Longview, Texas
15 June 2024
Gospel Spotlight


May 28, 2023

By Glenn Miller

GOD’S WORD: “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” – Psalm 119:130

The English language is sometimes a difficult thing to understand because of all the colloquial sayings and idioms we use in our everyday language. This can be confusing to someone who is trying to learn the language by the definition of individual words. An idiom is “a speech form or an expression of a given language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements.” Examples of our more common idioms (and my comments) are as follows:

  • RAINING CATS AND DOGS: How did pets get in rain clouds in the first place?
  • SMART AS A WHIP: Just how smart is a whip?
  • BREAK A LEG: As a good luck wish, do we really wish them to disable themselves by breaking a major bone?
  • GOT OFF ON THE WRONG FOOT: Must only apply to marching band people, since we all know to kick off on the left foot.
  • WET BEHIND THE EARS: An expression of a beginner or inexperienced person, does this imply that all beginners are unable to grasp the concept of drying themselves properly?
  • CRAZY LIKE A FOX: What did the little fox do to deserve this negative attention?  I know some Foxes who live in Colorado, and they don’t impress me as crazy.
  • TALKING TURKEY: When I’ve overheard people “talkin’ turkey’, the conversation is rarely about poultry.
  • PAY THE PIPER: Must have been sponsored by the International Piper’s Union #327.
  • CAT GOT YOUR TONGUE: Another indication why dogs are better than cats.

Just as it is important for a person to understand that these idioms are used only to illustrate the severity or velocity of something, it is equally important to understand that Jesus used idioms and parables in His teachings.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep was not intended as a lesson in sheep management, but as a reminder that there is a loving Redeemer who is constantly searching to save lost souls.

The Parable of the Net is not solely about fishing techniques, but how God has designed a plan to separate the righteous from the unrighteous.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son is not a first-century dramatization, but an example of how God’s love is eternal and unconditional, forgiving the penitent and redeeming them for His glory.

So, the next time you hear an idiom used, take it with a grain of salt. You can tell others that you heard it from me, straight from the horse’s mouth.

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