Two sides of the lake

I love the story in Luke 8:22-25 about Jesus calming the storm and rebuking the disciples. “Let us go over to the other side of the lake,” He tells them. He is so calm about this trip, He falls asleep. I know that it must have been harrowing for the disciples, but I can’t help but snicker a bit at their hyperbole. Verse 23 tells us they were “in danger,” yet they tell Jesus “we are perishing!”

Jesus calmly rebukes the storm and gently rebukes the disciples: “Where is your faith?”

But my favorite part of the story isn’t what happens in the middle of the lake. It’s the bookends of reaction on the two sides of the Galilee. The same Jesus who did miracles on the west side also did a miracle on the east side. In “the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee” (v. 26), Jesus performed what may be the most well-known exorcism of the Bible–the deliverance from Legion.

It’s an incredible miracle, but the most fascinating thing is the reaction of the people: “And all the people of the country of the Gerasenes and the surrounding district asked Him to leave them, for they were gripped with great fear” (v. 37). Ever the gentleman, Jesus returned to the other side of the lake where “the people welcomed Him, for they had all been waiting for Him” (v. 40).

So I have to ask myself: which side of the lake do I claim? The very same Jesus shows up on both sides–He’s the same in the middle, too. Caring, healing, miracle-working, and holding up the standard of holiness. Yet the reaction of the people is 180 degrees apart. Am I gripped with fear and send Him away when I behold His power? Or do I welcome Him, waiting at the lake’s edge for Him?

Two sides of the lake. I claim west side.

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