Sally Alexander - On the Other Side

In Luke 8:22, it says, "Now it came to pass on a certain day that He went into a ship with His disciples and said unto them, 'Let us go over unto the other side the lake,' and they launched forth."

It is this little thought, "Let us go over to the other side," that's been in my mind. We wouldn't know about the other side of life if Jesus hadn't come to this side. He came from the Father's heart so that we would know another side to life, so we would know help and that we would know power, that we would know peace and a lift in so such that distresses the human heart but because He came from the, other side, life has taken on meaning and it has become rich and full.

Just a couple of verses before that it was told Him, "Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without desiring to see Thee." He answered and said unto them, "My mother and My brethren are these which hear the word of God and do it." We wouldn't have known anything except the natural associations in life, family, friends and whatever, if Jesus hadn't come from the other side. Because Jesus came from the other side, we have been introduced to not just a natural family but an eternal family. Jesus made it very plain here that the family He was concerned about was the eternal family. Not that He didn't care about His natural family, but He wanted them to understand that this was far more important than the natural ties or the human ties.

On my way to South Africa and I touched South African soil for the first time in my life after I had had two and a half days in London. When I was over there, I saw the beginning of the Gospel in our part of the world and in your part of the world. It came from that side. Many young men and women were moved to go to another side because God put a love in their hearts for the souls of men and women. I felt so overwhelmed with gratitude for those who came from another side to our part of the world and brought help and hope to us, brought an introduction to an eternal family and have given us a hope beyond the grave, because they were willing to leave their own comforts and willing to sacrifice their own hopes and dreams and because of that faith you and I have a wonderful hope. I was reminded very much when I was there, not that I got to Scotland, of our brother Willie Jamieson who was one of the first to bring the Gospel to California.

He would tell us sometimes of his beginning days. He would tell us about when he was leaving his homeland, seven months after he had heard this Gospel and went into this ministry. His family didn't understand what he was doing and they didn't love the God that he loved. They didn't even go with him down to the depot where he could catch a train to go and catch the ship to come to America. He told about walking away from his home that day with his two suitcases, his feeling of being so alone and so homeless and helpless and foolish. He sat down on his suitcases and said to himself, "Willie, you are the most foolish man in all of Scotland. You are leaving your country, you are leaving your parents and you are leaving everything behind and you have not any idea what you're going to." He was ready to turn round and go home but a voice came to him and said, "Willie, your natural father will be your father for a little while but I will be your Father forever. Your natural family will be your family for a little while but I'm inviting you into an eternal family that you can share with men and women who have no hope." So he picked up his
suitcases and walked to the train and brought this Gospel to California.

We rejoice over and over because, first of all, Jesus came from the other side. He left the comfort and glories of heaven so that you and I could have hope. Then we feel so, so thankful for the men and women down through the ages that have had a vision like that and have come to another side of life and brought us help and brought us hope.

That day when Jesus and His disciples were going over that Sea of Galilee, Jesus was asleep and a huge storm arose. His disciples were terrified and so they went and woke Him up and told Him they were going to perish. I loved the fact that Jesus did not grab an oar and begin rowing furiously but He spoke to the wind, a wonderful calm came. They did the right thing that day. They went to the One that had come from the control centre. They went to the One who had the power to quell the wind and the waves and they began to understand that day that if He is in the boat, if He is with us, if He is on our side, there is no situation that He can't take care of. We would know nothing except being battered and bashed with the storms of life, and disappointment after disappointment if He hadn't come from the other side. Because He came from the other side and because we have had experience with Him to allow Him to take command of our little boat, help and hope has come.

Jesus went to be the other side and as far as I can find, and if anybody knows differently you are very welcome to tell me, but as far as I can find, this is only time that He visited this little scene of the Gadarenes. There were very few people that responded. Actually one place in Matthew, it says there were two but in the other Gospels it says there was only one man who was difficult, he was a mess. I wondered, as they got out of the boat and this wild man came to them, that maybe His disciple wondered, "Why on earth did we ever come over here because we are just met with this wild man?" Yet this was the man that received Jesus.

I thought of Jesus' one visit to this earth and there weren't very many that responded but Jesus was not disappointed with His visit to the earth any more than He was disappointed with His visit to that little city, because of the honest hearts that he found. Jesus has never been interested in numbers but He has always been interested in honest, needy hearts and we are so thankful for that. I loved this man's honesty. Jesus said to him, "What is your name?" and he said, "My name is Legion." In other words, "I am a mess. I am just full of trouble and I can't do anything about it."

There were times when Jesus knew people's names immediately, When He went to Jericho, He said immediately, "Zacchaeus, come down," and Zacchaeus responded, but I just had the feeling that Jesus tested this man by saying, "What is your name?" In other words, "Are you going to be honest about your situation?" He said, "I am not going to hide the situation, this is the way it is." He came to Jesus and He could help him.

We are so thankful for the One that came for the honest hearts and that has the solution to every distress and as we have heard, there is not a situation that He is not able to help. It depends on our honesty, on our willingness to come with this attitude, "This is the way I am and I can't do anything about it." Not blame it on our parents, not blame it on our circumstances, not blame it on our environment but rather just to say, "Can you help me?" Jesus brought about a wonderful change that day in that man's life because of the
desperation in his soul
.

It tells us, as that little story continues, that there was some financial loss to the farmers but they had no vision, they had no love, they had no feeling in their hearts for this man. All they had was their concern about their pigs that ran down the hill and were drowned and because of that, they asked Jesus to leave but this man begged Jesus to stay. We feel so glad for the few souls that received life when Jesus came from the other side. There were many that begged Him to go. In fact, they saw to it that He did leave this earth but we are so glad for those who had a vision of the wonderful family that Jesus brought from the other side and because of that, they made room for Him in their hearts and have even to our day brought this wonderful privilege of being a part of this family from the other side. We understand so well that if it hadn't been for that we would not know any of you today. We would not be here but because Jesus came from the other side and showed us another side to life, He introduced us to this wonderful eternal Kingdom that doesn't depend on birth. It doesn't depend on social status, it doesn't depend on anything natural but it depends on an honest response to the Words of Jesus. Because of that we have a wonderful fellowship and we thank God for it.