We are in the Christ Stream and reading about the miracles of Jesus. We continue to read from the New Life Version this week.
John the Baptist, whom Jesus called the greatest of men under heaven (soon to be in heaven), meets his end in this chapter. It is intriguing that Matthew gives minimal detail about this exact story while Mark fills the same story in with much more in Mark 6:27-29. Both Matthew and Mark are writing to a Jewish audience. Luke and John happen to skip this story altogether because, Luke for one is telling the gospel story to the Greeks, and John is telling the story of Jesus to the whole world. John-the-Baptist is admirable in that he prepares the way for Jesus’ arrival and then he …. gets out of the way. John was beyond bold for our Savior and we can learn from him; hopefully more of us can emulate his ministry in preparing the way for Jesus no matter the cost to us and then get out of Jesus way so to keep focus on Jesus regardless of the cost to us personally.
Jesus feeds the 5,000 here in Mt. 14:13-21. It is noteworthy that this exact miracle is told in all four gospels. Matthew and the other four writers are determined to let the world know that Jesus is the one who multiplies food. Go anywhere in the world in any season and food is a matter of obsession. Jesus is not doing magic here, he is making a statement. Jesus multiplies food every year. A pound of seed turns into 500 pounds of food more or less all over the world all the time and has for all time. Planting, growing, watering, weeding, trimming, watching, harvesting, storing, drying, threshing, mashing, mixing, kneading, baking, slicing serving is universal activity. It takes months as always. But Jesus does this IN HIS HANDS and he uses the disciples to aid him and it takes mere moments. What a revelation! Magic? no, miraculous. And Jesus wants the world to know that it is HIM who feeds the world.
Matthew continues with the miracle of Jesus walking on the water. John 6 gives a brief rendition, Mark 6 fives a fully story, Luke skips this one. Matthew however gives the richest tale to be remembered and told for all time. Remember Matthew is telling his gospel to the Jews of Judah and Israel. He presents Jesus in a kingly manner. Only here is the story told of Jesus sharing his ability to walk on water by inviting Peter to join him. This endearing story is for us to embrace and take to heart. Is there some miracle Jesus is inviting you to join Him and perform today to a hungry, frightened world? In chapter 14 Jesus has fed, he has calmed and inspired and rescued. He ends the chapter by healing also. Jesus touches and heals all who were brought to Him.
Even those that touched him, even his clothing, were healed!
15~ Jesus tells the religious leaders in no uncertain terms that they are men whose hearts are off, they are not lovers of God, they do not serve God, and they are not serving and guiding God’s people the way they ought to. These scoldings were much of the reason the leaders eventually pressed the Romans to have Jesus crucified. Jesus knew it but he had some correcting of wrong thoughts about religious life and leadership so He is not letting up on them. Much of Matthew 15 is mirrored in Mark 7-8, btw. To assert Jesus’ authority to address those in authority, Matthew tells of Jesus proceeding right from his scathing monologue into healing a demon possessed girl. The faith of the mother is what activates the miracle as Jesus declares her daughter healed. The Jewish leaders ought take it to heart, from this miracle here, that though they have first access to Jesus as the Savior and healer, feeder,supplier, miracle worker, they need to note that this power will soon be granted to the whole world as other races; all races are going to be adopted into the Kingdom. Moving right along, Jesus heals so many more and God is glorified.
Remember Jesus healing 5000? Well He does it all over again with 4,000. Much of ministry is feeding the hungry. Jesus wants us to catch this, that He feeds the hungry, and we are to do the same. People are so very hungry in so many ways and Jesus fills every need. Let’s let these stories inspire us to do what Jesus does.
Dear Lord Jesus, do not let us miss one marvelous story about you. Do not let us miss one blessing, calling, or assignment that you have for us today and every day. You told us that in the Spirit, we would do what you do. Make us ready for this