made (v.22) = compelled, by threat, entreaty, force or persuasion
evening (v.23) — probably around 6:00 pm
in the middle (v.24) — The Sea of Galilee is about six miles wide at this point. (It’s eight miles at its widest and 13 miles at its longest.)
fourth watch (v.25) — between 3:00 and 6:00 a.m.
The Sea of Galilee is tucked between hills and is subject to violent storms. Several of the disciples were fishermen who knew boats well. In at least nine hours, they had only managed between three and four miles of rowing. It would have been easier, I imagine, for them to turn the boat around and run before the wind. But their loyalty to Christ, who said to meet Him on the other side, or His compelling them to go — or probably both — kept them rowing.