By Brian Henderson - June 4, 2009
Photo courtesy of Sreejith K
Again Jesus began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. (Mark 4:1)
Chapter four of Mark's Gospel continues from the above verse to tell the story of Jesus teaching the crowd many things in parables. There's much that can be said about these parables; however, I'd like to focus on the opening verse above...
Such a very large crowd gathered around him...
Sometimes I wonder if we read through the Bible too fast and fail to reflect upon the many people who are represented within the scriptures. We may easily be able to come up with a quick "Who's Who" of the Bible and list many famous Bible characters and persons, but have you ever stopped to consider the many people-even the crowds-whom the scriptures include?
Throughout the Gospels especially, there are many crowds mentioned. What were they like? Who was there? Were they younger or older people? Did they include children, youth, and adults? What languages did the crowds represent? What family traditions did they reflect? What type of clothing did they wear? Our questions and curiosities can be endless.
I have to wonder if there were people like you and me in the crowds.Probably so. Isn't this reassuring? Isn't it amazing to think that Jesus would take time to be with you and me? This is a real gift and treasure for which we can be thankful. I suppose an even greater gift and treasure is what Jesus did for the crowds-and for us-on the cross.
Prayer: Amazing God, thank you for your love. Thank you for caring about people like us. Thank you for your love that has been demonstrated by the One who took time even from a boat to share the good news of your kingdom with the world. Like good soil, may we receive this good news and watch it grow in our lives. Amen.
Brian Henderson is the senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of Denver, CO.