was taking care of pigs.”
“You look it,” said the father.
“Father, I’ve been thinking.”
“That’s a good start.”
“I’ve sinned against God. I’ve sinned against you. I’m sorry,” said the young man. “Well, aren’t you going to slug me?”
“I’m going to give you a party,” said the father.
“But I don’t deserve it.”
“And I’m inviting everybody to come.”
The father threw his arms around the young man’s neck. The young man kissed his father. And they headed down the road toward home.
“But I don’t want to go to his party,” said the father’s other son.
“Why not?” asked the father.
“It’s not fair! You never gave me a party.”
“Why should I?”
“I didn’t run away from home,” said the other son. “I stayed home and worked..”
“May I tell you something?, the father asked his son. “Just between you and me?”
“When you brother left home, your mother and I never heard from him. We thought he was dead. Seeing him again is like having him brought back from the dead.”
“I never thought of it like that,” said the other son.
“When you and I are together,” said the father, “it’s always good times. Let’s go into the party,” said the father, putting his arms around his son’s shoulder, “and get something to eat. A little singing. A little dancing. It will be our party too.” (2)
Yes, Jesus could tell a good story, eh?
(1) Lois Cheney. God is No Fool. Nashville: Abingdon, 1969. p. 23
(2) William Griffin. Jesus for Children. Minneapolis: Winston Press, 1985. p. 69-71