It is clear that many of Jesus’ miracles are really acted out parables. A classic example is the calming of the storm. It is not just a story about an historical event. It is a lesson on how Jesus can get us through the storms of life. I love what John Ortberg says about this story: “Peace doesn’t come from finding a lake with no storms. It comes from having Jesus in the boat.”[1]

Jesus taught a very important lesson that day on the lake. But, he didn’t do it with PowerPoint and a good lecture. He did it with a hands-on approach. Jesus acted out the parable by allowing the disciples to get in a storm, and then calming it before their very eyes. His way was unforgettable. Hands-on often is.

Consider the story of Jesus cursing the fruitless tree. Mark 11.13 explains that it was not the season for figs—thus no figs. Jesus curses it anyway. Why? It is an acted out parable. He is teaching what he taught in John 15 that, “He cuts off every branch that bears no fruit.” This way of teaching the lesson was unforgettable.

The ultimate example of course, was the cross. And, it goes without saying that it was more than an acted our parable. But, what a teaching on being willing to humble yourself and put up with mistreatment and turning the other cheek. Paul taught this lesson through a question, “Why not rather be wronged?” Jesus taught it in an unforgettable way on the cross.

The more senses you can engage, the better.


[1] John Ortberg, The Me I Want to Be, p. 115.