And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered to him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship…
I. The PLACE where Christ taught.
1. By the seaside. Opposed to a prevailing notion. This example at present imitated.
2. In a ship. The spread of the gospel prefigured.
II. Those who formed His AUDIENCE.
1. The general crowd.
2. The apostles and disciples.
III. The MANNER in which Christ taught.
1. He taught the multitudes in parables. Remarkable for simplicity when understood. Very apt and likely to be misunderstood.
2. He explained His parables to His disciples, but this was accompanied by reproof.
IV. THE REASON HE TAUGHT THE MULTITUDE IN PARABLES.
1. As a fulfilment of prophecy (Psalm 78:2; Matthew 13:34, 35).
2. In consequence of the moral state of the Jewish nation (Isaiah 6:9, 10; Matthew 13:14, 15, and elsewhere).
3. Originally, and as quoted, describes a particular moral state, in which — The Word is not understood, not felt, does not convert, is not heard. This state is ascribed to themselves, to the prophet, to God (Matthew 13:14, 15; Isaiah 6:9, 10; John 12:40). Learn: That the ungodly see and hear without understanding; that in order that a people be left in darkness, it is not necessary that the gospel be removed; that when a faithful ministry is sent to a people, it is not always for their conversion; that the means of converting are also the means of hardening.
V. THE REASON CHRIST TAUGHT HIS DISCIPLES MORE DIRECTLY.
1. A knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom was a gift to them.
2. Instruction was the mode of conveying it.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.