A friend in seminary joked that exegesis sounded like “stage directions for Jesus.” Exit Jesus, stage left. Dumb humor. Years later I still remember it. If exegesis is the believer’s scriptural goal—to humbly and openly learn/discern from the word rather than blanketing it with our own manure—then I do think that, sometimes, Jesus needs to exit the “stage.” An actor first memorizes an author’s lines. But the play or film will have no life until the actor embodies the lines. I love that we have the great parables, from the simple woman seeking a lost coin to the complex tale of a father with two sons. But they are merely swell stories that Jesus told long ago until we begin to live them out in our daily lives, until we claim our tiny, essential place on the stage to increase our faith and help others in their journey of faith.