Are We There Yet? – Mark 5:1

Vol. 2, No. 33 – 8-13-2017

And they came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes. Mark 5:1

The Gospel of Mark opens with a declaration of the gospel being present in Jesus Christ. Also, John the Baptist is introduced as a voice crying out from the wilderness—it is quite a picture. Jesus comes upon the scene and is baptized by John. Following the baptism, the author reports that Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God.

The Greek phrase is that “as he came teaching the gospel of God.” As Jesus walked along, He taught. (Mark 1:14; Matthew 9:35). This became the norm of Jesus’ presentations to people of the earth. He traveled; walked about and taught. He accumulated disciples and had major impact on the people that gathered.

While he traveled with his disciples, they were just like our children, asking if they were there yet; and how long it would take to get to where they were going—wherever where was. I have found in life that going places is not as simple as moving from point one to point two. There are always things that come up, things that interfere, schedule changes, and unexpected needs.

In the summer of 2016, my wife Donna and I made a journey of almost 4200 miles. Things did not go as planned. We were to attend three reunions, visit with our children, visit with Donna’s mom, and attend a musical presentation at Sight and Sound in Strasburg PA. While in Ohio Donna’s mom took a turn and wound up in the hospital. After she was released we drove to NY and attended a memorial service, unanticipated, for the father of one of our daughters-in-law. Then it was on to eastern NY, where we received notification that Donna’s mom was placed in palliative care; shortly afterwards her mom went home to be with the Lord. We returned to Ohio for the funeral. Going from point one to point two does not always go as planned.

Jesus was taking His disciples to the other side of the sea. While nothing was a surprise to Him; a major surprise occurred with the disciples. It was night, Jesus in sleeping at the back of the boat, and a horrendous storm arose—as if “out of the blue.” So great a storm that the disciples thought they might die.

Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing? Mark 4:38b

Jesus simply rises from the cushion, and quietly (I am supposing here) speaks.

Hush, be still—and the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. Mark 4:39b

Why are you so timid? How is it that you have no faith? Mark 4:40

The question is really: “What are you doing with your faith?” Their mouths hung open (at least that is the picture in my mind).

Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him? Mark 4:41b

Who is this? This is God!

~The same God who spoke man into existence and breathed life into man                                     ~The same God who caused a wind from the east to part the Red Sea, drying it up to provide a dry   path for walking                                                                                                                                  ~The same God that shut the mouths of lions while Daniel stood and prayed in their midst            ~The same God that caused Lazarus to come forth from the grave—once dead now alive           ~The same God who will return to take His own to live with Him eternally

My sons were always asking if we were there yet. The answer should always be: “Do you guys know where you are headed? Are you going from point one to point two; from life on the earth to life eternally? I do not want you headed to point three; the one that goes down! It matters not what the difficulties of life bring; it is about where you are headed.

We all step into rocking boats in our lives. Life really does offer struggles. Faith carries us through the storms of life. In the process our character is built. We do not do well just floating on smooth seas. We do much better when we are allowed to see the same God who is sovereign, full of grace and mercy, and has a deep love for every one He has created.

What are you doing with the Supreme God who has a vested interest in you? It matters not whether you live a “normal” life or are in place as a leader; things do not always go as planned.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Do not quit; God is still on the throne!

 

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