Faith in Jesus
Updated: Apr 6
There are many stories in the New Testament in which Jesus is near to water, such as the Sea of Galilee. One such story can be found in the Gospel of Mark . Chapter 4 starts with the words, Jesus began teaching by the lake, and a large crowd gathered around him. He got into a boat so that he could sit and teach from the lake. All the people stayed on the shore near the water. Jesus used stories to teach them many things.
What did Jesus teach? In this particular chapter of Mark, he taught the crowds about a farmer sowing his seeds to ensure a good harvest. In others he spoke about fishing nets, an unfaithful servant, a vineyard or a wedding banquet. In the parable of the sower, the seed was scattered around, something those listening would have been able to identify with. Who know
s, as Jesus was teaching the crowd from the boat, there may have been a farmer sewing seed nearby from which Jesus took his illustration.
These stories, or parables, were about everyday events with which folk could easily identify. They were generally easy to understand and therefore quite memorable: but why did Jesus speak in this way? Each of the stories has a different content, but in each one Jesus gave plenty of food for thought.
Some of his listeners who gathered to hear these parables might make light of them, and return to their homes without giving the stories a second thought. Others might have walked away pondering why Jesus needed to get into a boat to speak to the huge crowd, only to recount a simple story. Some might wonder why Jesus didn’t take the opportunity to tell them something more important . . . or had he just done that? Perhaps the subject matter was immaterial and what really mattered was how people responded to Jesus?
If you were standing on the lakeside listening to Jesus, what would you have taken from these stories? Perhaps you might have been amused at the humour in them, or wondered how his words could apply to you.
The sower threw out lots of seed, but it was the individual seed that grew. Large crowds stood on the coastline to hear Jesus, but it was the individuals that responded to him and his message.
What do you make of the teaching of Jesus? As you think about the stories of Jesus, think about how you might respond today and then take the steps to make it happen.