07.02.10 LAKESIDE

Posted under Reflections on February 6th, 2010 by
While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.  He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.  Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. (Lk 5,1-3)

The crowd was pressing in on Jesus to listen to the word of God.

But the word of God was read and preached in the synagogue. Jews had such a respect for the word of God that they would not play about with it. Especially they would not look for it in the sea shore/lakeside. So the crowd was more on to Jesus and the words of the Kingdom that he was preaching.  The word of (God) Jesus was attracting the crowd.

Why do we find the preacher on the sea shore or the lakeside?

So he himself was not like the official preachers who were found in the temple and in the synagogues or in their homes. Sea shore/lakeside is the place where you find no buildings, no structures, and no institutions. It is an open space. Only the elements of nature like air, water, earth, space and fire (to cook fish) are found. Basic created elements are there and visible and observable. Probably Jesus wanted to preach to the universe and the people were also a part of these listeners.

If you know the geography of the people of Israel, then you will understand that sea is the farthest end of the earth and there is nothing beyond. So Jesus takes the extreme end and he can only preach to the landside. For behind him there is nothing (it is the end of the world). So he preaches to the whole living things of the earth.

He preaches to the universe and also to the whole creation.

He stands on the water in a boat. He is the master of the water as God the creator was at the time of creation. And the miracle that takes place behind him in the sea is really a miracle. But it is also a parable for the viewers. Peter, the fisherman, who was a failure in catching fish that day, finds himself catching loads of them at the command of Jesus, son of a carpenter. But Jesus is in command.

And again this is a parable, because the kingdom of God will be like this. Human hands will catch nothing for the kingdom but it is the work of Jesus that will bring in loads of people into the kingdom that even boats (churches) will not be able to hold.

So Jesus preaches the kingdom to the universe, to the elements, to the earth – from the ends of the earth, and to the people.  And the kingdom will have followers in great numbers as to sink the boats.

06.02.10 REST

Posted under Reflections on February 5th, 2010 by

He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place

and rest a while." People were coming and going in great 
numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they 
went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. 
Mk 6,31-32
Jesus asks disciples to take rest.
But, it he who said that the harvest is plenty and the labourers
are few. (Mt 9,37)
It is he who sent his disciples with nothing to carry with except
the message. Because the mission was urgent and it has to 
be completed in time. They had no time to sit and relax in stead 
they had to dust their feet and move to next place.
How could such urgency be broken with rest in the desert?
Could we say that Jesus, though he was aware of the urgency
of the mission, was more human than many of us. When he 
knew that his disciples had completed a course of activities,
then he also allowed them to have the needed rest.
When he sent them for a mission he gave them directions as to
what to carry and how to go about. But now they are just told 
to be off and take rest. Nothing to do.  It is only for a while.
Could this be to imitate God the creator who rested on the sabbath?
That is God created everything, then rested, then he continued 
with the other works (providence, redemption etc).
Similarly this rest could be, to start other activities, for the disciples.
Whatever be Jesus says that rest is to have a break from the previous
activities; it is to move away from the place of ministry (to desert);
it is also to be far away form the people (not to be disturbed).
And it is for a while. 
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