BIBLE INSIGHT in 500 words.
BIBLE INSIGHT: Power in the Story of Jesus
Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.
“Tell me a story,” is the heart-cry of every child, indeed, every human being. The simple phrase, “once upon a time,” carries our minds and hearts and souls to new places with new perspective. Stories have power.
Jesus often told stories. His parables were designed to draw us into a different world, a different way of looking at life and God and ourselves. When the story was over, people were changed because their way of looking at the world change.
The first apostles had another story to tell – the story of Jesus himself (Acts 2, 14-39; 3:12-26; 4:8-12; 5:29-32; 8:35, 10:34-43, etc). They knew they could tell it in one way or in another way. They could tell the story in a long version or shorten version. But they always told the same ending, the cross and resurrection. The story of Jesus carries the power of all great stories. However, we know that the story of Jesus carries a higher and more profound power.
1-The story carries the power of the true history of the creator God who made a covenant with Israel to save the world.
2-Also, the story invokes the power in the name of Jesus. The book of Acts often speaks of the power of Jesus’ name (See Acts 2:38; 3:6, 14; 4:10, 18; 5:40; 8:12; 9:27; 10:48; 16:18; 26:9; also, Phil. 2:10).
3-Finally, the story releases the power to transform lives, the lives of all who believe and follow Jesus Christ as Lord.
The story of Fanny Crosby is an example of the power of the Story of Jesus. Blinded by the clumsiness of a physician as an infant, she had quite a life story by the time she turned 60. Fanny’s amazing accomplishments were already magnified because she was a blind woman, who nevertheless learned to play multiple instruments, write poetry, spoke publicly, and organize missionary works in poverty-stricken urban areas.
She also faced disappointments when in in 1880 she separated from her husband, Alexander Van Alstyne. That same year she made a choice to live in a slum in Manhattan. This was the time from which she served at the Water Street Mission. Can one imagine a more challenging environment than living in a slum helping the poor? It was in this atmosphere that she focused attention not on herself and what she could do, but instead she focused on Him. Perhaps she’d concluded that the best way to help the poor, and to manage her personal marital regrets, was to think about God’s son. It was that year she wrote the hymn:
Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word.
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.
I am indebted to SongScoops
for the story of Fanny Crosby