Matthew Fourteen – 2010

Matthew Chapter ★14:.

14:1-12 The story of John The Baptists death is the a bit of a surprise here. I’m not sure how it fits in with the rest of this area but it’s good to know all the same…?

14:13Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. ✪ Jesus my savior, leading by example again. 1-He goes to a desolate place to have a quite time: Jesus’ own example shows us the validity and importance of retreating to a quite place to think and pray, not just this once but also in Mark 1:35, Matthew 14:23, Luke 4:42, Luke 5:16. This emphasis on prayer and solitude highlight the importance of building an intimate relationship with Jesus, not just a superficial one. 2-When he saw a crowd of people he had compassion on them and postponed his quiet time: This one is a little more hard to breakdown into my life. There are usually times when I feel totally compelled to spend my morning doing good stuff rather than reading and praying. But those times usually don’t last very long before I feel totally depleted and useless for a lack of intimacy with Christ in his word and in prayer. While I do think it’s important to know when to put the book down and lift your hands to help a brother, I think a good balance of this is shown in verse 23 below. However one thing I can learn from this verse is; being compassionate like Jesus might disrupt your plans–so learn how to make plans on the go.

14:15As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”16Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. 18“Bring them here to me,” he said. 19And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. What a mysterious passage! I almost passed by it just thinking that there was nothing I could say for clarity – but I just didn’t want to leave it unmentioned. Of course it doesn’t surprise us that God can make something very big out of something very little, because he made everything out of nothing. So what is it about this verse that is so capturing. I’m seeing two things. (1)-Not is the power of the Ancient of Days accessible to the man Jesus because he is God and the son in the trinity, (2)-but it that power is also at his disposal to use at his will. Able to calm storms & walk on water and maybe most surprising of all, the power of the Ancient of Days, in this passage, is used to feed people so they can stay for longer. Yeah! That’s what it is. The people gathered around Jesus here are not (exclusively) poor people.  The disciples are ready to send them into the towns to buy food for themselves. At that point Jesus desires for them to eat with him in the peace of the moment – and so he provides. Then he does something kinda funny–after everyone has eaten and are full, Jesus gets up and leaves!  He wasn’t just providing food so that the crowd could be sustained through an extended event. He was providing food as part of the event! This amazing miracle seems to be inspired by Jesus’ desire to hang out a little while longer…  cool!
✪ That is the power and passion of our God! Not only does he have the power to provide for us, but he also has the desire to provide so that we might enjoy him!  Awesome!

14:23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. Just a reminder that even Jesus, the God-man, the power of the Ancient of Days, able to turn 5 loves and two fishes into a feast feeding 5000 men and their families, able to walk on water and permit others to do it to, able to calm storms and turn water into wine, took time apart to connect with God. If this is something even Jesus the Christ needed to do–how can we second guess whether or not we need, or as it has been out have to spend time alone with God.

14:28“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” ✪ I don’t have anything specific in mind when I read this verse other than, ‘I know this is me! I can see myself as Peter in this moment in my context–but how can I apply those words of Jesus “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”“You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Me of little faith. Why do I doubt? I want to be like Jesus. I want to walk on water and be swept up by that power of the Ancient of Days that Jesus gives us. So why do I doubt?
Oh Father. I still don’t know. I still feel very weak in my faith! Much weaker than Peter! I do want it Lord!  I do want to reach out my hand when I see you to follow regardless of the seemingly impossible path. Keep hold of me please Jesus!  When I sink! Keep hold of me! I know you don’t sink! And when you say ‘Oh Benny of little faith, why did you doubt?’ please don’t hesitate to pull me back into the boat. I will continue to worship my God throughout, and if you will–pray for me!  That I might become one of much faith like the centurion! Only to honour YOU my king! And praise you for your great mercy over me and triumph over our sin!

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