“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side” — Matthew 14:22
Just after Jesus feeds the five thousand, the gospels of Matthew, Mark and John tell us that Jesus “made” the disciples get into the boat and go to the western shore of Galilee. This word “made” may also be translated “compel,” “necessitate” or even “force.” It is a very strong word that leaves little doubt the disciples did not have a choice in the matter.
What we see is Jesus compelling the disciples into a boat He knew would:
- take them into a storm
- find them “straining at the oars” (Mark 6:48) and
- ultimately blown off their intended course.
The disciples, intending to take a short boat ride across the northern tip of a lake that is merely four miles wide, soon find they were still in the middle of the lake (Mark 6:47) after rowing three or three and a half miles. They were in a storm and going nowhere fast. Fortunately, Jesus rescues them by walking across the lake.
At first, this sounds like a heartless thing for Jesus to do. Continue Reading