Jesus knows the language necessary to speak of spiritual things and insists that his disciples learn it. Religion has always needed the language of metaphor, symbol, story, and analogy to point to the transcendent universe. There is actually no other way. Against conventional wisdom, such usage does not demand less of us, but much more. Maybe that is why we so consistently avoid sacred story in favor of mere mechanical readings that we can limit and control.
—from the book Jesus’ Alternative Plan: The Sermon on the Mount
by Richard Rohr, OFM