[A devotional note…]


   Once again, literalism gets in the way of Truth.


   Jesus is on trial as his ministry ends:

   A witness comes forward to testify.

   “This man [Jesus] stated, ‘I am able to destroy the Temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.’ “¹  –Mt. 26:61.


   “Well,” one may think, “we’re suppose to take Jesus’ words as recorded in the Bible literally, aren’t we?”

   “No,” we reply, “not always.” Jesus can’t be–honestly–convicted of a felony for lying in court…for 2 reasons.”


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   (1)  About the Temple issue, Jesus was silent in court.

   (2)  Jesus often, very often, employed metaphors to speak to others².

   A metaphor is an implied comparison. A person has an iron will or a heart of gold. Or to be more prosaic: She has a strong will or a rich and/or generous heart. (Even “heart” here is a metaphor. “She has a generous disposition” is perhaps more factually accurate…and boring. And what, anyway, is a “disposition”?)

   Enough about metaphor which we’ve discussed earlier several times. (Go after it in the Search Window above if you wish.)

   In short, a metaphor often says things better, or more sharply, if you allow yourself to mentally or subconsciously consider what’s being said or read. The mind needs to work just a bit before triggering responding lips to react or fingers to record.

   But in some cases, a metaphor can consciously, or subconsciously, be pushed the wrong way to say the wrong thing. And strangely, the educated and/or rigid-minded are often the worst offenders.

   And do the most damage, falsely accusing someone of spouting nonsense or lying.


   ¹ It’s interesting to note that this declaration–at least as recorded in the Bible–comes from the first part of Jesus’ ministry. And passed on and remembered. See John 2:19.

   ² A classic example of this is the educated Nicodemus’s misunderstanding as recorded in chapter 3 of John (right after the passage cited above).