The Biblical ‘Parable’ originally meant an ‘absurd, enigmatic expression’. Asked why he spoke in parables, Jesus quotes Isaiah:
‘By hearing ye shall not hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall not see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross…’
The Eastern Church insightfully saw greater danger in reassuring sensibility than in the absurd and in the cryptic. ‘Scripture shorn of antinomy’, it voiced, ‘is Scripture suspect’.
Contrary to popular belief, the Western Church held no different. The difference is more in the speed of memory-loss.
‘Miracle’ [from the Latin, Mira for ‘Wonder’], is the manifestly inexplicable event. A defiant event in violation of accepted, credible laws. There is no religion still around that does not have the miracle and the magical act as the main feature of attraction.
Nothing will make the crowd fall to its knees as would the display of a minor miracle. Reason has no capability to convince. Every other inducement does better. But none as potent as magic and miracle.