The greatest communicator ever chose a target audience and “showed” them truths.
Innurable multitudes have listened to and read His stories. Fifty-six times, the four Gospels recount stories Jesus told.
Stories cross gender, generational, and cultural borders. For thousands of years, people have told stories around camp fires, over meals, during walks, and while putting their children to bed.
Through stories, listeners and readers travel through time and space to encounter conspiracies. They dress in the best and dance at royal balls. They rush down alleys to escape gruesome creatures. They reason with detectives and learn the awful truth that sometimes friends betray friends. Children become cats, or dolphins. Possibilities are endless …
Recently, several publications have touted the value of storytelling in education. Students can learn new ways of looking at old information. Instead of memorizing historical details, students experience events that live on in their memories. They row a boat across the Delaware for Washington; they watch in horror as President Lincoln slumps in the chair next to them …
Even nonfiction writers and speakers (like me) can use storytelling to reach our target audiences. People remember illustrations better than “the three main points” of a speech or essay.
Jesus said to people who grew grapes in Israel, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
He told commercial fishermen, “Come, follow me … and I will send you out to fish for people” (Mark 1:17).
What advice do you think Jesus would offer writers?
Jesus also spoke in metaphors (word pictures) and used dramatic visual aids. Did He create things in our physical world, knowing He would use them to help us understand spiritual truths?
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life,” and He multiplied two loaves into enough bread to feed 5000 men, plus women and children. The disciples even collected twelve baskets of extras (to feed the twelve disciples?).
John introduced Jesus as “Light of the world.” Later, Jesus said, “I am the light,” and he healed a physically blind man to show His ability to heal spiritual blindness.
He announced, “I am the resurrection and the life,” and He raised Lazarus from the dead.
Who would know better how to communicate effectively than Jesus, the Word made flesh?
I'd love to hear your thoughts about this subject. Please leave a comment.