Why Did Jesus Make the Disciples Get in the Boat?

Have you ever wondered why Jesus made His disciples get in the boat and cross the Sea of Galilee? This incident is recorded in the Bible in Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52, and John 6:16-21. Let’s take a closer look at this story and try to understand its significance.

The Context

Before we delve into the story itself, let’s review the context. Jesus had just performed a miracle by feeding more than five thousand people with just five loaves of bread and two fish.

The people were amazed and wanted to make Him their king by force. However, Jesus withdrew from them and went up on a mountainside to pray.

The Story

Meanwhile, His disciples got into a boat and started crossing the Sea of Galilee. Suddenly, a strong wind started blowing and the waves began to toss the boat around. The disciples were afraid for their lives.

Then, in the early hours of morning, they saw someone walking on the water towards them. At first, they thought it was a ghost, but then they heard Jesus’ voice saying, “Take courage!

It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

Peter replied, “Lord if it’s really you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “Come.”

So Peter got out of the boat and walked on water towards Jesus. However, when he saw the wind he became afraid and started sinking. He cried out for help and Jesus immediately reached out His hand and caught him.

The Significance

So why did Jesus make His disciples get in the boat? There are several interpretations of this story but here are some possible explanations:

  • To test their faith: By sending them into a stormy sea alone at night, Jesus was testing their faith and trust in Him. Would they continue to believe in Him even when things got tough?

    This is similar to how God tests our faith in difficult situations.

  • To teach them a lesson: The disciples had just witnessed Jesus perform a miracle, yet they still didn’t fully understand who He was. By walking on water and calming the storm, Jesus was showing them that He had power over nature and was indeed the Son of God.
  • To prepare them for future ministry: The disciples would later face many challenges and difficulties as they spread the gospel message. This experience of being caught in a storm and rescued by Jesus would help prepare them for those future trials.

The Lesson

Regardless of the specific reason why Jesus made His disciples get in the boat, there is a lesson for us to learn from this story. Just like the disciples, we will face storms and difficulties in our lives. However, we can take comfort in knowing that Jesus is with us always and has power over nature and all our troubles.

So when you feel like you’re sinking under the waves of life’s challenges, remember Peter’s cry for help: “Lord, save me!” And just like Jesus immediately reached out His hand to rescue Peter, He will also be there to rescue us when we call on Him.


The story of Jesus making His disciples get in the boat reminds us that even when we face storms in life, we can trust in Him to see us through. Let’s hold on to our faith in Him and continue following His lead as we navigate life’s journey.