Today we are meditating on Mark 4:1,2. "Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land" (vs 1). The Lord of the universe, who created water and land, knew that sound bounces off water. Therefore, his words could be heard by a greater number of people if he was in a boat off shore.
"And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them..." (vs 2). Have you noticed how often Jesus was "teaching" his disciples? His ministry seemed to contain three parts: preaching/teaching, healing and casting out demons. We should never miss the importance of the "teaching" component. It's at the heart of making a "disciple."
What is a "disciple?" The word means learner, pupil. A disciple is constantly learning, growing in his faith. A disciple of Jesus hungers daily to be taught by him. A stagnant disciple is an oxymoron.
Jesus used parables to teach. They are stories with an insight into the kingdom of God. They are easy to remember and pack a punch for growth in God's kingdom. To those with hard hearts, these stories are severe warnings. To those who want to grow, they help people experience God's rule in their hearts.
As a disciple of Jesus, are you growing daily in your faith? Are you daily learning new insights into your heart's condition and God's potential rule? Do you love to study the parables? When you do study them, do they give you new insights every time you look at them?
You can't be a disciple and not be growing. It's impossible.