29th January 2011

At The Water’s Edge

“…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…”
Mark 4:1-2 (NIV UK)

Sometimes a biblical verse jumps out and hits you, like a wake-up call when you just want to sleep more. This, for me, is one of those verses.

When I first read it, it did not make much sense. How in the world could all those people hear what he had to say from the boat? What about the noise of the water lapping ashore? Would the waves not drown out his voice? Would he have been able to project his voice in those sound-system-less days?

I had the chance to visit Lake Galilee once and went out on a motorized replica of the fishing boats of Jesus’ time. When out in the lake the engine was turned off and we had an exciting, atmospheric worship service.

As we sailed back to shore what impressed me most was that the lake was so still. No waves. It was like sailing on a mirror. And the sound could carry easily. The guide remarked to me that on such clear and calm days your voice could be heard without difficulty at the water’s edge. So Mark’s account fits right into the topographical context. The image of Jesus sitting in a boat and being heard by the crowds is quite plausible.

Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to have been there to listen to his words?

My life is too often so full of hustle and bustle that I don’t take the time out to listen to what Jesus has to say. Is that how it is for you too at times? We need to find a place, like at the water’s edge, where we listen undisturbed to the words of Jesus.

Father, help me listen to the words of Jesus just like the crowds did at the water’s edge. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Print This Article


Got something to say?