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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Matthew 14:25

And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Cowardice;   Faith;   Galilee;   Jesus, the Christ;   Miracles;   Night;   Sea;   Time;   Water;   Scofield Reference Index - Miracles;   Thompson Chain Reference - Galilee;   Gennesaret;   Miracles;   Power;   Sea;   Watches;   Weakness-Power;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Miracles of Christ, the;   Night;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Hours;   Miracle;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Day;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Hutchinsonians;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Cock-Crowing;   Hour;   Watches;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Miracles;   Watches of the Night;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Matthew, the Gospel of;   Night Watch;   Water;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Mss;   Text of the New Testament;   Time;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Attributes of Christ;   Body (2);   Doctrines;   Evening ;   Humanity of Christ;   Night (2);   Numbers (2);   Time;   Walk (2);   Watch;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Miracles;   Watches, Night;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Watches of the night;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Watches of Night;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Cock;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Christ, Offices of;   Day and Night;   Jesus Christ (Part 2 of 2);   Time;   Watch;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Christianity in Its Relation to Judaism;   Medeba;   New Testament;   Simon Cephas;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Verse Matthew 14:25. The fourth watch — Anciently the Jews divided the night into three watches, consisting of four hours each. The first watch is mentioned, Lamentations 2:19: the second, Judges 7:19; and the third, Exodus 14:24; but a fourth watch is not mentioned in any part of the OLD Testament. This division the Romans had introduced in Judea, as also the custom of dividing the day into twelve hours: see John 11:9. The first watch began at six o'clock in the evening, and continued till nine; the second began at nine, and continued till twelve; the third began at twelve, and continued till three next morning; and the fourth began at three, and continued till six. It was therefore between the hours of three and six in the morning that Jesus made his appearance to his disciples.

Walking on the sea. — Thus suspending the laws of gravitation was a proper manifestation of unlimited power. Jesus did this by his own power; therefore Jesus showed forth his Godhead. In this one miracle we may discover three:-

1. Though at a distance from his disciples, he knew their distress.

2. He found them out on the lake, and probably in the midst of darkness.

3. He walked upon the water.

Job, speaking of those things whereby the omnipotence of God was demonstrated, says particularly, Job 9:8, He walketh upon the waves of the sea: intimating that this was impossible to any thing but Omnipotence.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Matthew 14:25". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/matthew-14.html. 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

66. Jesus walks on the sea (Matthew 14:22-36; Mark 6:45-56; John 6:15-21)

On seeing Jesus’ miracle with the bread and fish, many wanted to make him king immediately. This no doubt would have pleased many of Jesus’ followers, but for him it presented a possible temptation. He therefore sent his disciples to Bethsaida, while he escaped into the hills where he could be alone and pray (Matthew 14:22-23; Mark 6:45-46; John 6:15).

Bethsaida was not far from the place where Jesus had fed the five thousand (see Luke 9:10-11). Both places were on the shore of the lake, but separated by a small bay. To escape the crowd the disciples decided to row across the lake, making it appear that they were heading for Bethsaida, which was near Capernaum (John 6:16-17).

Again a storm suddenly arose, blowing the boat off course and making rowing almost impossible. Jesus came to his disciples walking on the water, but instead of responding with faith they were fearful. Peter made a bolder response, but his confidence was shortlived (Matthew 14:24-30; Mark 6:47-50). Jesus was disappointed that again their faith failed in a crisis. Although they had seen his power in feeding the five thousand, they did not understand that the same power was still available to help them (Matthew 14:31-33; Mark 6:51-52). So much had they been blown off course before Jesus came to them, that they landed at Gennesaret, a long way west of their goal (Mark 6:53-56).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Matthew 14:25". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/matthew-14.html. 2005.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And in the fourth watch of the night he came unto them, walking upon the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a ghost; and they cried out for fear.

This was an astounding occurrence, and the fear of the Twelve is understandable. If they recognized the form of Christ, they may have thought he had been killed; but for whatever reason, they were thoroughly afraid and troubled. In this verse is a remarkable example of how words can change meanings. Note the following:

<LINES><MONO><SIZE=2> English Revised Version King James Version 1885 A.D. 1611 A.D.

Matthew 14:26 "It is a ghost." "It is a spirit" Matthew 28:19 "The Holy Spirit" "The Holy Ghost"MONO>LINES>

In this case, the words "ghost" and "spirit" exchanged meanings during the interval between 1611,1881, each word meaning today exactly what the other did when the King James Bible was published.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Matthew 14:25". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/matthew-14.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And in the fourth watch of the night - The Jews anciently divided the night into three parts of four hours each, usually called watches. The first of these watches is mentioned in Lamentations 2:19, the middle watch in Judges 7:19, and the morning watch in Exodus 14:24. In the time of our Saviour they divided the night into four watches, the fourth having been introduced by the Romans. These watches consisted of three hours each. The first commenced at six and continued until nine; the second from nine to twelve; the third from twelve to three; and the fourth from three to six. The first was called evening; the second midnight; the third cock-crowing; the fourth morning, Mark 13:35. It is probable that the term watch was given to each of these divisions from the practice of placing sentinels around the camp in time of war, or in cities, to watch or guard the camp or city; and that they were at first relieved three times in the night, but under the Romans four times. It was in the last of these watches, or between three and six in the morning, that Jesus appeared to the disciples, so that he had spent most of the night alone on the mountain in prayer.

Walking on the sea - A manifest and wonderful miracle. It was a boisterous sea. It was in a dark night. The little boat was 4 or 5 miles from the shore, tossed by the billows.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Matthew 14:25". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/matthew-14.html. 1870.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

And at that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus. And he said to his servants, This is John the Baptist; he's risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do show forth themselves in him. For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife. For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her. And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. But when Herod's birthday was kept, and the daughter of Herodias danced before him, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John the Baptist's head in a charger. So the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded that it be given to her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus ( Matthew 14:1-12 ).

Here we have the story of Herod and the beheading of John the Baptist. He was called Herod Antipas; he was the son of Herod the Great. The word "tetrarch" means the ruler over a fourth part. When Herod the Great died, he had many sons, but three of them were given rule over part of the territory that Herod the Great once governed. Herod Antipas, the one who had beheaded John the Baptist, was married to the daughter of a Nabatean king, Areta.

And He went to Rome were he visited his brother Philip, Herod Philip, and there he fell in love with Philip's wife. And he enticed her to leave his brother, and to return with him as his wife. But in order to do this he had to then divorce Areta, the daughter of the Nabatean king, which he did. And he took Herodias as his wife.

Now John the Baptist spoke out against that. John the Baptist was a straight shooter. And he said it isn't lawful for you to do that. It wasn't lawful for him to put away Areta without a cause. And of course it wasn't lawful to marry his brother's sister. So John the Baptist spoke out boldly against him, and he paid the price of incurring the displeasure of Herod, for Herod imprisoned him and would have put him to death, yet there was such a popular appeal that John had to the people. He was a little fearful of putting him to death. Josephus in his Antiquities, the historic account of the Jews, helps us in this a little bit. He said that Herod actually was desiring to put him to death, because of the tremendous popularity that John had among the people. And he was actually a little threatened by the popularity of John the Baptist.

Herodias ultimately, of course, was the downfall of Herod. She was a very cruel and cunning woman. She, of course, was upset because John had spoken out against the marriage, had a deep kind of desire for revenge. And so she allowed her daughter to dance for Herod on his birthday. Her daughter's name was Salome. The dances were of those oriental-type, which were very suggestive, and sensuous. Salome was probably only sixteen or seventeen. And for her mother to allow her to do this, shows the fact that there was no real morality in the heart of Herodias at all, very immoral woman. And when Herod's passions were aroused by the dance of Salome, in that moment of excitement and the applause for the dance and all, with the crowd around, he said, "ask whatever you want and I will give it to you" ( Mark 6:22 ). And her mother Herodias had already coached her in advance that she should ask for the head of John the Baptist on a charger. And when she made this request, of course Herod wanted to back down, but he had made the promise, and so he held to it.

Now later on when Caligula became the emperor of Rome there was another son of Herod, Agrippa that he sent to reign over some of the provinces of Israel, and he gave to Agrippa the title of king. And so you remember Paul addressing him King Agrippa.

Now Herodias said to her husband Herod Antipas, look, he has the title of king. You ought also to have the title of king, because she had this desire to be known as Queen Herodias, and so this real thing in her wanting to be known as queen. She put her husband up to going to Rome to talk to the Emperor Caligula that he would give to Antipas also the title of king.

However, Herod Agrippa heard of the plan, and so he sent messages ahead to Caligula and said, hey, Antipas is not to be trusted, he is very likely to rebel against you. He is looking for position and power. And so Caligula believed the report that he received from Agrippa. And when Antipas came requesting that he receive the title of king, instead of receiving it, he had taken a lot of money with him, and she said, what's money, go and bribe him, Caligula, for this title of king. Caligula took the money, but he banished Antipas to Gaul.

And so that was the end of his ambition. And that was the end of Herod Antipas, he and Herodias. Caligula said, look, you can stay here if you want. But she said, no, I'll be with my husband. That's the only honorable thing she did. So she was banished with him to Gaul. The end of this man, who fought the prophet of God, because the prophet had enough courage to speak out against his sin, had him imprisoned.

And so we read of the death of the cousin of Jesus, John the Baptist. And when Herod heard of all that Jesus was doing, though he had put John the Baptist to death, his conscience was probably still troubling him. And he said, "this is John the Baptist, he's raised from the dead, and that's why he can do this marvelous works" ( Matthew 14:2 ). He no doubt really believed that John the Baptist was indeed a true prophet.

So now in verse thirteen,

When Jesus heard of this [horrible atrocity against John. It no doubt shocked Him.], and he went by ship into a desert place apart ( Matthew 14:13 ):

Desert, not meaning desert like the Mojave, or Sahara, but a deserted place, because there really isn't any real desert around the Sea of Galilee, but there are places that are deserted, or uninhabited. And so He went to one of the uninhabited areas there across the Sea of Galilee, over on the opposite side of the sea, there were several sort of deserted areas.

So when the people had heard that he was leaving, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And when Jesus went foRuth ( Matthew 14:13-14 ),

So He got around the other side, and here was a great multitude of people waiting for Him. Now the Sea of Galilee is only eight miles across. And from the area of Capernaum, if you cross over to the area there, Bethsaida there, it isn't really that far, and you can watch a little boat go all the way across. So as they are taking off for Capernaum, it's easy to tell which direction they are going. They just watch which direction they are going, and then the people run around the upper end of the lake, and then they'll be there waiting of Him, when He got to the other side.

This must have been difficult. Here you're troubled, because of this horrible atrocity, and you're wanting to get alone for just a little bit, to sort of put things together, get things in perspective. And so you try to get off alone, and have just a little time to wait upon God, and to pray, and to sort of get yourself collected, and you get to the other side, and here is the whole multitude of people waiting there for you. Now it would have been very easy for Jesus to have been brusque and say, look I came over to get a rest, can't you leave me alone? And I know so many people who have a great ministry today who might do just that.

But Jesus when he saw the great multitude, was moved with compassion toward them ( Matthew 14:14 ),

Oh, God give us a heart for the ministry, like Jesus. That whenever we see the people, rather than feeling; oh, no, why did they have to come here? Don't they know I want to be alone? That whenever we meet them, we are moved with compassion towards them. God give us a heart of compassion towards the needs of people.

And the needs of people always moved the heart of Jesus with compassion. He could not see a needy person without being moved with compassion towards them.

and he healed their sick ( Matthew 14:14 ).

Now many of these people were not really seeking Him. All they were seeking was help, the healing of their sick. And it would be very easy to sort of jump on the crowd, and to needle them, and get after them. All you want is the benefits. You really don't want to make the commitment. And that was so true. But Jesus never chided them. He never got on them. He just went ahead and ministered to them freely. And I love Him for that.

Now when it was evening, his disciples came to him, and they said, This is a deserted place, and the time is now past; you better send the multitude away, that they might go into the villages, and buy themselves some food. But Jesus said unto them, They don't need to depart; give them to eat. And they said unto him, We only have five loaves, and two fish. And he said, Bring them to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and he took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven he blessed, and he broke, and he gave the loaves to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled ( Matthew 14:15-20 ):

The word "filled" in Greek is glutted, that would be a more appropriate translation. They all ate and were stuffed.

And they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside the woman and children ( Matthew 14:20-21 ).

So here is that recording of the marvelous multiplication of the loaves and the fishes to feed the five thousand. Now there are those who have difficulty with miracles, and so when they read this story they try to read into it, a plausible explanation to remove the miraculous from it.

We are told that these five loaves and two fish came from a little boy, who probably when he told his mother I want to go over and see Jesus, she packed him a lunch. And so when the multitude was there, they said, Lord, you better send them away, that they might buy food. And He said, no, they are hungry, they might faint in the way, let's feed them. And they said, if we had several thousand dollars worth of bread we couldn't feed this crowd. Jesus said, what do you have? And Andrew said there is a little kid over here with five loaves and two fish, but what's that to a multitude like this? And so the little boy came, and gave his five loaves and his two fishes to Jesus and He then blessed them, and broke the bread, and distributed.

And there are those who explain, that in those days, they wore these long robes and they had sleeves that tied at the wrist. And quite often people carried bread and fish in their sleeves. And that when everybody was hungry, and they all knew when they were hungry, everybody was so selfish, none was willing to share their own little lunch that they had tied in their sleeves.

But when the little boy came forth, and offered to Jesus his five loaves and two fishes, everyone was so touched and moved, by the beautiful example of this little child. They all untied their sleeves, and shared with each other and there was really enough there, that they could gather twelve baskets full, after everybody had eaten. And so it was the touching example of a little child, that moved the multitude. And isn't that a beautiful story. God has got a hot place for men who try to mess with the Word.

And immediately Jesus constrained the disciples to get into a ship, and go before him to the other side, while he sent the multitudes away ( Matthew 14:22 ).

So He said to the disciples and all, go ahead, get in the boat and go over to the other side. I'll send the multitude away.

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 ).

Now notice this, I think this is important to know. It had been an extremely hard day. Jesus had received the news of horrible atrocity, His cousin John had been beheaded by Herod. And He felt it sort of imperative to just get alone for awhile. So He got into the ship with the disciples, and they headed over to the other side.

But the people seeing the direction that they were going, run around the upper part of the Galilee, and meet Him when the ship landed. And here was the multitude. And Jesus spends the day ministering to them. He is weary emotionally, because of what had happen to John. No doubt weary physically by ministering to these people, being pressed by them all the day long up until the evening. He feeds them and then He sends them away, as the disciples are heading back. Hard day, troubling news, physically exhausted, time to really flake out, but instead He went up into a mountain apart to pray. Oh, the importance that prayer had in the life of Jesus.

Now if He being the Son of God felt the necessity to be strengthened through prayer on these kinds of occasions, how much more we, weak, failing disciples or followers of Him need to spend time in prayer, to be strengthened by God. We would say, oh, it's time to really get a rest. I really need to get a nap. I really need to get my strength. But instead He went up, and spends the evening, the night in prayer according to another gospel. But prayer was His place of strength. He discovered it to be a place of great strength. Even as you can discover that prayer is a place of great strength indeed.

And so when the evening was come He was there alone.

But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, and it was tossed by the waves: for the wind was contrary ( Matthew 14:24 ).

Coming from the side of Gennesaret, back across the sea, there is that valley that comes into the Sea of Galilee, from the Mediterranean where, when they get these storms, it usually blows in through that Chinnereth Valley. And so in coming back, you're coming against that wind that comes howling through that valley. And so the disciples were faced with this dismal prospect of trying to row against the wind and against the flow of the wind-whipped waves, because they were heading back towards the area of Capernaum. And so they were in the midst of the sea. And they were being tossed with the waves, for the wind was coming from that direction of the Mediterranean.

And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. [That is almost morning.] And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It's a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I, be not afraid. [An impulsive] Peter answered, Lord, if it is you, bid me to come to you on the water. And Jesus said, Come on. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and he began to sink, and he cried, saying, Oh, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, why did you doubt? ( Matthew 14:25-31 )

Amazing story, isn't it? How that Peter was able for a time to walk on the water, and it would appear that he could walk on the water, as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus. But suddenly, maybe a wave crashed, splashing his face and he looked around and, oh, what am I doing out here? And he started to sink. "Lord, save me." I can hear Jesus chuckle, as He said, "oh, oh, you of little faith". What happened to you? You started well, what happened to you Peter? "Oh ye of little faith."

I think that the lesson is keeping our eyes upon the Lord. I think that is so important for us. It is so easy for us to get our eyes on our circumstances. And we start looking around and the boisterous waves; we start looking at our problems. We start looking at our situations and we begin to sink. Because every one of us are faced with daily situations that can really sink us, if we really get into it. We need to keep our eyes on the Lord, who is the Master over the sea, over the waves, over the winds. And looking at Jesus he was able to walk for a ways on the water. Getting his eyes off Jesus and on the waves, he began to sink. As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus we can walk on the water, so to speak.

Now to me it's great that when Peter started to sink he knew where to call. "Lord, save me." I've been in the same boat. Man, how many times I've cried, "Oh Lord, save me." And the graciousness of Jesus. "Oh thou of little faith". Why did you doubt Peter? You're doing all right.

And when they had come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshiped him, saying, Of a truth, thou art the Son of God ( Matthew 14:32-33 ).

They just had seen such a tremendous demonstration of His divine powers.

And when they were gone over, they came to the land of Gennesaret. And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out unto all the country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased ( Matthew 14:34-35 );

And Gennesaret is there. It is Chinnereth, or Gennesaret. It's the name of that valley coming from the area of the Mediterranean aqua area.

And they besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole ( Matthew 14:36 ).

Now Jesus did not have some kind of magic garment that if you touch it, you would be healed. The healing took place in each case because of the faith of that person. And the touching of His garment was the point for them to release their faith. There is sort of a passive kind of faith, if such a thing can exist. A believing that God can do it, knowing that God can do it, being fully persuaded and assured that God can do it.

And I think that we all probably fit in that category who believe in God. We know that God can do anything. And I am faced with some malady or whatever, and someone says, "Well, God can heal you." Yes, I know that is true, I don't doubt that. I go to the hospital and I see these people in critical condition. The doctors have given them up, and I say, "Well, God can heal you," and I believe that. I believe God can do anything. But there is something to activating that faith, to where it is not, I believe that can heal you, but that I believe that God will heal you now, that moment when faith is activated to receive that touch, or healing from God.

And I think that this touching of the hem of His garment created a point of contact for those people to release their faith. In other words, in their minds they were saying I know that the moment I touch the hem of His garment, I'll be healed. And that was so in their minds, that the moment they were able to grab the hem of His garment, they released the faith, and it was no longer just a passive, I know God can, but I know that God is. And in that moment, release their faith to take then at that moment their healing, and the moment they activated, or released the faith, they were healed.

There were many things in the New Testament that formed points of contact for the releasing of faith. And Jesus actually established more or less points of contact on various occasions. When He put mud in the blind man's eyes, and said, "Now go and wash up the mud, as soon as you wash it out, you can see" ( John 9:6-7 ). The man believed that the minute I can wash this mud out, I am gonna see. And it was a point of contact for the releasing of his faith.

In the Old Testament, when the prophet Elisha told Naaman to go dip in the River Jordan seven times, when you come up from the seventh time, you're going to be healed, it was a point of contact for the releasing of faith ( 2 Kings 5:10 ). In the Book of Acts they sent out from Paul handkerchiefs, or more literally sweatbands, and his aprons, and they would lay them on the sick, and the people would be healed. Peter, when he was walking down the street, they would set the sick in the way, so that his shadow would fall on them, and the shadow of Peter falling on them was a point of contact. People said, oh I know as soon as Peter's shadow falls on me, oh I am gonna be healed. And they had that point of releasing faith ( Acts 5:15 ).

And somehow we need be able to release the faith, so it will become activated. So I know that as soon as it will happen, and it's a point of contact to release the faith, and there is a valuable lesson there.

"



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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Matthew 14:25". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/matthew-14.html. 2014.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

2. The withdrawal to Bethsaida 14:13-33

Having experienced strong rejection from the common people and from the nation’s political leaders, Jesus withdrew to train His disciples further. In view of the coming conflict, they needed stronger faith in Him. Jesus cultivated their faith with two miracles.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Matthew 14:25". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/matthew-14.html. 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jesus’ walking on the water 14:22-33 (cf. Mark 6:45-52; John 6:14-21)

Jesus proceeded to do a second miracle to deepen His disciples’ faith in Him even more.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Matthew 14:25". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/matthew-14.html. 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Jews divided the night, from sunset to sunrise, into three watches (Judges 7:19; Lamentations 2:19). The Romans, however, divided it into four. Matthew used the Roman division of watches. The fourth watch was between 3:00 and 6:00 a.m. Jesus had spent most of the night praying, and the disciples had spent most of the night rowing.

Some translators rendered the Greek word phantasma as "ghost," but it means an apparition (cf. Mark 6:49). The disciples saw Jesus, but to them His appearance resembled that of a ghost. Perhaps rain or fog was responsible as well as poor light. They may have believed the popular superstition that evil spirits lived in the sea and that those who had drowned haunted the water. [Note: France, The Gospel . . ., p. 569.]

Jesus’ response centered on, "It is I." Note the chiasm of His response. The disciples could take courage and not fear because Jesus was there. The words, "I am," were a term Jesus used to claim deity (cf. Exodus 3:14; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 51:12). The fourth Gospel stressed Jesus’ use of this term especially. The disciples may not have realized this claim in the terror of the moment, but later they undoubtedly saw the significance of what He had said more clearly.

"Fear is unwarranted where Jesus is present [cf. Matthew 1:23; Matthew 28:20]." [Note: Hagner, Matthew 14-28, p. 425.]

God had ordained that man rule over the sea before the Fall (Genesis 1:28). Here Jesus was doing precisely that; He was fulfilling God’s purpose for humankind. This action gave testimony to His being the Second Adam (cf. Matthew 8:27; Romans 5:12-17), the man who succeeded where Adam had failed. The Old Testament speaks of God walking on or through the sea (Job 9:8; Psalms 77:19; Isaiah 43:16; cf. Psalms 18:16; Psalms 144:7).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Matthew 14:25". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/matthew-14.html. 2012.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And in the fourth watch of the night,.... This is said, according to the division of the night into four watches, by the Jews; who o say, that

"there are four watches in the night, and four watches in the day.''

It is true indeed, that it is disputed among them, whether there were four watches, or only three in the night: some say there were four, others say there were but three p; not but that these made a division of the night into four parts, the three first of which, they thought were properly the watches of the night, and the fourth was the morning. The first watch began at six o'clock in the evening, and lasted till nine; the second began at nine, and ended at twelve, which was midnight; the third began at twelve, and closed at three; the fourth began at three, and ended at six in the morning. But since some q Jewish writers are so positive for the division of the night into three watches only, and a watch is with them called r the third part of the night; and it is dubious with some, whether the Jewish division is here referred to; and since it is so clear a point, that the Romans s divided their night into four watches, and their writers speak not only of the first, second, and third watches, but also of the fourth watch t; it is thought by some, that the evangelist speaks after the Roman manner: but however, certain it is, that within this period, probably at the beginning of it, after three o'clock in the morning, Christ came to his disciples, when they had been almost all the night at sea, tossed with waves, and in great danger.

Jesus went unto them; from the mountain where he had been praying, the greatest part of the night, to the sea side, and so upon the waters to them; for it follows,

walking upon the sea; as on dry land: though it was so stormy and boisterous, that the disciples, though in a ship, were in the utmost danger, yet he upon the waves, was in none at all; by which action he showed himself to be the Lord of the sea, and to be truly and properly God; whose character is, that he "treadeth upon the waves of the sea", Job 9:8.

o T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 2. 4. Echa Rabbati, fol. 54. 4. p T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 3. 1, 2. q Jaschi & Kimchi in Jud vii. 19. & in Psal. cxix. 147. r Gloss. in T. Bab. Betacot, fol. 2. 1. s Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. 1. 4. c. 20. t Liv. Hist. 1. 36, c. 24.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Matthew 14:25". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/matthew-14.html. 1999.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Jesus Walks to His Disciples on the Sea.


      22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.   23 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.   24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.   25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.   26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.   27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.   28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.   29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.   30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.   31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?   32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.   33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

      We have here the story of another miracle which Christ wrought for the relief of his friends and followers, his walking upon the water to his disciples. In the foregoing miracle he acted as the Lord of nature, improving its powers for the supply of those who were in want; in this, he acted as the Lord of nature, correcting and controlling its powers for the succour of those who were in danger and distress. Observe,

      I. Christ's dismissing of his disciples and the multitude, after he had fed them miraculously. He constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side,Matthew 14:22; Matthew 14:22. St. John gives a particular reason for the hasty breaking up of this assembly, because the people were so affected with the miracle of the loaves, that they were about to take him by force, and make him a king (John 6:15); to avoid which, he immediately scattered the people, sent away the disciples, lest they should join with them, and he himself withdrew, John 6:15.

      When they had sat down to eat and drink, they did not rise up to play, but each went to his business.

      1. Christ sent the people away. It intimates somewhat of solemnity in the dismissing of them; he sent them away with a blessing, with some parting words of caution, counsel, and comfort, which might abide with them.

      2. He constrained the disciples to go into a ship first, for till they were gone the people would not stir. The disciples were loth to go, and would not have gone, if he had not constrained them. They were loth to go to sea without him. If thy presence go not with us, carry us not up hence.Exodus 33:15. They were loth to leave him alone, without any attendance, or any ship to wait for him; but they did it in pure obedience.

      II. Christ's retirement hereupon (Matthew 14:23; Matthew 14:23); He went up into a mountain apart to pray. Observe here,

      1. That he was alone; he went apart into a solitary place, and was there all alone. Though he had so much work to do with others, yet he chose sometimes to be alone, to set us an example. Those are not Christ's followers that do not care for being alone; that cannot enjoy themselves in solitude, when they have none else to converse with, none else to enjoy, but God and their own hearts.

      2. That he was alone at prayer; that was his business in this solitude, to pray. Though Christ, as God, was Lord of all, and was prayed to, yet Christ, as Man, had the form of a servant, of a beggar, and prayed. Christ has herein set before us an example of secret prayer, and the performance of it secretly, according to the rule he gave, Matthew 6:6; Matthew 6:6. Perhaps in this mountain there was some private oratory or convenience, provided for such an occasion; it was usual among the Jews to have such. Observe, When the disciples went to sea, their Master went to prayer; when Peter was to be sifted as wheat, Christ prayed for him.

      3. That he was long alone; there he was when the evening was come, and, for aught that appears, there he was till towards morning, the fourth watch of the night. The night came on, and it was a stormy, tempestuous night, yet he continued instant in prayer. Note, It is good, at least sometimes, upon special occasions, and when we find our hearts enlarged, to continue long in secret prayer, and to take full scope in pouring out our hearts before the Lord. We must not restrain prayer,Job 15:4.

      III. The condition that the poor disciples were in at this time: Their ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves,Matthew 14:24; Matthew 14:24. We may observe here,

      1. That they were got into the midst of the sea when the storm rose. We may have fair weather at the beginning of our voyage, and yet meet with storms before we arrive at the port we are bound for. Therefore, let not him that girdeth on the harness boast as he that puts it off, but after a long calm expect some storm or other.

      2. The disciples were now where Christ sent them, and yet met with this storm. Had they been flying from their Master, and their work, as Jonah was, when he was arrested by the storm, it had been a dreadful one indeed; but they had a special command from their Master to go to sea at this time, and were going about their work. Note, It is no new thing for Christ's disciples to meet with storms in the way of their duty, and to be sent to sea then when their Master foresees a storm; but let them not take it unkindly; what he does they know not now, but they shall know hereafter, that Christ designs hereby to manifest himself with the more wonderful grace to them and for them. 3. It was a great discouragement to them now that they had not Christ with them, as they had formerly when they were in a storm; though he was then asleep indeed, yet he was soon awaked (Matthew 8:24; Matthew 8:24), but now he was not with them at all. Thus Christ used his disciples first to less difficulties, and then to greater, and so trains them up by degrees to live by faith, and not by sense.

      4. Though the wind was contrary, and they were tossed with waves, yet being ordered by their Master to the other side, they did not tack about and come back again, but made the best of their way forward. Note, Though troubles and difficulties may disturb us in our duty, they must not drive us from it; but through the midst of them we must press forwards.

      IV. Christ's approach to them in this condition (Matthew 14:25; Matthew 14:25); and in this we have an instance,

      1. Of his goodness, that he went unto them, as one that took cognizance of their case, and was under a concern about them, as a father about his children. Note, The extremity of the church and people of God is Christ's opportunity to visit them and appear for them: but he came not till the fourth watch, toward three o'clock in the morning, for then the fourth watch began. It was in the morning-watch that the Lord appeared for Israel in the Red sea (Exodus 14:24), so was this. He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps, but, when there is occasion, walks in darkness for their succour; helps, and that right early.

      2. Of his power, that he went unto them, walking on the sea. This is a great instance of Christ's sovereign dominion over all the creatures; they are all under his feet, and at his command; they forget their natures, and change the qualities that we call essential. We need not enquire how this was done, whether by condensing the surface of the water (when God pleases, the depths are congealed in the heart of the sea,Exodus 15:8), or by suspending the gravitation of his body, which was transfigured as he pleased; it is sufficient that it proves his divine power, for it is God's prerogative to tread upon the waves of the sea (Job 9:8), as it is to ride upon the wings of the wind. He that made the waters of the sea a wall for the redeemed of the Lord (Isaiah 51:10), here makes them a walk for the Redeemer himself, who, as Lord of all, appears with one foot on the sea and the other on dry land, Revelation 10:2. The same power that made iron to swim (2 Kings 6:6), did this. What ailed thee, O thou sea?Psalms 114:5. It was at the presence of the Lord. Thy way, O God, is in the sea, (Psalms 77:19). Note, Christ can take what way he pleases to save his people.

      V. Here is an account of what passed between Christ and his distressed friends upon his approach.

      1. Between him and all the disciples. We are here told,

      (1.) How their fears were raised (Matthew 14:26; Matthew 14:26); When they saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; phantasma esti--It is an apparition; so it might much better be rendered. It seems, the existence and appearance of spirits were generally believed in by all except the Sadducees, whose doctrine Christ had warned his disciples against; yet, doubtless, many supposed apparitions have been merely the creatures of men's own fear and fancy. These disciples said, It is the Lord; it can be no other. Note, [1.] Even the appearances and approaches of deliverance are sometimes the occasions of trouble and perplexity to God's people, who are sometimes most frightened when they are least hurt; nay, when they are most favoured, as the Virgin Mary, Luke 1:29; Exodus 3:6; Exodus 3:7. The comforts of the Spirit of adoption are introduced by the terrors of the spirit of bondage,Romans 8:15. [2.] The appearance of a spirit, or the fancy of it, cannot but be frightful, and strike a terror upon us, because of the distance of the world of spirits from us, the just quarrel good spirits have with us, and the inveterate enmity evil spirits have against us: see Job 4:14; Job 4:15. The more acquaintance we have with God, the Father of spirits, and the more careful we are to keep ourselves in his love, the better able we shall be to deal with those fears. [3.] The perplexing, disquieting fears of good people, arise from their mistakes and misapprehensions concerning Christ, his person, offices, and undertaking; the more clearly and fully we know his name, with the more assurance we shall trust in him, Psalms 9:10. [4.] A little thing frightens us in a storm. When without are fightings, no marvel that within are fears. Perhaps the disciples fancied it was some evil spirit that raised the storm. Note, Most of our danger from outward troubles arises from the occasion they give for inward trouble.

      (2.) How these fears were silenced, Matthew 14:27; Matthew 14:27. He straightway relieved them, by showing them their mistake; when they were wrestling with the waves, he delayed his succour for some time; but he hastened his succour against their fright, as much the more dangerous; he straightway laid that storm with his word, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

      [1.] He rectified their mistake, by making himself known to them, as Joseph to his brethren; It is I. He does not name himself, as he did to Paul, I am Jesus; for Paul as yet knew him not: but to these disciples it was enough to say, It is I; they knew his voice, as his sheep (John 10:4), as Mary Magdalene, John 20:16. They need not ask, Who art thou, Lord? Art thou for us or for our adversaries? They could say with the spouse, It is the voice of my beloved,Song of Solomon 2:8. True believers know it by a good token. It was enough to make them easy, to understand who it was they saw. Note, A right knowledge opens the door to true comfort, especially the knowledge of Christ.

      [2.] He encouraged them against their fright; It is I, and therefore, First, Be of good cheer; tharseite--"Be courageous; pluck up your spirits, and be courageous." If Christ's disciples be not cheerful in a storm, it is their own fault, he would have them so. Secondly, Be not afraid; 1. "Be not afraid of me, now that you know it is I; surely you will not fear, for you know I mean you no hurt." Note, Christ will not be a terror to those to whom he manifests himself; when they come to understand him aright, the terror will be over. 2. "Be not afraid of the tempest, of the winds and waves, though noisy and very threatening; fear them not, while I am so near you. I am he that concerns himself for you, and will not stand by and see you perish." Note, Nothing needs be a terror to those that have Christ near them, and know he is theirs; no, not death itself.

      2. Between him and Peter, Matthew 14:28-31; Matthew 14:28-31, where observe,

      (1.) Peter's courage, and Christ's countenancing that.

      [1.] It was very bold in Peter, that he would venture to come to Christ upon the water (Matthew 14:28; Matthew 14:28); Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee. Courage was Peter's master grace; and that made him so forward above the rest to express his love to Christ, though others perhaps loved him as well.

      First, It is an instance of Peter's affection to Christ, that he desired to come to him. When he sees Christ, whom, doubtless, during the storm, he had many a time wished for, he is impatient to be with him. He does not say, Bid me walk on the waters, as desiring it for the miracle sake; but, Bid me come to thee, as desiring it for Christ's sake; "Let me come to thee, no matter how." Note, True love will break through fire and water, if duly called to it, to come to Christ. Christ was coming to them, to succour and deliver them. Lord, said Peter, bid me come to thee. Note, When Christ is coming towards us in a way of mercy, we must go forth to meet him in a way of duty; and herein we must be willing and bold to venture with him and venture for him. Those that would have benefit by Christ as a Saviour, must thus by faith come to him. Christ had been now, for some time, absent, and hereby it appears why he absented himself; it was to endear himself so much the more to his disciples at his return, to make it highly seasonable and doubly acceptable. Note, When, for a small amount, Christ has forsaken his people, his returns are welcome, and most affectionately embraced; when gracious souls, after long seeking, find their Beloved at last, they hold him, and will not let him go,Song of Solomon 3:4.

      Secondly, It is an instance of Peter's caution and due observance of the will of Christ, that he would not come without a warrant. Not, "If it be thou, I will come;" but If it be thou, bid me come. Note, The boldest spirits must wait for a call to hazardous enterprizes, and we must not rashly and presumptuously thrust ourselves upon them. Our will to services and sufferings is interpreted, not willingness, but wilfulness, if it have not a regard to the will of Christ, and be not regulated by his call and command. Such extraordinary warrants as this to Peter we are not now to expect, but must have recourse to the general rules of the word, in the application of which to particular cases, with the help of providential hints, wisdom is profitable to direct.

      Thirdly, It is an instance of Peter's faith and resolution, that he ventured upon the water when Christ bid him. To quit the safety of the ship, and throw himself into the jaws of death, to despise the threatening waves he so lately dreaded, argued a very strong dependence upon the power and word of Christ. What difficulty or danger could stand before such a faith and such a zeal?

      [2.] It was very kind and condescending in Christ, that he was pleased to own him in it, Matthew 14:29; Matthew 14:29. He might have condemned the proposal as foolish and rash; nay, and as proud and assuming; "Shall Peter pretend to do as his Master does?" But Christ knew that it came from a sincere and zealous affection to him, and graciously accepted of it. Note, Christ is well pleased with the expressions of his people's love, though mixed with manifold infirmities, and makes the best of them.

      First, He bid him come. When the Pharisees asked a sign, they had not only a repulse, but a reproof, for it, because they did it with a design to tempt Christ; when Peter asked a sign, he had it, because he did it with a resolution to trust Christ. The gospel call is, "Come, come, to Christ; venture all in his hand, and commit the keeping of your souls to him; venture through a stormy sea, a troublesome world, to Jesus Christ."

      Secondly, He bore him out when he did come; Peter walked upon the water. The communion of true believers with Christ is represented by their being quickened with him, raised up with him, made to sit with him, (Ephesians 2:5; Ephesians 2:6), and being crucified with him,Galatians 2:20. Now, methinks, it is represented in this story by their walking with him on the water. Through the strength of Christ we are borne up above the world, enabled to trample upon it, kept from sinking into it, from being overwhelmed by it, obtain a victory over it (1 John 5:4), by faith in Christ's victory (John 16:33), and with him are crucified to it,Galatians 6:14. See blessed Paul walking upon the water with Jesus, and more than a conqueror through him, and treading upon all the threatening waves, as not able to separate him from the love of Christ,Romans 8:35, c. Thus the sea of the world is become like a sea of glass, congealed so as to bear and they that have gotten the victory, stand upon it and sing, Revelation 15:2; Revelation 15:3.

      He walked upon the water, not for diversion or ostentation, but to go to Jesus; and in that he was thus wonderfully borne up. Note, When our souls are following hard after God, then it is that his right hand upholds us; it was David's experience, Psalms 63:8. Special supports are promised, and are to be expected, only in spiritual pursuits. When God bears his Israel upon eagles' wings, it is to bring them to himself (Exodus 19:4); nor can we ever come to Jesus, unless we be upheld by his power; it is in his own strength that we wrestle with him, that we reach after him, that we press forward toward the mark, being kept by the power of God, which power we must depend upon, as Peter when he walked upon the water: and there is no danger of sinking while underneath are the everlasting arms.

      (2.) Here is Peter's cowardice, and Christ's reproving him and succouring him. Christ bid him come, not only that he might walk upon the water, and so know Christ's power, but that he might sink, and so know his own weakness; for as he would encourage his faith, so he would check his confidence, and make him ashamed of it. Observe then,

      [1.] Peter's great fear (Matthew 14:30; Matthew 14:30); He was afraid. The strongest faith and the greatest courage have a mixture of fear. Those that can say, Lord, I believe; must say, Lord, help my unbelief. Nothing but perfect love will quite cast out fear. Good men often fail in those graces which they are most eminent for, and which they have then in exercise; to show that they have not yet attained. Peter was very stout at first, but afterwards his heart failed him. The lengthening out of a trial discovers the weakness of faith.

      Here is, First, The cause of this fear; He saw the wind boisterous. While Peter kept his eye fixed upon Christ, and upon his word and power, he walked upon the water well enough; but when he took notice withal of the danger he was in, and observed how the floods lift up their waves, then he feared. Note, Looking at difficulties with an eye of sense more than at precepts and promises with an eye of faith is at the bottom of all our inordinate fears, both as to public and personal concerns. Abraham was strong in faith, because he considered not his own body (Romans 4:19); he minded not the discouraging improbabilities which the promise lay under, but kept his eye on God's power; and so, against hope, believed in hope,Matthew 14:18; Matthew 14:18. Peter, when he saw the wind boisterous, should have remembered what he had seen (Matthew 8:27; Matthew 8:27), when the winds and the sea obeyed Christ; but therefore we fear continually every day, because we forget the Lord our Maker,Isaiah 51:12; Isaiah 51:13.

      Secondly, The effect of this fear; He began to sink. While faith kept up, he kept up above water: but when faith staggered, he began to sink. Note, The sinking of our spirits is owing to the weakness of our faith; we are upheld (but it is as we are saved) through faith (1 Peter 1:5); and therefore, when our souls are cast down and disquieted, the sovereign remedy is, to hope in God,Psalms 43:5. It is probable that Peter, being bred a fisherman, could swim very well (John 21:7); and perhaps he trusted in part to that, when he cast himself into the sea; if he could not walk, he could swim; but Christ let him begin to sink, to show him that it was Christ's right hand and his holy arm, not any skill of his own, that was his security. It was Christ's great mercy to him, that, upon the failing of his faith, he did not leave him to sink outright, to sink to the bottom as a stone (Exodus 15:5), but gave him time to cry, Lord, save me. Such is the care of Christ concerning true believers; though weak, they do but begin to sink! A man is never sunk, never undone, till he is in hell. Peter walked as he believed; to him, as to others, the rule held good, According to your faith be it unto you.

      Thirdly, The remedy he had recourse to in this distress, the old, tried, approved remedy, and that was prayer: he cried, Lord, save me. Observe, 1. The manner of his praying; it is fervent and importunate; He cried. Note, When faith is weak, prayer should be strong. Our Lord Jesus has taught us in the day of our fear to offer up strong cries,Hebrews 5:7. Sense of danger will make us cry, sense of duty and dependence on God should make us cry to him. 2. The matter of his prayer was pertinent and to the purpose; He cried, Lord, save me. Christ is the great Saviour, he came to save; those that would be saved, must not only come to him, but cry to him for salvation; but we are never brought to this, till we find ourselves sinking; sense of need will drive us to him.

      [2.] Christ's great favour to Peter, in this fright. Though there was a mixture of presumption with Peter's faith in his first adventure, and of unbelief with his faith in his after-fainting, yet Christ did not cast him off; for,

      First, He saved him; he answered him with the saving strength of his right hand (Psalms 20:6), for immediately he stretched forth his hand, and caught him. Note, Christ's time to save is, when we sink (Psalms 18:4-7): he helps at a dead lift. Christ's hand is still stretched out to all believers, to keep them from sinking. Those whom he hath once apprehended as his own, and hath snatched as brands out of the burning, he will catch out of the water too. Though he may seem to have left his hold, he doth but seem to do so, for they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of his hand,John 10:28. Never fear, he will hold his own. Our deliverance from our own fears, which else would overwhelm us, is owing to the hand of his power and grace, Psalms 34:4.

      Secondly, He rebuked him; for as many as he loves and saves, he reproves and chides; O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? Note, 1. Faith may be true, and yet weak; at first, like a grain of mustard-seed. Peter had faith enough to bring him upon the water, yet, because not enough to carry him through, Christ tells him he had but little. 2. Our discouraging doubts and fears are all owing to the weakness of our faith: therefore we doubt, because we are but of little faith. It is the business of faith to resolve doubts, the doubts of sense, in a stormy day, so as even then to keep the head above water. Could we but believe more, we should doubt less. 3. The weakness of our faith, and the prevalence of our doubts, are very displeasing to our Lord Jesus. It is true, he doth not cast off weak believers, but it is as true, that he is not pleased with weak faith, no, not in those that are nearest to him. Wherefore didst thou doubt? What reason was there for it? Note, Our doubts and fears would soon vanish before a strict enquiry into the cause of them; for, all things considered, there is no good reason why Christ's disciples should be of a doubtful mind, no, not in a stormy day, because he is ready to them a very present Help.

      VI. The ceasing of the storm,Matthew 14:32; Matthew 14:32. When Christ was come into the ship, they were presently at the shore. Christ walked upon the water till he came to the ship, and then went into that, when he could easily have walked to the shore; but when ordinary means are to be had, miracles are not to be expected. Though Christ needs not instruments for the doing of his work, he is pleased to use them. Observe, when Christ came into the ship, Peter came in with him. Companions with Christ in his patience, shall be companions in his kingdoms, Revelation 1:9. Those that walk with him shall reign with him; those that are exposed, and that suffer with him, shall triumph with him.

      When they were come into the ship, immediately the storm ceased, for it had done its work, its trying work. He that has gathered the winds into his fists, and bound the waters in a garment, is the same that ascended and descended; and his word even stormy winds fulfil,Psalms 148:8. When Christ comes into a soul, he makes winds and storms to cease there, and commands peace. Welcome Christ, and the noise of her waves will soon be quelled. The way to be still is, to know that he is God, that he is the Lord with us.

      VII. The adoration paid to Christ hereupon (Matthew 14:33; Matthew 14:33); They that were in the ship came and worshipped him, and said, Of a truth, thou art the Son of God. Two good uses they made of this distress, and this deliverance.

      1. It was a confirmation of their faith in Christ, and abundantly convinced them that the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in him; for none but the world's Creator could multiply the loaves, none but its Governor could tread upon the waters of the sea; they therefore yield to the evidence, and make confession of their faith; Thou truly art the Son of God. They knew before that he was the Son of God, but now they know it better. Faith, after a conflict with unbelief, is sometimes the more active, and gets to greater degrees of strength by being exercised. Now they know it of a truth. Note, It is good for us to know more and more of the certainty of those things wherein we have been instructed,Luke 1:4. Faith then grows, when it arrives at a full assurance, when it sees clearly, and saith, Of a truth.

      2. They took occasion from it to give him the glory due unto his name. They not only owned that great truth, but were suitable affected by it; they worshiped Christ. Note, When Christ manifests his glory for us, we ought to return it to him (Psalms 50:15); I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. Their worship and adoration of Christ were thus expressed, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. Note, The matter of our creed may and must be made the matter of our praise. Faith is the proper principle of worship, and worship the genuine product of faith. He that comes to God must believe; and he that believes in God, will come, Hebrews 9:6.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Matthew 14:25". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/matthew-14.html. 1706.