I do not believe that Jesus was a real person. I believe he was a mythical creation. I have believed this long before I heard of mythicism. A lot of things in the biblical account of Jesus just didn’t add up. I will eventually get around to writing a post that fleshes this out a bit more. For now, I just want to focus on one passage that stands out that seems to support the mythicist position:
The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: Matt. 13:11-13, 18
Let us not lose sight of the answer Jesus gave to one of the most important questions asked in the bible. Like the disciples, I also wanted to know why Jesus spoke in parables that were hard to understand. Rather than obfuscating, Jesus responded to the question with a direct, and unequivocal answer: Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them
(For extra credit, look up mystery religions.)
By his own admission, Jesus didn’t want the masses to understand his kingdom teachings. He wanted them to be confused because the teaching was supposed to be a mystery available only to the inner circle. He then goes on to explain the parable, but only to his disciples.
When Jesus said that the one who has little will have it taken away, and the one with some will be given more, he wasn’t talking about money, but secret knowledge of the kingdom. Jesus is about to increase the knowledge of his disciples while intentionally confusing the crowd.
For this point, the actual meaning of the parable is not important. The fact that you heard what Jesus whispered to his disciples is proof that it never happened. Think about it: You were let in on a secret from which the masses were excluded. The secret was written down in a mass market book freely available to everyone in the world.
If Jesus had intended to keep the meaning a secret from the masses, he should have told his biographer to leave that part out where he revealed it to his disciples. It goes against the express wishes of Jesus that what he said was written down and shared with the whole world. If Jesus didn’t want it to get out, you wouldn’t be able to read about it.
What all that means is that this is nothing more than a story. It never happened. It is not history. We have both the parable, and the secret resolution to the parable because it is just a story. As the reader of this particular piece of fiction, you are made to feel like you are on the boat with Jesus, a part of his inner circle. You get the insider perspective.
Clearly, this scene is made up. Thing is, Matthew made up a lot of Jesus speeches and events. He is not a reliable witness of anything. He is a storyteller. The question becomes, why did the gospel writers have to make up stories about Jesus if they had access to a real Jesus. Since it is clear that this parable was made up, why not all the parables? Why not the sermon on the mount?
Even by conservative estimates, these writings were decades after Jesus supposedly left the scene. Jesus did not have a biographer because there was no one walking around raising dead people. Jesus stories are no more real than King Author stories. That is why we get to be in on the secrets, and be in on what certain people were thinking. Every page of the gospels is written like a work of fiction. The reason for that is because fiction is exactly what it is.