There is a moment in Lincoln when one of the men around the president, Edwin Stanton, bursts out with, ‘You’re going to tell one of your stories! I can’t stand to hear another one of your stories!’ Certainly Lincoln uses stories to provoke and communicate time after time in this movie. He finds them useful, engaging and effective. As did Jesus.
I’m not sure if any of the Pharisees ever made a comment like Edwin Stanton’s. Perhaps they did – some of Jesus’s parables were aimed as rebuffs at them. Lincoln makes the comment here that even in a 2000 year old book of mechanical law there is a self-evident truth. Jesus drew on writings much older than this, and his sayings are now themselves 2000 years old. But age cannot mug truth of its power and meaning.
One of Jesus’s friends once said, ‘You have the words of eternal life’ and millions have been digging deep and unearthing those words for their meaning and wisdom ever since. We live in an age when everyone can be a prophet and a poet via social media. Billions of words now bleed across the virtual planet every day. (Including these!) But the words of Jesus have stood the test of time. They can be trusted. Lives can be built on them, and new life can be found within them.