The simple answer seems obvious: to get to the other side. But the story is actually an amazing rescue mission. It begins in Luke chapter 8 when Jesus announces to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake” (verse 22).
After entering the boat, Jesus heads to the deck below for some much needed sleep. In no time, the first signs of trouble appear. As a fierce storm is brewing above, the disciples burst in on Jesus, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” (verse 24). Jesus slowly rises, follows the disciples above deck, and with just three words, calms the raging storm.
“Peace! Be still!” (Mark 4:39)
All appears well until they reach the shore. Before Jesus even climbs out of the boat, a wild, naked demon-possessed man leaps out from a nearby graveyard. Rushing towards Jesus, he is shrieking at the top of his voice. Luke tells us that for years, the townspeople tried to restrain the man. Even chains could not hold the tormented man who lived among tombs and cut himself with stones. Imagine the torment! Reaching the shoreline, the man thrusts himself at Jesus’s feet. Speaking through the man, the demons beg Jesus not to destroy them. Instead, Jesus banishes them into a herd of nearby pigs. Within moments, the entire herd charges headlong into the river and drowns.
As you can imagine, Jesus caused no small uproar among the townspeople. Seeing the man changed and their livelihood destroyed, the pig herders race into town and announce what they saw. The whole town heads to the shore where they find the demon-possessed man completely calm and fully clothed. Sitting at Jesus’s feet, the man is speaking clearly. But rather than rejoice for the healed man, they are incensed. How dare Jesus interfere with their way of life? All at once the people begged Jesus to leave … now
Why Did Jesus Cross the Lake?
Surely Jesus knew how the people would respond. Why go to so much trouble? The answer is as simple as it is profound. He came to rescue the one person who would welcome Him. The one man who, being so thankful, begged Jesus to let him return with Him. But Jesus instead gives the man a mission of his own, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” (Luke 8:39)
On the surface, it seems like quite a lot of effort. After all, only one person had been transformed. Yet when we read the story and look back on the events, we cannot help but marvel. Jesus, the Son of God, was willing to battle raging storms and armies of demons in order to rescue … one … lost … soul.Jesus battled raging storms and armies of demons to rescue one lost soul. Click To Tweet
Why did Jesus cross the lake? The same reason He crossed the heavens and came to earth: to rescue those in need of a Savior.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
This post is the premise behind my next Bible study, LEGION: A Divine Rescue, coming out in October 2019. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to get notified about my next book!