According to the Gospel of John, Jesus is the divine incarnation of God, come from above to share the truth of God's goodness and love. Now Jesus just has to explain that to a bunch of silly mortals. How to describe the mystery and majesty of God using only human language? Enter figurative language. Jesus loves him some metaphor and uses all kinds of figures of speech to get his point across. How do you think he does?
Questions About Language and Communication
Jesus spoke Aramaic; John's gospel was written in Greek; today, we're reading an English translation of this story. How does all this translation business affect the way we understand the story?
Do poetry, stories, and metaphors reveal truths that ordinary words can't? Is this why you have to keep taking English classes?
Jesus used images of his time to talk about God. If Jesus lived today, what kinds of language would he use to describe God? An iPhone? A tall decaf cappuccino?