Yesterday, we took a brief break from the Unshakable series for a two-part sermon titled, Intervention. Chris and Janet are passionate about reaching people in the city of Birmingham and that's what this message was all about! I encourage you to listen to Chris' message here.
Intervention - The Other Side
Read Mark 4:35 - 5:20
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples,
"Let us go over to the other side."
Mark 4:35 (NIV)
As Chris points out, this isn't just a geographical move, it's about taking this ministry from Galilee to Decapolis, an area of ten cities home to pagan people who worshiped pigs and were viewed as extremely sinful by the Israelites. Jesus was calling his disciples to radicalize their ministry - go outside their comfort zone towards people who were different!
So they go. Jesus sets a demon-possessed man free and instead of being grateful, they beg him to leave. Just as he is getting back into the boat, the no longer demon-possessed asks to leave with them. Jesus encourages him to go and tell everyone what the Lord had done. Jesus and his disciples leave and the man begins to tell his story. As the story spreads, the people are blown away by what they hear.
Read Matthew 15:30-31
Jesus and his disciples return to Decapolis and, this time, are greeted by a large crowd in need of healing and Jesus heals them all.
The crowd was amazed! Those who hadn't been able to speak were talking, the cripple were made well, the lame were walking around, and those who had been blind could see again! And they praised the God of Israel.
Matthew 15:31 (NLT)
A change had taken place in Decapolis. All because a group of men were willing to follow Jesus into uncertain territory. All because those same men didn't give up after the first visit ended badly. All because one man was willing to share his God story.