Get In The Boat

Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. (Matthew 14:22)

Sometimes the verses in between, the ambiguous ones, are used by the Holy Spirit to sneak up on you when you least expect it, and BOOM! What I’m trying to convey in word form is that I believe every word in the Scriptures has purpose and that God can use even the most mundane, boring, filler type to us verses to speak His truth.

In Matthew 14, Jesus had just done the miracle feeding of the 5000. Thousands of people were flocking to Him for all different reasons. These kinds of crowds caused great exhaustion for Christ and his disciples. Matthew records for us in verse 22 that the next thing Jesus did was, “Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away.” (Matthew 14:22)

Again, the seeming intent is the exhaustion of the crowd, and for sure that Christ wanted some alone time to Pray as verse 23 records. But it’s the “made them get in the boat” that the Lord seems to focus my mind on in this reading. Whenever something stands out like this, I become a skeptic of my read on it. Instead of saying, “Ok Lord, what are you trying to teach me here,” I go to the Greek and commentaries and almost try and talk myself out of what God is trying to say to me by listening to other people’s opinions. My disdain for Hyper-Spirituality causes me to miss opportunities for God’s input into my life. I’m not saying I shouldn’t study to show myself approved, but I am saying when the Lord speaks, we should listen.

So with all that lead up, here it is. Why was it so urgent for the Disciples to get into the boat? Why did He have to make them? What we’re told next in the story is so they could go out into the storm. What we’re told is so Christ could come to them in the middle of the storm. What we’re told in the story of Christ walking on water is that the disciples were in the middle of the lake, in the middle of the storm, fearful, faithless, and then Jesus shows up.

Hear me out. It was Jesus who made them head into the storm. They brought their own fear and faithlessness, but it was Christ who sent them into the storm, knowing that shortly he would come to them and show them that He is the storm calmer once again. That He is the one who is outside the realm of science and reason. He was doing miracles and would give them another opportunity to trust and believe Him.

The takeaway in all this is never underestimate the power of your Savior when you are sent into the storm. Recognize His hand and His purpose in all of it. And when He says get in the boat, he may also give you an opportunity to step out of the boat and into the miraculous through His power and purpose.
Pastor Mike

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