I have noticed in reading Holy Scripture that my trend of thought is sidetracked often by a verse that changes
direction of my study goal. It is sort of like a detour in the road. I am headed in the direction I had chosen, but must
 alter my destination first to see where the detour takes me. I call them 'detour verses'. I was 'detoured' by another
trend of thought that calls for study. I have noticed that those 'detour verses' seem to be more abundant in
subsequent passes through Scripture, verses with a special meaning that did not catch my attention in previous passes.
Holy Scripture is deep and at times I am paddling on the surface and miss the deeper meanings.
As I have said before in a previous writing, Holy Scripture should be read slowly and each verse should be pondered upon.
You cannot glean the beauty of Holy Scripture if you simply read it as you would a novel.

Here are a few examples of what I term 'detour verses'.

Mark 4:1-2;
(1) "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.
(2) And he taught them many things in parables,"

I see several interesting things in those two verses.
1. First of all, Jesus taught by the sea but when the crowds got larger He moved to a boat to teach.
Why would He do this? It must have something to do with boats, and what is the most famous boat in
Holy Scripture? My thought was Noah's Ark, where all the people and animals aboard survived the flood,
and everyone else drowned. Noah's Ark is symbolic of the Church which Jesus Christ founded, the saving
institution that He gave to us. Symbolically He was giving us a preview of His teaching from His Church.
2. Secondly, He sat down and began to teach. There are several verses where Jesus is depicted as sitting
down to teach. Some of them are: Matthew 5:1-2, Mark 9:35, Luke 5:3, and John 8:2. Why is this important?
Well it is very important because sitting while teaching is symbolic of teaching with authority. Can you think
of a modern day person who, while seated, is a person of authority? How about a judge?
Well, not only in modern times is this the norm, but in the times when Jesus walked the earth, persons of
authority sat in judgement. See John 19:13 where we have Pilate sitting in judgement of Jesus.
3. Thirdly, why did Jesus teach the crowds in parables? Why did He not explain the meaning of the
parables to them? Well the answer to that one is found in yet other verses.

Mark 4:10-12;
(10) "And when he was alone, the twelve that were with him asked him the parable. 
(11) And he said to them: To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God:
but to them that are without, all things are done in parables:
(12) That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand;
lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them."

Elucidation of Mark 4:10-12;
1.The context for those three verses is found in verse 10. Jesus spoke these words, not to the crowds,
but to His twelve Apostles only. Why? Because His Church is to be the pillar and foundation of truth
(1Timothy 3:15) and the authority for upholding the truth obviously has to be given to only a few,
and not to the crowds.
2. What is 'the kingdom of GOD'? It is His Church. He was giving teaching authority for the future
earthly leaders of His Church.
3. Jesus was calling for all of those outside of His Church to convert into the new Noah's Ark where
parable teaching will be explained, and to have their sins forgiven so that they may be saved.

Here is another detour of note.

Mark 6:4-5;
(4) "And Jesus said to them: A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country,
and in his own house, and among his own kindred.
(5) And he could not do any miracles there, only that he cured a few that were sick,
laying his hands upon them."

Elucidation for Mark 6:4-5;
1. I have often wondered about what Jesus said in verse 4. Doesn't it sound strange that those
who grew up with Him seemed not to have any affinity for Him, yet outsiders who never knew
Him did?
2. The 'detour' for me is in verse 5. How many of you who are reading this page have missed what
was said in that verse? Jesus could not work any miracles there? GOD is incapable of working
them? It is hard to believe that Jesus could not perform miracles at anytime or any place.
But wait a minute!
There are several verses in the Gospels where Jesus chastised others with words like, 'Oh you of
little faith'. So it sounds to me like faith on our part is needed for GOD to work miracles.
Or better yet, GOD requires us to have faith before He will grant us miracles.

Written by Bob Stanley, April 30, 2011
Galations 4:16

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