"Jesus asks the disciples, 'Who do you say I am?'" (Matthew 16:15)
observe that the teaching of our Lord Himself, in which there is no
imperfection, is not given in that cut-and-dried, fool-proof, systematic
fashion we might have expected or desired.
He wrote no book. We have only
reported sayings, most of them uttered in answer to questions, shaped in some
degree by their context. And when we
have collected them all, we cannot reduce them to a system. He preaches but He does not lecture. He uses paradox, proverb, exaggeration,
parable, irony, even (I mean no irreverence) the 'wisecrack.' He utters maxims, which, like popular
proverbs, if rigorously taken, may seem to contradict one another. His teaching therefore, cannot be grasped by
the intellect alone, cannot be 'got up' as if it were a 'subject'. If we try to do that with it, we shall find
Him the most elusive of teachers. He
will not be, in the way we want, 'pinned down.'
The attempt is (again I mean no irreverence) like trying to bottle a
C. S. Lewis