George H. Morrison - Devotional Sermons
Finding Him on the Other Side
When they had found him on the other side of the sea--Joh 6:25
Men Sought after Christ
When our Lord had fed the multitude He constrained His disciples to depart. He wanted a season of solitary prayer. The sun set and the night grew dark, and He was alone with His Father in the hills; and then we read that in the glimmering dawn He came to His own, walking on the sea. Eager to know more of this great wonder-worker, many had lingered by the scene of miracle. They waited for daybreak and then searched for Him, but nowhere could they find Him. And then, says John, boarding the little craft that happened to ride at anchor in the bay, they crossed the lake, still searching for Him, and found Him on the other side. To a deep mystic like St. John, that simple fact was full of meaning. I think St. John laid his pen down then and thought how often it is true of human life that we find Christ on the other side.
On the Other Side of Political Liberation
Think, for instance, of the scribes and Pharisees, the religious leaders of the day. They were all "looking for a king, to slay their foes and lift them high." Their great hope was the Messianic hope. They were watching and waiting for Messiah. They were eagerly praying for that Coming One who was to right the wrong and set them free at last. And the singular thing is that when Jesus came, the promised Messiah of the race, they found Him--on the other side. He was over against them, antagonistic to them, pouring on them the vials of His "woe." He was on the side of the "people of the land," whom the Pharisees and scribes despised (Joh 9:34). I wonder if John was thinking of all that when he took up his pen and wrote that day--they found Him on the other side.
On the Side of Needed Blessing
Or think again of the disciples when the mothers of Salem brought their babes to Jesus. A mother's heart is a very wonderful thing, and it always wants a blessing for the children. I do not doubt the disciples meant well when they tried to head these mothers home again. What! Had their Master not enough to do that He was to be plagued with crying infants? And I question if they ever would forget, though they lived until their hair was Grey, how they found Him that day upon the other side--on the side of the feeble little children; on the side of the tender, loving mothers; on the side of the helpless and the frail; on the side of all who coveted His blessing. I wonder if John was thinking of that day, never to be effaced from memory, when he took up his pen and wrote--they found Him on the other side.
On the Side of Assurance
Or think again, changing the figure a little, of those who are tossing in a sea of doubt. Dwell, for example, on St. Thomas. There are those who doubt because they want to doubt; it affords a certain latitude and license. Sometimes it is easier to doubt than to take up the cross and bear the yoke of Christ. But if ever there was a genuine doubter who would have given worlds to have his doubts removed, it was St. Thomas in the resurrection days. For him doubt was an interior agony; it was the dark night of the soul. It clouded the heavens, blotted out the stars, silenced all the singing of the birds. And the beautiful and encouraging thing is this, that when this poor soul had crossed the sea of doubt, he found Christ upon the other side. He found Him to be far more wonderful than he had ever dreamed in the old days of Galilee. He was no longer "Rabbi"--that is, "Teacher." He was "My Lord and my God." I wonder if John had a thought to spare for Thomas when, long afterwards, he took his pen and wrote--they found Him upon the other side.
On the Side of Resurrection
And is not that, when you come to think of it, the spiritual import of His resurrection? One turns, for instance, to Mary in the garden. In that garden Mary was brokenhearted. She thought her Lord was lost, and lost forever. Then she heard a footfall on the grass, and the old familiar voice was saying, "Mary." And what thrilled Mary and changed her night to morning and brought new hope flooding to her heart, was that she had found Him on the other side. We speak much about the cross, and we never can speak too much about the cross. The cross is the spiritual center of the universe. The cross upholds, when everything else fails. But the cross is of little use to me, whether to my soul or my intelligence, except I find Him on the other side. Only then am I sure that God has conquered. Only then am I sure I have a living Savior. Only then am I sure that Christ is justified (1Ti 3:16) in the magnificent adventure of His love. That is the triumphing note of the New Testament, not only that the disciples found Him here, but that they found Him on the other side.
One Can Find Him on the Other Side--Heaven
That, too, sums up our hope of heaven. It is all concluded and embraced in that. The rest and joy and liberty of heaven is just "to be with Christ, which is far better." What heaven may be like, I do not know. Perhaps it is better that I do not know. Eye hath not seen and ear hath never heard the things that God hath prepared for them that love Him. But I cherish the abiding hope in grace, that when I have captained my liner across the sea of time, I shall immediately "see my Pilot face to face." Here He is very hard to find sometimes. Often we suppose He is the gardener. We catch the goings of His insistent feet, but Himself He very often hides (Isa 45:15). But the great hope of the trusting heart is this, that when death comes and brings unclouded vision--we shall find Him on the other side.
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