Matthew 13:2

And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
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Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
There is a reason why the Lord was sitting in the boat and the crowds were standing outside like simple followers: he was about to speak in parables. Jesus was therefore indicating that those who were outside the church were at a distance from being able to grasp his words of truth. For the boat symbolizes the church, and those who lie barren and fruitless outside like grains of sand are unable to understand the word of life put forward and preached.


AD 420
The people were unable to enter Jesus’ house, nor could they be present when the apostles heard the mysteries. For that reason the compassionate and merciful Lord goes out of the house. He sits by the seaside of this world so the crowds may gather about him and hear along the shore what they were not entitled to hear inside. “So that he got into a boat and sat down. And all the crowds stood on the shore.” Jesus was in the boat as it was being buffeted here and there by the waves of the sea. Secure in his majesty, he made the boat approach the land. And the people, sensing no danger or insurmountable odds, stood in rapt attention on the shore to hear his words. .

John Chrysostom

AD 407
And having sat down there, He speaks by parables.

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. He sat in the boat so that He could face all His listeners, and so that all could hear. Then as a fisherman He casts His net from the sea toward those on land.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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