Summary: Jesus calls us to get past our fears and our failures and go on to serve Him as He has called us to do
Let Us Go Over
There are many places to which we can “GO”. We can go bowling. We can go to the grocery store. Each day some of you get up and go to school. Each day some of you go to work. On Sunday and Wednesday we can go to church. Once or twice a year many of you go to a theme park such as Cedar Point. There if you are daring you can go on some of the wildest, scariest roller coasters known to man. For me, there’s not a coaster in the park that scares me. But that Power Tower frightens me. Fortunately nobody in my family is brave enough to go on it so I haven’t had to worry about it for several years. We go on mission trips. We go to camp. For some of you the thought of either of those two things scare you to death while to others they are the highlight of your summer. We go on Monday night visitation. For some of you the scariest thing in life would be talking to one of those people that you don’t know. Very soon some of you will be going off to college. Some will go to a local college. Some will go away to college. Some will just stay home and not go at all.
I am here to tell you this morning that if God is in control of your life, you can go without fear. Fear affects everyone. It’s not just for the shy nerdy teen-ager who’s afraid of his first day away from home. It affects and controls moms and dads who are afraid to send their children away. It affects otherwise seemingly normal people who seem self-confident and capable. It affects those who have had past failures as well as those who have had past victories.
Jesus has a word for you today. LET US GO OVER. LET US GO OVER. Let’s put the past behind us. Let’s press on towards what’s ahead. Let’s face it together. LET US GO OVER.
Jesus’ precise location as He begins this trip with His disciples is unknown. He is somewhere along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Lake Gennesaret, possibly on the west side of the lake near the town of Magdala. This possibility is due to his recent meeting with Mary Magdalene, Magdalene meaning she was a woman from the town of Magdala, which we read of in verse 2. He is going to end up on the east side of the lake near the land of the Gadarenes, as the story which follows this one pertains to the madman of Gadara. If we were to look at the map we would see it to be a trip most likely of 10 – 15 miles. In this trip we will see three things. First will be the challenge given by Jesus. Let us go over, unto the other side. Second will be the concern of His followers. Master, Master, we perish. And last will be the change. What manner of man is this…?
So the challenge was Let us go over to the other side of the lake. This seemed to be a simple enough task. It was not night time. In fact verse 22 tells us it was during the day. It was not a task that they were unfamiliar with. They had traveled by boat before. In fact, if you’ll remember with me a number of the men were professional fishermen before they decided to leave all and follow Jesus. Jesus had not yet sent them out two by two to evangelize the world. They had not yet received the great commission to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. They were not yet on trial for their lives. They were not about to be beheaded for the Gospel or burned at the stake for the sake of the Word. Not one of their friends had been stoned or throne in jail.
You could say that they were not being sent away by their parents to a strange school with strange people they had never met before. They weren’t heading into the nursing home. They weren’t being sent to knock on the door of a house where they didn’t know anybody. They weren’t trying to witness or invite to church somebody that they went to school with at the danger of being cursed or mocked. They weren’t headed off to a faraway state or a foreign land on a missions trip.
It was just another day beautiful day in the neighborhood. They were with Jesus. The one whom they had seen perform miracles. The one who had come to establish His kingdom and to defeat sin and evil in the world. But it was training time because Jesus knew that those days were coming. Jesus knew what lay ahead. Just as He knows what lies ahead in your life and in mine, He knew what lay ahead for these disciples, the men who would one day soon spread the Gospel throughout the world. Simple men, tax collectors, fishermen, just common every day folk. Normal people like you and I whom He is still using, but first we must be prepared.