“The greatest miracles Jesus did were his stories” says Nigerian author Ben Okri. Stories were Jesus’ weapons against oblivion and death. He resurrected world through his stories and miracle of new thinking. Perhaps he came only to say stories. One cannot become a story teller without seeing things intimately and thus feeding his imagination. Jesus might have spent hours looking at a flower, fallen leaf, dispersing clouds, folding sea. In turn, they revealed their secrets to him.
Jesus stories have a deepening reactive aspect. The Old Testament sometimes acts like stories which despise stories. The law is an anti-story. So Jews abandoned stories in order to become a religion of law. No law can contain God and they are dogmatic. Law and dogmas can be anti-human as Wittgenstein observes, “Dogmas tell us what happened and what will happen but, the don’t tell us what happens.” Stories which are told hundred years back have ingrained strength to lay hold of what happens. Laws are rigid and they rule out exceptions. So Jesus stories were full of exceptions and perhaps, they speak only about exceptions that love creates mysteriously.
While reading his stories, we come to know an another way of seeing things. They compel us to change our perspectives and take up eternity instead. “Everything that looks from the perspective of eternity is eternal” says Spinoza. Jesus stories this perspective of eternity. This why they are not logical nor brainy. What sort of shepherd will leave his ninety-nine sheeps and will go in search of the lost one? What land owner would be so foolish as to send his son after his servants had been killed? The story of the prodigal son even makes a paradoxical claim that in order to be awaken into true love one must be lost. The story ends up as a praise for one who is lost and then back than the one who is always with the father. And the story is not so much about the prodigal son but prodigal father who squanders his love. Jesus’ stories are fearless, they don’t mind what they are going to lose. They are in search of that which should not be lost. Being fearless, they do impossibles.
Paul Ricoeur makes an enigmatic remark about parables of Jesus that “The kingdom of God is not what parable tells us but what happens to the parables”. Ricoeur compares miracles to parables: “If we consider that the success of Jesus the miracle worker on the bodies of those he heals at the beginning of his ministry leads to the defeat of his body in death”. In the same way the parables Jesus tell what happens to him. He became the grain of wheat, prodigal father, shepherd in search of lost of sheep, net that is cast into the sea, son sent to cruel vineyard keepers.
However, to become a parable one has to go over normality of reality. Man is half real and half dream and this reality is that make us mundane preventing is from from flying. And normality is an imposed terror. In his introduction to Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel Master and Margarita, Richard paver makes this observation “There are those who belong to parable and those who belong to reality and there are those who go over and those who do not. There are those who win in parables and become parables themselves, and there are those who in reality.” One who tries to win in parables will not win reality. Reality will defeat him. In the novel Masteer and Margarita, Woland, who is actually the devil is the one who wins in reality. In the first chapter, there is a dialogue between Jesus and Pilate. Pilate takes Jesus for an innocent young man who has lost his ways to become a loafer. Jesus looks a simpleton and full of follies because he has won over reality and become a parable. But “Pilate breaks off dialogue with Yeshua and does not ‘go over’ and afterwards must sit like a stone for two thousand years waiting to continue their conversation.” Parable of Jesus cut through the normality of this world and invites the reader to enter in to a parable of which this world looks like a folly. Why should we enter into a parable because compared to the hugeness of our desire, reality is not enough. That’s why Jesus says man is not lived bread alone but on every word that is issued from the mouth of God.” which is always a parable.
K.P Appan, noted critic if Malayalam gave a beautiful testimony of his faith in Jesus when he said “ I don’t know whether Jesus is God or not but i am sure about one thing that if God happen to live on earth, He would like Jesus”. This is perhaps the best way to say that Jesus is God. Theres are some serious questions regarding the historical accuracy of the Gospels. Especially about his miracles. I too don’t know whether they happened or not. but one thing is sure that they all fit in to him. He is worthy of all the miracles that are attributed to him. They must have happened. “Events have spiritual weight, that has nothing to do with weight of history” says Susan Sontag.
The greatest miracle that happened in the life of Jesus was the resurrection. In resurrection Jesus got over reality and turned himself into a story. Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it.” says Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Now he is not a slave of reality. Reality is subjected to him. “I have overcome the world” He himself says. He is both far and near, graspable and elusive, matter and spirit. No book, theory, philosophy, theology and gospel can contain him fully. He is truer than truth. He is the story that must be told and retold. And one who becomes a parable creates his past.