[T]he Lord urged the Twelve to “get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away” (Matthew 14:22). Then Jesus went to a mountain to pray. In the evening he was alone on the land and “the ship was in the midst of the sea” (Mark 6:47). As the sky darkened the Twelve were tossed about upon the waves of the sea (see Matthew 14:24). The wind was blowing against them as they toiled to row the ship. They continued in this toil all during the night.
What would it be like to row all night, being tossed by the waves and the wind, making no progress? Can we feel the pain in our hands, stomach, thighs, shoulders, and back? Can we feel the beating of the waves against our bodies? Can we see the blackness of the night? If we sense these things, we may have a deeper appreciation for what Alma called the “endless night of darkness” (Alma 41:7). In those words Alma described the condition of souls who had not repented, which would be the condition of all souls if there had been no atonement and repentance were not possible. The ship on the sea may be seen as a type of the endless condition of all mankind if there were no Redeemer.
“Lord of the Gospels”
The 1990 Sperry Symposium on the New Testament
Bruce A. Van Orden and Brent L. Top, eds.
Deseret Book (1991)