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Illustrate Like Max and John (pt. 3)

Seven skills for finding daily life examples for preaching

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This is part three of a three-part series. In parts one and two, Larson shared several skills for gleaning illustrations from everyday life, including the use of both figurative and literal speech.

Metaphorical Ability

As the previous point emphasizes, all illustrations are not metaphorical, but Jesus himself shows that metaphors can play a powerful role in preaching. Developing them is worth our time.

Metaphors compare two different things with one or more similarities. Through their differences and similarities, the one reveals something about the other.

When I look for metaphor in a slice of life, I begin by noting the feelings and connotations suggested by it, because that contributes to how metaphors give insight (again, it is both the similarities and the differences that make metaphors valuable). For example, if I call a big football player a tank, the metaphor gives understanding because it implies more than big. Lots of things are big—giraffes, buildings, puffy cumulus clouds, ...

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