Pinned by Parables: Rock Star Jesus Sings Stairway to Heaven

Don’t believe every word I say. I’ve been known to lie many times. I’ve conned people, gone to strip joints, and drunk way too much alcohol.

That could be anybody talking, right?

But this is me, and I’m saying: I found something lodged between the warring hemispheres of my brain. A lost whisper haunting the silent grooves of my heart. I’m not sure which organ hosts the human soul but something sure-as-hell found something.

So let me tell you how I found Jesus and how that astonishing feat affected everything — my anarchist worldview, my complicated career, the world’s inexorable road to climate change, my joy ride with rock-and-roll, and NASA’s search for life elsewhere in the universe.

When Bob Dylan went through what could be a similar experience in the 1970s, nothing in the world could stop him from singing about Jesus. Not his reputation among the leading thinkers of his generation, nor his critically acclaimed lyrics that often hit the sweet spot between poetic brilliance and mass appeal, especially in songs like Blowin’ In the Wind and Mr. Tambourine Man.

The revolutionary anthem, Like a Rolling Stone — which Dylan wrote in 1965 — describes the experience of being lost but never found, and ranks among the most influential songs ever written. Incidentally, the song title gives a clue to why “Born Again Bob” didn’t have even the slightest chance to elude the grace of Jesus when he met the messiah the way he did.

A rock can’t help but roll

Around 33 C.E., a Jewish man named Yeshua entered the city of Jerusalem riding a colt. Nope, it wasn’t a heroic equestrian scene at all like Napoleon Bonaparte mounted on a rampant white stallion nor Alexander the Great leading a cavalry charge astride his famous warhorse Bucephalus.