Metaphors With Meaning

The Bible is full of metaphors. Metaphors? Yes. A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a likeness, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.”

God is not literally a fortress, but He does for us what a fortress does for its occupant. It provides strength and protection.

Humor is found when people mix their metaphors, as in:

He is trying to get all of his ducks on the same page.

He has a lot of black sheep in his closet.

I’ve got it right on the fork of my tongue.

I looked to see what I could hear.

Consider the following metaphors in the Bible and their meaning.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Here Jesus compares Himself to a vine and calls His followers branches of the vine, in that they are extensions of Himself and good things will come as a result of their faith.

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

Jesus compares Himself to a shepherd, and His people to sheep. A shepherd’s job is to protect the sheep from danger and lead them to pasture. Similarly, Jesus explains that He has to die to protect His people. This is a clear depiction of Jesus dying for our sins, and of our relationship to Him.

As sheep in the Bible are completely dependent on the shepherd, so we are dependent on Him. As the shepherd is to the sheep, so Jesus is to us.

As you venture in life, go forth with the confidence of the psalmist who wrote, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want … He restores my soul.” 

Reenact that and live confidently, as in a mixed metaphor, don’t run around like a chicken with a bad haircut.