“He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: ‘Listen.’” (Mark 4:2)
The situation could easily have turned ugly.
As the crowds surged toward him, they threatened to crush Christ with their aggressive behavior. The wind whipped waves and slapped them along the shoreline; he calmly maneuvered into the safety of the vessel he had requested his disciples to prepare. The boat bobbed in rhythm with the water as the disciples anchored close to shore. With the lake to his back and the multitudes perched before him, the Master Teacher projected his voice, positioning himself in order for the crowd to hear every word.
In sandals covered in sand and garments splashed by Galilee’s sea, the people pressed against the water’s edge for another helping of what this Healer had previously delivered. The leper, the paralytic, and the one who now boasted an un-‐-‐-‐ shriveled hand were effective advertisements of his miraculous touch. The silenced demons spoke volumes, too. Where disorderly conduct could have reigned, they were held spellbound by this King holding court within the confines of a simple wooden boat. No royal throne had ever held such distinction as when he extended truth to them like a regal scepter.
“Listen,” was the first word from the teacher’s lips. Before he even began the parable of the sower and the seeds, before he explained the significance of the soils, the Rabbi seized their attention with his supreme authority.
“Listen to the words I am going to share, though words are strewn generously on every shore and field. Quiet your hearts; otherwise, you will not be able to hear the truth I want to give.” The Master Storyteller soothed the crowds then; he still longs to quiet our restless souls.
He will bring order to our disheveled world, calm to our chaos, as we wait attentively for him to speak by the shore of our own windswept Galilee.