“Push out a little from the shore.”

Jesus was crowded and pressed while speaking at the sea shore so he stepped into a boat and asked the owners to push out from the shore. He needed space. It’s been said that he wanted to give everyone the ability to hear (sound amplifies when it’s traveling over water).

He spoke from the boat for the remainder of his talk.

The issue that Jesus faced on that shore is the issue that he still faces today – people aren’t able to hear.

We’ve learned how to capture sound waves and direct them through wires and the air with precision. We’ve created ways to amplify sound using technologies like radios, cell phones and televisions. But we still see attitudes like respect-of-persons (where we place our existence over another persons’). And we don’t have to highlight the South American caravan to make the point, we only have to turn our gaze to our high school lunch rooms, office spaces, governments, families, social media postings or like we’ve recognized through our news reports, the church.

Even though we have ears, I’m not sure we’re hearing Jesus’ message. Even though we’ve amplified the sound, I’m not sure its peaking over the messages that its standing behind in line to our hearts.

A few days ago I was talking with Pastor Ian Taylor about a message he preached. Pastor Ian is a first time church planter living in Akron, Ohio (Light Work Church). In his message he mentioned something about Jesus and parables. I asked him, “Why do you think that Jesus used parables?”

Pastor Ian responded, “To identify seekers.”

Jesus cloaked his points with stories to see who would seek to ask for further elaborations. Some of us like the stories for its entertainment value then we go home. In today’s world we’re inundated with messages and we pick which one entertains us best just like the judges on The Voice.

Today Jesus has to wait in line like all the other contestants who is vying for our attention and he better be good when his turn comes too. He better have none of that blood talk or eat flesh talk either. And by the way, what kind of network does he have? He only talks with poor, outcast, and strangers? Why should anybody even listen to him? He doesn’t even hang out with who I want to be like!

Jesus shared many insights, in this post I’m highlighting respect-of-persons (the attitude that we love to receive honor from each other more than the honor that comes from God).

If Jesus’ message ever comes to us and we feel like we don’t need it or need to follow it, then he wasn’t talking to us. Because Jesus NEVER asked a “righteous” person to follow him. Can we hear that? I think he was pushed out enough for us to hear that.

© 2018, Ira Webbe Jr, all rights reserved


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