The Three Ships

by Michael Elder
(Moore, OK)

Matthew 14:13-22

Picture, if you will, this barren valley laying by a green covered hillside. The sun bends low and glimmers brightly on the nearby lake. The air is clean and crisp. Five thousand men, and probably that many women, and an untold many children are gathered to hear Christ speak.

They have travelled a long way. It is early evening and they have been out there all day.

A small boy, has been found who will give his five barley loaves, and two smoked fish to Jesus. At Christ's command the people settle down on the hill side. The Lord blesses the food, and a miracle takes place. Five loaves and two fish are multiplied as they are divided.

This is an illustration of gain through loss. All are well fed, and satisfied, and the boy takes home twelve baskets of leftovers to his momma. There is a lesson to be learned here...You can't out give God!

Back in verse 13, we learned that Jesus and his men arrived at that place by ship. Verse 20 says that "they did all eat, and were filled". That would include His disciples. They too were filled, and they were content. They were just taking it easy and enjoying the day.

Text: Matt. 14:22 And straightway Jesus constrained (made) his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side,

Constrained: Webster says it means to instruct or to give orders. Constrain, CON means with. And STRAIN of course means to apply pressure or force. Jesus constrained his disciples to get into the ship.

Christ Constrained the Contented.

Ships were an important part in the life of Jesus Christ. It is no small thing that He would make his men to get into a ship. This morning we will look at three ships that Jesus would constrain us to get into.

Ship #1 is Discipleship (Luke 14:25-33)

Notice that Jesus refuses the right of discipleship to certain people. Now that's not politically correct is it? Don't they call that discrimination? I thought that God would except anyone. Amen?

Only those believers who will fully surrender their heart and life to follow Christ can be called His disciple.

Look again in verse 26
Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

1) Putting God first. That is your priority

Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

2) Complete surrender to God. That is your identity.

Luke 14;33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

3) Self-denial. That is your duty.

Point 1: The evidence of Discipleship is obedience.

Ship #2 is Stewardship (Matt. 25:14-26)

Get into a ship and to go before him unto the other side! Matt. 14:22

Look at what the Lord has to say to the two types of stewards.

Matt.. 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

While He says to the one steward who hid his talent ...Matt.. 25:26 ... "Thou wicked and slothful servant,"

1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (11) If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God givith: that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Did you hear that? God receives the glory though Christ when we are faithful. Faithful in 1) Prayer 2) Bible Study 3) Soul Winning 4) Tithing 5) Church Attendance.

1 Cor.4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Point 2: The evidence of Stewardship is faithfulness.

Ship #3 is Fellowship. (Matt. 14:22)

Get into a ship and to go before him unto the other side! Matt. 14:22

Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Fellowship in Doctrine, at get -togethers, and in prayer request.

1 Cor. 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Fellowship with unity, and without bickering. How about that?

2 Cor.6:14 17

Separation! Is it getting quite in here!

1Cor:15:33: Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

The only way to have true fellowship with God, is to walk with him in the light. If you are in true fellowship with God, you will have fellowship with the people of God.

Point 3: The evidence of Fellowship is unity.

Remember: Christ Constrained the Contented to be involved in Discipleship, Stewardship, and Fellowship.

Get into the ship and, go before him unto the other side! Matt. 14:22


I believe Jesus Christ rose bodily from the grave. I believe Jesus Christ ascended back to the right hand of the Father. I further believe that He want's us to go before him by demonstrating discipleship, by showing stewardship, and by flaunting fellowship!

Point 1: The evidence of Discipleship is obedience.

Point 2: The evidence of Stewardship is faithfulness.

Point 3: The evidence of Fellowship is unity.

Note from Mark: Those are some interesting ships! But oh how we need more Biblical discipleship, stewardship, and fellowship. Thanks Michael.

Comments for The Three Ships

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 29, 2008
by: James M

This is so creative and wonderfully thought of, it has great ideas and great references to prove it. I'm sure many people would love to hear this great message! Thanks for this, it has helped me grow closer to God.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Your Sermons.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

© 2008-2028 - All rights reserved.

No content on may be printed or

copied to any other site without permission.

The Preaching Ezine

Click Here!

Subscribe to my free newsletter for monthly sermons and get a free book right now. Just follow the link above and get the details!

Sermon Supply Ministry

Click Here!

Be ready for Sunday…before Saturday night!
Just follow the link above and get the details!

Manna Seminary

Click Here!

Did you ever want to start or finish your Ministry Training?
Just follow the link above and get the details!


Your Web Page:
Want your own sermon web page? You can have one!
Your Outlines:
Share YOUR skeleton outlines.
Your Illustrations:
Share YOUR Illustrations.
Encourage other ministers
by sharing
YOUR great sermons!
Your Poems:
Encourage us all
by sharing
YOUR great poems!