4:1 Again he began to teach by the lake. Such a large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there while 1 the whole crowd was on the shore by the lake. 4:2 He taught them many things in parables, 2 and in his teaching said to them:
1 tn Grk “and all the crowd.” The clause in this phrase, although coordinate in terms of grammar, is logically subordinate to the previous clause.
2 sn Though parables can contain a variety of figures of speech (cf. 2:19-22; 3:23-25; 4:3-9, 26-32; 7:15-17; 13:28), many times they are simply stories that attempt to teach spiritual truth (which is unknown to the hearers) by using a comparison with something known to the hearers. In general, parables usually advance a single idea, though there may be many parts and characters in a single parable and subordinate ideas may expand the main idea further. The beauty of using the parable as a teaching device is that it draws the listener into the story, elicits an evaluation, and demands a response.