Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them.
I love Coldplay. I think their X&Y album is a masterpiece. As I’m always saying to my friends, I think that this album works together as a coherent work of art, in a way that very few albums do these days. My housemate and a few of my friends are off to Wembley this weekend to see Coldplay perform live, and I’m very jealous, because I’m not going.
Coldplay is one of those bands that continues to draw huge numbers of people to their gigs. The capacity of Wembley stadium is 90,000, and I suspect that the crowd on Saturday will be close to that. That’s just one evening! Many of the people who go will no doubt be the die hard fans who go to see Coldplay whenever they can; they never tire of seeing their idols perform live.
In our verse today, Jesus has once again drawn a large crowd to him. This seems to be becoming a bit of a theme; everywhere that Jesus goes, the crowds follow. It doesn’t matter if these people have heard Jesus before, they continue to go and listen to him.
What does Jesus do when he gets this captive audience? Once again, he teaches them. Mark keeps stressing that Jesus teaches the crowd, and so I feel no shame in repeating this theme in our Daily Readings. At every opportunity Jesus wants to share the gospel with those around him.
There are two ways of learning from this passage. First of all, if we imagine ourselves in the crowd, are we going to listen carefully to all that Jesus says? What are we going to do with these teachings? And secondly, we can put ourselves in Christ’s shoes – are we taking every opportunity available to us to preach the gospel?