Don’t DEFINE. BECOME.

Jesus told stories … and used metaphors. Pharisees didn’t use language that way. They used language to define and defend.

The contrast in the two ways of using language became about as clear as it can get when one day a man asked Jesus to define “neighbor.” Pharisees loved definitions. Jesus answered him with a story, the story of the Samaritan (Luke 10). If Jesus had answered the question along the lines in which it was asked, the two men could have split hairs of a definition far into the night. But Jesus didn’t do that. He told a story. The story pulled the man into BECOMING a living flesh and blood neighbor (or not), not bloodlessly defining the idea of neighbor.

Eugene Peterson, The Jesus Way, p 213-214.

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