Preparing for Challenges
Mark 4:35-36 NIV - That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.
Jesus spoke to his disciples. He told them that they would go over the other side of the lake. It must have been so wonderful to walk, talk, eat, sleep, and travel with Jesus. But isn’t Jesus the same yesterday, today, and forever? Do we believe that the Jesus of Galilee is the same Jesus who has saved us and come to live in our hearts? If we are to prepare for life’s challenges then we need to recognize that Jesus is with us, that we are his disciples, and like he spoke to his original followers, he speaks to us.
Verse 36 says that they left the crowd behind to leave with Jesus. What a beautiful image for us today. To journey with Jesus we need to leave the crowd; we need to leave the world and move away with Jesus. The crowd had its attractions, the accolades, the fame, and the feel-good factor of cheers and praise. But to "go over" with Jesus we need to leave all that behind. Have you done that today? The crowd and the world tend to pull us back but we need to decide to be with Jesus and leave them behind.
They took him along "just as he was." What does this mean? Jesus was their master, teacher, Rabbi, and the one who was probably working really hard teaching the people, praying for the sick, and loving the people. They did not try to change Jesus into the person they wanted, but took him as he was. Have you taken Jesus as he is? Or are you trying to change him into the Jesus of your making? To face life’s challenges we need to hear his voice, leave the crowd, and take him as he is. Will you do that today?