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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
Matthew 14

 

 

Introduction

Troubles And Tragedies Come

And Jesus Cared

- Matthew Fourteen -

Jesus cared for those that were facing sorrows, troubles and tragedies in this life. When Christians hurt, He cares and comforts troubled hearts. He is also concerned about the hurts of all humanity. His interest in humanity springs forth from the fact that He "truly is the Son of God." (Matthew 14:33)

Matthew 14 pictures the care of Jesus for humanity in four brief but touching accounts. Here we read, (1) the account of John the Baptist"s death (Matthew 14:1-12), (2) the record of Jesus feeding the five thousand (Matthew 14:13-21), (3) the report of the disciples tossed in the storm, and Jesus and Peter walking on the water (Matthew 14:22-33), and (4) the account of many being healed in the land of Gennesaret


Verses 1-12

John was killed and Jesus cared - Matthew 14:1-12 : Hatred leads people to do and say terrible things to one another. John had told Herod the Tetrarch that it was not right for him to have his brother, Philip"s wife (Herodias). John reproved Herod at the risk of his own life. (Matthew 14:3) Mark likewise recorded that this remarriage was a violation of God"s law. (Mark 6:14-29) Herod, like many in our day, had total disregard for Biblical laws of divorce and remarriage.

The hatred of Herodias for John led to his being beheaded. (Matthew 14:9-10) John died for his preaching. He died with the approval of God on his life and with a good conscience. John was a great hero of faith. His death touched both his disciples and the heart of the Savior Himself. Troubles and tragedies will come and when they do, remember the Savior cares!

The death of John was used to show that Jesus cares when people are hurting. What happened to John was a precursor of what the hatred of the people would eventually do to Jesus Himself. The fact that John was killed because of an "angry" woman compounds the tragedy of his death. Herod concluded that Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead. This, within its self, put Jesus in great danger.


Verses 13-21

People were hungry and Jesus cared - Matthew 14:13-21 : "When Jesus heard of it" He went to a "deserted place by Himself." (Matthew 14:13) It is not clear whether Matthew intended us to understand that Jesus had just heard about the death of John the Baptist or of was it that He heard about Herod"s opinion that he was John the Baptist raised from the dead. Likely the second is true!

The popularity of Jesus was so great that the word of His movement spread and before he arrived people were already waiting for Him there. He cared about their needs and was very touched with their situation. "He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick." (Matthew 14:14) Jesus cared so much that He did not want the multitude to be sent away hungry. He told the disciples, "You give them something to eat." (Matthew 14:16) The disciples could only see the five loaves and two fish. They could not see the power of God"s Son. (Matthew 14:17) "He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled." (Matthew 14:19-20) Even after 5,000 men, plus women and children had eaten their fill twelve baskets of fragments still remained. Jesus cared when people were hungry and so should we.

The feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle mentioned in all four gospels. In the Old Testament God fed the people with manna. Now in the ministry of Jesus He multiplied the food and fed thousands. The compassion of Jesus motivated His actions. God cares about people and supplies their needs. This miracle, along with the other miracles of Jesus, proves that He is the Messiah.


Verses 22-33

The disciples were tossed and Jesus cared - Matthew 14:22-33 : Jesus sent the disciples to the other side of the sea. This time alone allowed Him a time of prayer. "And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone." (Matthew 14:23) However, as they went they were beaten and tossed for the wind was against them. (Matthew 14:24) Jesus came to the disciples walking on the sea. His message was "Be of good cheer! It is I do not be afraid." (Matthew 14:27)

Peter asked Jesus for permission to walk on the waters. (Matthew 14:28) Jesus told Peter to come. So "when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus." (Matthew 14:29) Nevertheless, Peter"s doubt caused Him to sink. (Matthew 14:30) Jesus cared when the disciples were tossed about and when Peter was sinking. We should care when the world beats and tosses about those we know. We should care when they are sinking, lift them up, and bring them into the boat for safety.

When the storm came Jesus spoke words of peace and encouragement to the frightened disciples. When He said, "Be of good cheer; it is I be not afraid" it must have lifted the disciples up. The conclusion of these miracles that were done on sea was, "they came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God." (Matthew 14:33) Their response was just right. They did not say, "Wow that man can walk on water." They understood that by Jesus walking on the water he was teaching them His deity. They said, "Truly, this is the Son of God." If Christ is God there is no reason to fear.


Verses 34-36

People were hurting and Jesus cared - Matthew 14:34-36 : Gennesaret is a valley on the west side of the Sea of Galilee. In Gennesaret all that were sick were brought to Jesus. They "begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well." (Matthew 14:36) He did not heal them partially. Those that Jesus healed were healed perfectly. Touching the garment was not what healed them. The touching of the garment only showed their faith in Jesus to heal and to help.

The sick were brought to this man that had come to be known as the healer of all kinds of diseases. Jesus cared about hurting humanity and so should we. He did what He could to relieve their hurts. Wherever He went He was doing good. Though we cannot do what Jesus did, at least there is something we can do to help those that are hurting. If we have the compassion that Jesus had, we can never just pass by and do nothing!

As a Christian have that genuine care for others as seen in the life and love of Jesus. When troubles and tragedies came, Jesus cared! Do we care about hurting humanity? Both our prayers and our actions should show the care and concern that is in our heart for those that hurt.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Matthew 14:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/matthew-14.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, November 11th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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