Summary: Following Jesus requres us to go to the other side. The other side speaks of Difference, Departure, Difficulty, Destination and Decision.
Luke 8:22 “Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.”
Mark 4:35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
I. The Other Side
a. There is something special about the Other Side.
i. Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side.
1. Some say it was the chicken’s way of proving to the possum that it could be done.
ii. Where is the grass always greener? The other side.
1. You’ve probably seen pastures where the cows have their heads stuck through the barbed wire to get at the grass on the other side of the fence.
2. Human nature leads us to believe that everything is better somewhere else with a different set of circumstances.
3. But remember, this is not always the case…and when it is the case, it’s because a whole lot more rain has fallen on that other side, and that other side has gone through a whole lot more manure.
b. What is ‘going to the other side’?
a. The other side promises something different.
i. My kids often tell me they want to go “somewhere”…nowhere in particular…just some magical place called “somewhere”.
ii. The simple interpretation is that they want to go to the other side.
iii. “Anywhere is better than just sitting here.”
b. The other side holds the oft-mysterious promise of greatness and adventure!
i. This promise is not always kept, but when Jesus calls for us to go to the other side, there can be no doubt that the grass is indeed going to be greener!
c. The other side may mean many different things to us today.
i. Maybe it’s the other side of a trial you’re in.
ii. Maybe it’s getting past a hurt in your life.
iii. Maybe it’s finding God’s provision despite a downturn.
iv. Perhaps it is moving past where you are into a deeper relationship with God.
v. Maybe it’s taking hold of promises that God has made to you and seeing them materialize!
d. Whatever it specifically means to you today, one thing is clear – it means that there will be a difference.
a. To follow Jesus, the disciples realized that it would be necessary to leave their nets.
Matthew 4:18-20 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. (19) And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (20) And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
i. When they left their nets, they launched a world-changing career!
ii. When they departed from the familiar, laid aside their very identity to follow Jesus, they embarked on an adventure unparalleled in history.
b. In our text, a more-mature group of disciples were asked to leave the familiar surroundings and comfort of a region where they could have been treated like royalty.
i. Matthew tells us this same story and includes a catalog of many miracles that had been wrought there:
Matthew 8:14-16 “And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. (15) And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. (16) When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:”
ii. He also had healed a leper and the Centurion’s servant just prior to this.
iii. Do you think that these sort of miracles would make someone popular/famous/sought-after? Of course!
1. They could have stayed there and enjoyed the popularity and comfort that comes from a large community of faith.
2. This means that they were willing to step out of whatever their level of comfort was so that they could step into the forward-moving work and will of God!
iv. These events took place in Peter’s hometown of Capernaum.
1. If you go to Capernaum today, you will find a very large structure that is believed to have been Peter’s house. It is the largest in the city.
2. So Peter himself was being asked to leave his hometown, the comforts of familiarity.
3. Sometimes we’ve got to get away from home and into unfamiliar territory in order to see the move of God!
c. Departure also speaks to us of leaving behind things that are not conducive to pleasing God.