Matthew 14

Matthew 14

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Matthew 14 Commentary

by Hank Workman

Need is everywhere.  We stand in the sea of human hurt, unbelievable pain others have.  Their hardship slaps against us like waves of the ocean.  So many times it becomes overwhelming.  With each new day, sometimes we face a whole new round of the poverty of the heart.

What’s striking is Jesus faced this again and again.

After he heard of John the Baptist’s death it tells us He withdrew to a private place of solitude.  It didn’t last as the crowd found Him.  Filled with compassion He met the people in their need.  Jesus healed their sick and fed over 5000.  As the day came to a close, He sought out a time alone on the mountainside.  But once again it would seemingly be short-lived. 

His friends, the disciples were out in a boat when a storm broke loose that bombarded them.  They became fearful.  Once again, Jesus met them in their need.  He came to help and comfort.  Walking on the water, in the middle of the storm, He called out to not be afraid.  When He climbed in the boat, the wind died down.  And — finally landing on the other side of the lake a whole new set of need was presented.

Ministry never stopped for Jesus.  Never.  But in back to backstories, where the human side of Jesus was sorrowful over his cousin’s death; where people continually were reaching out to Him, He made it a point to seek quiet time.  Jesus knew the absolute importance and had such a strong desire to spend time with His Father.

And so should we.  At times it certainly feels like ministry is never-ending.  Genuine neediness of others and their own struggles are faced every day.  It is of utmost importance we are seeking out our own quiet time with God; seeking Jesus Himself for His grace; straining toward the Holy Spirit so our hearts are bent in a willingness to go and do and yes be what we need to be. 

Prayer nurtures our soul.  It equips us to face the challenges that come.  The development of our time with God is essential.  We cannot overlook this.  Carve out the time.  If it gets interrupted, just like Jesus, return to that time alone with God as soon as you can.  The need is always going to be there.  Always.  We must make sure we’re spiritually ready.

Matthew 14 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

The miraculous feeding of the 5000 is recorded in all 4 Gospels. Matthew 14:21 specifies 5,000 males, and further emphasizes the point by adding, “Besides women and children.” Many Bible scholars believe the actual number fed that day could have been 15,000 – 20,000 people.

When traveling, Jews would have carried baskets with them which contained their provisions and necessities. Many believe this was because if they happened upon a Gentile region, they could stick to their own food instead of eating contaminated meat.

The baskets are important for the story. We get more background from John’s version of this story, but the disciples are skeptical at first. When Jesus tells them to feed the people, they immediately think, how are we going to afford that much food? Their minds can’t fathom any other way to provide for the people. Jesus provides the miracle and the disciples joyfully feed the crowd.

If it is true that Jews carried around baskets, it would make sense that 12 were filled at the end of the meal. Each disciple may have been carrying his own personal basket. However, the fact that Matthew mentions the baskets are full is significant. It is almost as if Matthew is highlighting the fact that Jesus not only provides for your mission, but He provides for you as well. The disciples never asked for leftovers, but Jesus provided abundantly.

It’s really a great metaphor for our spiritual walk. When you rely on Christ for strength, He will provide you resources for the mission He called you to, but He will also provide for you personally. This isn’t a prosperity message. This is the Father-child relationship woven beautifully together in The Lord’s Prayer with the words, “Give us this day our daily bread…” God The Father provides for His children!

He always fills the basket.

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