Summary: If we really want to experience the power, majesty and glory of God in our lives, we must be ready to pass over to the other side where most of Jesus’ followers won’t go.
Passing Over to the Other Side
By Pastor Jim May
Life is a wonderful journey for those who know Jesus as their Savior and Lord. With each passing day, there are new joys to experience, new blessing to enjoy and a new opportunity to love Jesus even more. Even in the midst of tests and trials, life is still a wonderful journey when you know you can put your trust in Jesus to bring you over to the other side.
The 4th chapter of the Book of Mark gives us a picture of the life that I am talking about. It all begins with Jesus, thronged by followers, and surrounded by His disciples, and all of them were hungry for more and desiring greatly to hear what Jesus had to say.
This is a picture of the church as we come together to hear the Word of the Lord. We don’t come together just for a time of social interaction, even though that is also a great thing. We come together to be a part of God’s people so that we may all worship Him, and also that we can hear His Word and be encouraged, taught and changed by the power of the Word to wash us from the things of the world that enter into our spirit every day.
We could preach a lot of sermons from Mark chapter 4 because Jesus covered a lot of ground in the time that he spent teaching on that day. The crowds were hungry for more spiritual food. The crowd continued to grow as Jesus walked along as well it should have.
I wonder if the crowds would grow like that if Jesus walked through America today? The very Son of God; God manifest in the flesh, walked among men and taught them from his own lips. What a privilege it was to be a part of the crowd that day! What power came from the words of Jesus as He taught! The words that Jesus spoke had the power of creation in them. Just as the word of God had creative power when God spoke the world into existence, so does the Word of God still have creative power in us right now!
Through the Word, our faith is made stronger. Through the Word, we know Him more. Through the Word, we are healed. Through the Word, we are set free. Through the Word, we know of Jesus and we learn that He is Lord! Thank God for the creative power of His Word!
The crowds pressed upon Him so much that Jesus decided to get into a boat and cast off, floating out into the water, so that He could speak to everyone. The water in the background would serve as a natural amplifier so that all could hear what Jesus had to say.
Jesus began to speak to the crowds in parables, using illustrated stories to get His point across. He knew that the people weren’t spiritually minded enough to understand what He wanted them to know, so he had to say it in a way that they could comprehend.
1) He told them the Parable of the Sower. You know the story. It was designed to teach the crowd that all of them were represented in that ground where the seed was sown. Some standing there would hear and be saved, but most would be in the category of rocky ground, or stolen seed, or withered seed. Jesus fully understood that most of those who heard Him teach that day would not be His disciples for long.
I know what it is like to try to preach a message knowing that many will not heed the Word of the Lord. Some of you here this morning, will pay attention, and you will grasp the full meaning of this message by the time I am finished. But I know, right now, in the very beginning that this message will fall on some hearts that are not ready to receive it.
Some of you need to break up that fallow ground. You need to put that spiritual plow of repentance and deliverance into your heart and break up that hard heart so that you can receive the seed.
Others will receive what the Word has to say to you, but you will soon forget what is said here this morning, because your relationship with the Lord is only a surface relationship. There’s no real depth there and it’s evident in the life that you are living.
Some will allow the cares of life, and the desires of the flesh to burn away what you hear this morning.
But thank God, there are some who will hear this message and allow it grow in their hearts and their lives will produce fruit from it.