The Gospel of Mark | By the Lake | Mark 4.1-2 | 

by | Nov 14, 2023

”Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables.” Mark 4.1-2

John Wesley gets a lot of credit for being “vile” and preaching the gospel outdoors. He took the gospel to people who were not allowed in the churches. Much of his success was to preach in these settings and to a people who were starved for an encounter with God.

But in truth, Jesus was doing this way before Wesley. Sometimes he preached in the synagogues but most of the time he was an itinerant preacher taking the gospel on the road and preaching outdoors to the people and whoever would listen and in a way they could hear (i.e. parables).

This instance, Jesus is by the Sea of Galilee. This is no small lake – although it’s not as large as some might think. Jesus “began to teach by the lake,” and “because the crowd was so large, he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge.” Genius move Jesus! Imagine a Taylor Swift concert – if she were to sing in the middle of the crowd she would be mobbed! So shes on an elevated stage, with security. In the same way, Jesus went out into a boat, a ways from shore, and taught the people from there.

Now what he taught is the parable of the sower which I will discuss next time, but this time I want to simply emphasize that Jesus went out to the lake, to the crowds, to the countryside, to the people. And he did not teach way above their head or station — he taught in parables. Stories that everyone could understand at some level. For the highly educated, they saw the depth in truths. For the innocent and young, they grasped the teachings with child-like faith.

Jesus was accessible. He made himself available. When God could have let the world go to hell in a hand-basket, he sent Jesus. The Word made Flesh came to earth so we might know and love God.

Aren’t we glad we have a God who goes above and beyond in order to reach his people? Aren’t we happy to have a God who holds nothing back, including sending his son to save us? I know I am!

”O Lord God, your love is life. Your words are truth. Thank you for loving your people. Thank you for redeeming lost sinners and saving us. Come now, Holy Spirit, draw all people to yourself. Help me know the power of your love. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen