The 5 Bold Moves of Jesus // #2 Going to the Other Side
We have identified several bold moves, of which we’ll be examining 5, that Jesus made to build His disciple-making movement. In our last blog post we began a five-post series on the Bold Moves of Jesus.
Bold Move #1– Change of Geography (Matthew 4:13-16)
Bold Move #2: Going to the Other Side (Mark 4:35-5:20)
“That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side’.”
In this second bold move Jesus challenges his disciple’s faith and their trust in him by asking them to go to the other side. Let me highlight 3 lessons we can learn from this event in the life of Christ and his disciples.
Lesson 1: Leaving our present situation might be the most difficult part (Mark 4)
Most of us as we pray, reflect, listen, and discern God’s leading will find that sometime in our lives we’ll be called to “go to the other side.” Going to the other side could mean the other side of the room to show love to the seemingly unloveable, the other side of the street to share some of our limited resources with an unemployed neighbor, or the other side of the world to share the good news of Jesus with those who might never hear otherwise. Sometimes it can be experienced as an exciting disciple-making journey, but in many cases, it will seem overwhelming to leave our present situation.
It had been a busy but fruitful day of ministry for Jesus and his disciples in Capernaum. The size of the crowd that came to hear Jesus was impressive. It was so large that he had to teach from a boat (Mark 4:1).
The curriculum for the day consisted of many parables:
- the sower and various soils (Mark 4:3-8)
- the lamp on a stand (Mark 4:21-23)
- the growing seed (Mark 4:26-29)
- the mustard seed (Mark 4:30-32)
These were good days. On this day, on this side of the lake there was some momentum happening. The disciples could feel it. Masterful teaching from the master teacher. Ministry was happening. Although they were tired it was most likely difficult to leave a good thing. In my experience the hardest time to leave is when life and ministry are going well.
What about you?
When you hear the words “Let’s go to the other side”? What might make it difficult to leave?
Could it be that things are going so well where you are that you can’t imagine God ever asking you to go to the other side? Or maybe a sin that you enjoy hanging on to, a good paying job that you love, or some relationships that make it difficult to say goodbye.
Are you open to hearing from God?
Are you taking time to listen and discern where your other side might be?
What are you willing to leave behind to make the journey?
Lesson 2: Jesus can be trusted completely (Mark 4:35-41)
“Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.”(Mark 4:36)
They took Jesus with them.
Jesus, probably exhausted after an intense day of teaching, was asleep in the stern. A furious squall came up and threatened to swamp the boat. Apparently, even people who are used to life at sea can be fearful of drowning. “Teacher don’t you care if we drown?” (vs 38).
Next comes the awesome, amazing, powerful moment when Christ with just 3 words “Quiet! Be still!” takes control of the situation as only the all-powerful omnipotent God can do. The wind dies down and it’s completely calm (vs 39). According to Christ the disciples fear is connected to their lack of faith or trust in Jesus (vs 40). Some New Testament scholars believe that the best translation of the Hebrew for “trusting in Jesus” is “to relax in Jesus”.
The lesson for each of us is loud and clear. Amid any terrifying storm along the way to the other side we need not fear. God is with us. In the same boat. Relax. He has all the power to calm any storm.
As you cross over to the other side what might some of your fears be?
Fear of Covid? Relax in Jesus.
Fear of the unknown? Relax in Jesus.
Fear of being misunderstood? Relax in Jesus.
Fear of being cancelled or losing influence or significance? Relax in Jesus.
He can be trusted completely.
Lesson 3: It is worth it (Mark 5:1-18)
We know the rest of the story. They arrive safely on the other side. It happens that Gerasenes is a spiritually dark, oppressive place. A demon-possessed man greets them. Not just one demon but many. Christ frees the man of his demons by sending them into a herd of pigs that eventually drown in the lake. When the village people heard what happened they “pleaded with Christ to leave their region” (Mark 5:17). Jesus and his disciples had just arrived and were already being asked to leave!
Had it been worth it to leave Capernaum?
Have you ever gone to the other side and then found that the leaving was difficult, the journey consisted of a storm, or two, or three, and once you arrived you were unwelcomed?
Remember, the fact that you have taken Christ with you. Christ alone makes it worth it.
Along the way Christ demonstrated his power. Disciples learned to trust in a deeper way. A man was set free. Demons were defeated. Taking Christ with you changes everything!
Are you listening? Discerning? Obeying?
Are you willing to take Christ to the other side?
Take your “Bold Moves” to the next step with this resource: Walk Like Jesus