Matthew 14:1-12 - Herod hears of Jesus and no doubt fears thinking John the baptist had risen from the dead. The narrative continues with a description of Herod's fear of the multitude. "The fear of man brings a snare" as scripture says. Herod remembers John's rebuke of him for taking his brother's wife but the fear of man kept him from doing anything about it. BUT, what a man does when he is drunk is clearly shown as Herod makes a rash promise because of his lust and drunk condition and is forced to make a decision to behead John because of "his oath and they which sat with him at meat" or in other words fear of what people would say if he didn't hold to his promise made in their presence to the daughter of Herodias. And so John was beheaded and his disciples came and took his body. I must wonder that the disciples would be so bold as to come for his body considering that they could have been killed too.
Matthew 14:13-21 - Jesus departs into a desert place and people follow him on foot out of their "cities." I wonder how many there were and what their motivation was for coming. Was it to hear him teach? Was it for the healing that they might receive? Were some thinking about becoming his disciples? Were some spying for the Pharisees and Sadducees? Verse 14 tells us that he saw a "great multitude" and was moved with compassion on them and he healed their sick, and he also fed them. Here is an amazing thing! He took five loaves and two fish and prayed over them and then fed 5000 men besides women and children. That in and of itself is amazing, but there were still twelve baskets full left - one for each disciple. Well that is speculation isn't it? We don't know what happened to those twelve baskets. I often think that perhaps it was for the disciples to share with others as they went.
Matthew 14:22-33 - Here Jesus sends his disciples before him to go to the other side. I wonder what they might have been thinking. Jesus didn't have transportation to the other side or at least there is none mentioned. I can hear them wondering among themselves if he was going to join them or how he would do it. Jesus went into the mountain to pray and was there alone.
I personally love going to a mountain top and looking out over the matchless creation of God and lifting up my hands and heart in worship to him for his marvelous works! I love to look out over the rivers and lakes and the ocean and worshiping as well because they are reminders of God's wondrous power and glory. Then I also love looking up into the heavens at night and worshiping when I think of the amazing wonders of space and time and how glorious God's handiwork is! And, like Jesus, I love being alone in his presence and talking with him heart to heart! What a sweet privilege and honor to be called a child of the living God!
The disciples are in the ship and the sea is tossed with waves and the wind is "contrary." I am reminded of what appears as difficulty to us and raises fears in us before the master opens our eyes to what is really going on. The Lord of creation comes to them and they mistake him for a ghost and cry out in fear, and he speaks assurance to them and calms their hearts and the sea at the same time. But before he causes the sea to be still, Peter gets out of the boat and walks on the sea to come to Jesus and the wind frightens him and he begins to sink. Then Jesus speaks these words; "O ye of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" When I read those words I have to wonder how Peter could be described as of little faith since he was walking on the water. If he had little faith and walked on water, where is our faith? Which of us would have gotten out of the boat and started walking to Jesus? Little faith doing what Peter did tells me that if we were able to exercise great faith we could indeed move mountains and much more! Right now I would be thankful if I could just do what Peter did. That would be a vast improvement for me. Jesus reaches down and then they are in the ship. The scripture doesn't say they walked the rest of the way to reach the ship. It just says the wind ceased and then they were in the ship. Leave me to wonder how!
Verse 33 says "They came and worshiped him." I have pointed this out to those who deny the deity of Christ and said; "If he accepted worship and was not deity, it would be blasphemous for the disciples to worship him." It is obvious that he didn't rebuke them or others who worshiped him throughout the gospels. Then they went on to say "Of a truth you are the Son of God." The Son of God; not one of many sons of God. John 3:16 makes that clear to those who will examine the scriptures objectively. There are other scriptures such as John 14:6 that do the same.
Matthew 14:34-36 - Jesus moves on in his ministry to Gennesaret and people hear of him and let others know and people from the country surrounding that area come to him and touch his garment and all who touch are not only healed but made "perfectly whole." Consider what that is saying! Perfectly whole is not just a healing but the most complete healing they could have ever wished or hoped for. Praise the Lord.
C. R. Lord © 2015