Presentation on theme: "The Other Side. Introduction There is an old – old joke that I know that you have probably heard a thousand times that I would like to share with you."— Presentation transcript:
The Other Side
Introduction There is an old – old joke that I know that you have probably heard a thousand times that I would like to share with you this morning.
The joke asks: “Why did the chicken cross the road?”
And the answer of course is: “To get to the other side.”
Other Answers Because it felt like it. Because it needed the exercise. Because it wished to avoid meeting the chicken it saw approaching. It got bored. It had a death wish. It had already crossed the road 999 times that day and wanted to make it It wanted to show it was not a chicken.
The answer I would like for you to focus on today is: “To get to the other side.”
Now I realize that this joke doesn’t cause people to laugh like it did years ago, but I wanted to share it with you today because it was this joke that came to my mind as I prepared this lesson for you.
Why??? When we read this text of Jesus calming the Sea we often forget that Jesus was going somewhere, and that Jesus was on His way from one place to another.
Bible Study Read Mark 4:35-41
Mark 4: On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Key Verses 35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was.
These two verses are the key to understanding what this passage is all about. Why did Jesus cross the Sea? The simple answer that Mark’s gospel provides is: “To get to the other side.”
So why was it so important for Jesus to cross the Sea and get to the other side?
Jesus crossed the Sea to go and care for people His disciples would never have imagined that Jesus would have gone and cared for.
On the “other side” there were people that were not Jewish. And on the “other side” there were people that were outsiders and strangers that did not fit in with the Jewish people.
And so the Jews naturally kept their distance from them. And until this moment, Jesus Himself had even kept His distance from them.
But now scripture informs us that Jesus crossed over to the other side to share with them what He had already shared with the Jewish people.
The story from Mark today reminds me of another story. It is the story about a man named Jonah who had been told to go and share with the people of Nineveh the “Good News” of God’s love.
But Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh. In fact, Jonah ran as fast as he could to avoid doing what God had asked him to do. Jonah even boarded a ship to escape the task that God had set before him.
But that did not mean that God would not still use Jonah. For while Jonah was on the ship a great storm fell upon him, and well, you know the rest of the story.
In the Belly of a Whale os&feature=player_embedded
Bible Reading Read Jonah 1:1-17
Jonah 1:1-17 1Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid his fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
4 But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and such a mighty storm came upon the sea that the ship threatened to break up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried to his god. They threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten it for them. Jonah, meanwhile, had gone down into the hold of the ship and had lain down, and was fast asleep. 6 The captain came and said to him, “What are you doing sound asleep? Get up, call on your god! Perhaps the god will spare us a thought so that we do not perish.”
7 The sailors said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, so that we may know on whose account this calamity has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 Then they said to him, “Tell us why this calamity has come upon us. What is your occupation? Where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” 9 “I am a Hebrew,” he replied. “I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 Then the men were even more afraid, and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them so.
11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea was growing more and more tempestuous. 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you; for I know it is because of me that this great storm has come upon you.” 13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring the ship back to land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more stormy against them. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, O Lord, we pray, do not let us perish on account of this man’s life. Do not make us guilty of innocent blood; for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord even more, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows. 17 But the Lord provided a large fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Question Why did Jonah refuse to go to Nineveh?
Message to the People of Nineveh ature=player_embedded
Even though Jonah refused to go to Nineveh, God did not give up on him,. After being swallowed up by a fish and vomited up on the beach Jonah heard God speak to him again. And Jonah obeyed God and went to Nineveh and the people there heard about God’s great love for them.
Today in our text from Mark, Jesus was also sent by God to minister to people that most Jews would not want to minister too.
But unlike Jonah, Jesus accepted God’s will and said to the disciples “’Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind, they took Him with them in the boat, just as He was.”
And while Jesus slept, a great storm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped.
And the theological connection to the Jonah story is made through the terrifying and hostile environment of a storm.
And the point being: When we do not do what God wants us to do, and go where God wants us to go, there is a storm that turns us back. And sometimes, when we do what God wants us to do, and go where God wants us to go, there is also a storm.
Jonah was trying to escape his call, and a storm overtook him. Jesus and His disciples were on their way to fulfill God’s call, and a storm overtook them. And so in both stories, discomfort, fear and danger presented itself.
For the truth of the matter is, even though we are doing what God wants us to do, and venturing out to the places where God wants us to go, we are not exempt from experiencing difficulty.
In fact, it is during these moments when we are crossing over, and when we as individuals, as congregations, as a denomination have a strong sense of vision and purpose and direction that we will most likely experience the most doubt and fear.
But that does not mean that we are headed in the wrong direction. Just think for a moment what would have happened if the disciples had turned back that night because of the storm?
Legion would not have been healed and the people on the “other side” would not have known the compassion and the mercy and the love of God.
But the boat did sail on, and the storm assaulted them, and Jesus awoke and calmed the sea. And the people on the “other side” were given the chance to hear the good news and witness God’s mighty acts.
But something else also happened. Jesus challenged His disciples and us to believe, not only in His power and might, but also in His mission and journey.
And so the question that we have before us today is why did Jesus cross the sea. And the answer is to get to the other side. And the lives of these people were never the same again.