We often use analogies to illustrate a difficult concept. The listener uses critical thinking and existing schema to make the connection to the reality the speaker is trying to illustrate. Analogies can be difficult for children, who tend to take things literally and don’t have the experience base to make connections.
Throughout his ministry Jesus used parables, analogies used to illustrate a spiritual lesson. These attempts to simplify his teachings were not always successful, even with his disciples. They were, quite simply, spiritual children, unable to fully comprehend the profound mystery of Christ.
Now, as he prepares for his final hour, Jesus tells the disciples, “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father.” (John 16:25). He knew that all the obscure stories he told would become clear upon his resurrection, and that the descent of the Holy Spirit would open their minds to a greater understanding of divine truth. Now as spiritual children, we have not only the Holy Spirit to guide us, but the gospel to clearly explain the truth.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (John 16:13)