Matthew 8:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 8:18, NIV: When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake.

Matthew 8:18, ESV: Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side.

Matthew 8:18, KJV: Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.

Matthew 8:18, NASB: Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea.

Matthew 8:18, NLT: When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake.

Matthew 8:18, CSB: When Jesus saw a large crowd around him, he gave the order to go to the other side of the sea.

What does Matthew 8:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The scene Matthew describes here may be unrelated to the previous scenario. There, Jesus was healing the sick and casting out demons in the home of Peter in the town of Capernaum, on the north side of the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 8:14–17). It might also be the same moment, but Scripture does not specify. Matthew's intent in this part of his gospel is to collect miraculous proofs that Jesus is the Promised One.

A common theme in Jesus' early ministry is seeking to control the reaction of the people. Christ has not come to start a revolution, so when the people become overly excited, He seems to pull away (John 6:15). He also tells many people to keep aspects of His ministry quiet (Matthew 8:4), to varying degrees of success.

Whether it's a continuation of the previous scene, or something new, Matthew tells of a moment in which Jesus recognizes the crowds around Him are growing large. He apparently wants to put some space between Himself and the crush of people. He orders His disciples to get in a boat and cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Before they go, though, Jesus will talk with a couple of people who would like to continue to follow Him (Matthew 8:19).