Why Did Jesus Send the Disciples on to the Other Side?

When Jesus sent the disciples on to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, it left many people wondering why he did so. The story is narrated in the Bible in Matthew 14:22-33 and Mark 6:45-52. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons behind this action of Jesus and what we can learn from it.

The Background

Before delving into why Jesus sent his disciples on to the other side, it’s important to understand the context in which this event occurred. In both Matthew and Mark, this event follows one of Jesus’ most notable miracles – feeding five thousand people with just five loaves of bread and two fish. After that miracle, Jesus told his disciples to get into a boat and go ahead of him to the other side while he dismissed the crowd.

Possible Reasons Behind Sending Disciples On

There are several reasons why Jesus may have sent his disciples on ahead:

To Test Their Faith

One reason could be that Jesus wanted to test his disciples’ faith. The Sea of Galilee was known for its unpredictable weather patterns, and it was not uncommon for sudden storms to arise. By sending them ahead, Jesus may have been testing their trust in him as their leader even when faced with difficult circumstances.

To Teach Them a Lesson

Another reason could be that Jesus wanted to teach his disciples a lesson about self-reliance. By sending them on ahead without him, he was giving them an opportunity to see how they would fare on their own. This may have been particularly important given that he would soon be leaving them after his crucifixion.

To Get Some Time Alone

Finally, it could simply be that Jesus needed some time alone. He had just performed a miracle in front of thousands of people and had been teaching and healing all day. Perhaps he wanted some time to rest and recharge before meeting up with his disciples again.

The Disciples’ Struggle

Regardless of the reason behind Jesus sending them on ahead, the disciples encountered a great struggle on their journey. A strong wind had arisen, and the boat was being battered by the waves. They were far from land and were struggling to make headway.

Jesus Walks on Water

It’s at this point that we see Jesus walking on water towards them. At first, the disciples were terrified, thinking they had seen a ghost. But Jesus reassured them that it was him and told them not to be afraid.

The Lessons We Can Learn

So, what can we learn from this event? Firstly, we can learn about the importance of faith in difficult times. The disciples were struggling in their boat, but they trusted in Jesus to save them.

Secondly, we can learn about the importance of self-reliance. While it’s important to have faith in God, we also need to take responsibility for our own actions and decisions.

Finally, we can learn about the importance of taking time for ourselves. Even Jesus needed time alone to rest and recharge.

In conclusion, while it may not be entirely clear why Jesus sent his disciples on ahead that evening on the Sea of Galilee, there are several possible reasons behind his actions. Whatever the reason may have been, it led to an important lesson for his disciples – one that we too can learn from today.