Even the bible scholars get off on tangents, and come up with some of the most confusing and preposterous non-logical concepts, especially where the sequence of last day events is concerned and how earth's history is going to wrap up.
You need to let the Bible define its own symbols. If you don't understand something in one part of the Bible, then look up the same key word somewhere else in the Bible. In fact, go to biblegateway.com and plug in the word you're looking for, and it will come up with every occurrence of that word in the Bible, in any translation you want to pick.
Recognize that Jesus taught in parables. The people he preached to were often living in an agrarian society, so the parables used situations that are commonly recognized in that society. Like lost sheep. The cultural practices are also helpful to know, like for the parable of the lost coin. But these parables also have a spiritual application. They teach about right and wrong attitudes, character change, and encourage people to seek to live a noble life, rather than gratifying their lusts and forgetting about the consequences.