Matthew Chapter 14
"Results; Opposition of His Own Kindred."
"Mission of John the Baptist."
Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
transcription/ location is provided by http://www.theseason.org/plough.htm
Matthew 14:1 "At the time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,"
The word "tetrarch" in the Greek transliterated means, "governor over a fourth part of the region;" however, the true sense of the word had lost some of its meaning, and by the time of Christ it denoted any prince not ruling over an entire kingdom. In other words, the country was split in many parts.
Herod by this time had heard of the healings, and many miracles that Jesus had done, and wanted to meet Him.
Matthew 14:2 "And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him."
Herod had a great deal of respect for John the Baptist, even though he took John's life. King Herod knew that John was a man of God, and when Herod heard of these mighty works of healing palsy, making the blind see, and feeding of the five thousand and other mighty works, Herod thought that John the Baptist had risen from the dead. When that thought came to Herod's mind, I'm sure he was very much afraid. Herod had heard some of that preaching, and it disturbed him.
Matthew 14:3 "For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife."
The "Herod the Great" that ruled during the time of Jesus birth, as recorded in Matthew 2:1, had five sons. After Herod the Great's death, the kingdom was split between the sons. The Herod [son] that is seeking for Jesus, and killed John the Baptist is "Herod Antipas", and he took his brother's [Harod Philip I] wife to live with, and call his own. This woman's name was "Herodias".
John the Baptist knew that this relationship of Herod Antipas, living in a marriage relationship with his brother Philip's wife was a sin, and John went to the palace and told him so to his face. Herod Antipas knew John well, and he knew that John was a righteous man. However John turned Herod Antipas' hatred towards him, and even more so was the evil eye of Herodias.
Matthew 14:4 "For John said unto him, "It is not lawful for thee to have her."
Matthew 14:5 "And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet."
John the Baptist was a prophet, and he was the last prophet before Messiah. He prophesied of the coming of the Messiah. The first time John's ministry was reported was when he was standing by the river Jordan saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Many did repent, and changed their ways.
The people that heard John loved him, and followed him. John's following had grown to quite a number, enough so much that king Herod Antipas feared an uprising, if he had put him to death.
Matthew 14:6 "But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod."
Herod Antipas' birthday celebration was a drunken bash; and at that celebration, Herodias' daughter, danced, and pleased Herod. In the name of the king, Antipas promised her that she should have one wish.
Matthew 14:7 "Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask."
Upon this king's oath, he was hoping she would say, the king, and then on the oath, he would have to keep the oath.
Matthew 14:8 "And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, "Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger."
The young girl went to her mother, Herodias to get advice, and her mother said, "Give me John the Baptist's head in a basket. John the Baptist called Herodias relationship to Antipas sin, and she hated John the Baptist for it.
Matthew 14:9 "And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her."
The king had his good old buddies hanging around the castle, and they heard and knew the oath promise that he had given the young dancer, and it was time to keep the oath. The filthy old king thought he was going to get one thing, and his evil thoughts backfired on him.
So it was that John the Baptist died at the hand of this maiden child, and by the request of her evil mother.
Matthew 14:10 "And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison."
Matthew 14:11 "And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother."
Here mother is my gift to you.
Matthew 14:12 "And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus."
Jesus Christ already knew. Remember it was John, while in prison that sent his followers to Jesus to inquire if this was the first Advent [coming of Christ] or if there was another Advent that will end all things.
We know today that in the first Advent, or coming of Jesus Christ, He came as the Son of man, to teach and heal, and to go to the cross at Calvary to shed His blood. His second Advent will be in this final generation, when at the seventh trumpet, Jesus will then come as King of kings, and Lord of lords. Are you waiting for that Advent, and watching for the signs of the times. Jesus will give those signs in Matthew 24.
Matthew 14:13 "When Jesus heard of it, He departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed Him on foot out of the cities."
Why do you think that all these people sought after Christ? Do you think that they felt the moving of the Holy Spirit, or because of the healing miracles that He was performing? People will join a crowd and for many reasons.
Matthew 14:14 "And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick."
This is one of the reasons that they followed Him. They knew He had the power to heal, and their belief moved Christ with compassion to them and He healed the sick.
The multitudes of today don't have the clarity of understanding to even know who Jesus is, yet He is moved to compassion. He is reaching out to all persons, regardless of their sin to repent, and turn from their wicked ways. Jesus will heal today as He did then, and He wants to heal those sinful hearts, and make them whole. God is the same every day, His love for His children is just as great today as it was when He first created them.
Matthew 14:15 "And when it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, "This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals."
To put this in modern day language, his disciples are telling Him that there is no McDonalds, or Hardees on the corner, to eat. They are telling Jesus to send the multitude away, or they will really have a problem. They are in a desert, a solitary wilderness and it is getting late, and the people will be getting hungry soon. The day ends at 6 P.M., and the evening started about 3: P.M.
Matthew 14:16 "But Jesus said unto them, "They need not depart; give ye them to eat."
This is the biggest problem for the Christian in their following Christ. It is easy to use common sense and understand the things that man is able to do. But your faith is really brought forth, when you take the leap in faith to do the things that our Heavenly Father would have us do. It is important that you separate the natural from the supernatural, and be able to know the difference, for even the Antichrist will have supernatural powers to win you over to him. Those that are looking for a Messiah, and do not know the difference between the two messiahs, will be deceived by the supernatural powers of the first messiah, the Antichrist.
A Christian must be able to understand, and expect the supernatural for our Savior.
Matthew 14:17 "And they say unto Him, "We have here but five loaves, and two fishes."
Jesus is going to do a supernatural thing when He will take five loaves of bread, and two fishes, and feed ten thousand people. There were five thousand men alone, as well as women and children and when He takes this food, and blesses it and it expands to feed this multitude of people, the human mind just cannot comprehend it as fact. The way that it is accepted, is by taking it by faith.
If this seems like quite an impossible task, think of those million Israelites that were fed for forty years, with out any loaves, but by just picking up the manna, or angels food of the ground every morning. These are both supernatural acts, and in this time of the end, ninety nine percent of the deceptions that take place, will be in the supernatural, and if you are not ready for the acts of the Antichrist, you will think that He is the true Christ.
You know that it is earthly impossible for an earthly human being to feed these people with these five loaves and two fishes, but it is not impossible for the supernatural.
Matthew 14:18 "He said, "Bring them hither to me."
Matthew 14:19 "And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, He blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude."
Christ had His disciples feed the multitude. Christ asked the blessing from the Father, and as He brake the bread and passed to the disciples, the expansion began to take place.
In a spiritual sense, Christ gives us the bread, and as we take it in, and ask God's blessings on our lives, it will expand as we pass that bread of life [God's Word] out. When you become part of a ministry that feeds that multitude, the bread of life is expanding. Some people say, God never blesses me, well what have you done to advance His ministry, or please the Father? Do you pay your tithe? Do you tell God that you love him, and pray for others to be saved? Have you told others of the love of God, that He loves them?
Matthew 14:20 "And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
After all the multitude had been fed, the extra fragments were collected by the disciples, and there were twelve baskets full left over. There will be a time later when He is talking about the bread, only it is not the bread that you eat, but of the doctrine of the scribes and Pharisees. Later when it refers to the crumbs of the bread, when the analogy is teaching, we had better be careful.
Matthew 14:21 "And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children."
Though we have used the figure of ten thousand people, this number could be quite a bit larger, however that fact doesn't matter, for it is the supernatural act that is important.
Matthew 14:22 "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."
This could have been the start of a new religion, with no work, and you just eat all you could; poof and it was there. The crowd was fed, and the message was completed, then Jesus turned to His disciples and compelled them to get into the ship, and go to the other side, and wait there for Him. He settled down the disciples, and they departed.
There is another lesson to be learned here. The first time Christ was in the ship with them, in a storm, He slept, and the disciples were scared out of their minds. This time, Jesus has given them a lesson of His supernatural powers, and He sends them into the sea alone, He is not with them. How will they hold up now, without His presents. Jesus is preparing them to stand in that time when He as departed in the supernatural, and they have to stand alone.
The disciples will shortly see Jesus in his transformed body, walking on the water. This is the same transformed body that they will see Jesus in, along with Elijah, and Moses, on the mount transfiguration, when He told them to keep their mouths shut. Then that body was not for the average person to know, for the time had not come yet. They were to tell it only after Jesus had risen from the dead.
Matthew 14:23 "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."
Jesus did this quite often. I feel that He had conversed with His Father, and interceded for those he had healed that day. That the Holy Spirit would bring forth the same truth that He is the bread of life, and come to the understanding of Christ in their life.
Many critics claim that this vision of Christ walking on the water was a mirage, that He was walking on the sand by the shore, and they were looking at a mirage. This simply could not be true, for the evening had come, and mirages don't exist in the cool of the evening. A higher critic is a non-believer, that makes his money by selling their version of the Word of God.
Matthew 14:24 "But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary."
The ship was in the middle of the sea, and there was quite a storm around them. Again in a storm, there is no sun to cast a reflection.
Matthew 14:25 "And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea."
The fourth watch of the night is from 3 A.M. to 6 A.M. the sun is down, and still Christ has not appeared. It can't be a mirage. Jesus is now preparing them to rely on Him. Though He walked with His disciples on the shore, Christ is getting them ready to rely on Him after He has gone.
Christians living in this end generation must prepare ourselves to see the supernatural acts again, and when it happens, be grounded enough to put the events of prophecy in true perspective, and not go head over heals over the first person to perform such deeds. This hogwash that many churches are promoting, stating that the Antichrist will be an evil spirit entering into a man from old Babylon, is going to get a lot of people deceived. The Antichrist is a man alright, but he is a supernatural man. It is a man that can snap his fingers and lightning will come from heaven, and performing miracles that a human being of this earth will not be able to understand, and they will be deceived.
Therefore it is important the we absorb these lessons being taught by Jesus Christ. Christ did walk on the water.
Matthew 14:26 "And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a spirit;" and they cried out of fear."
Right in the middle of the storm, with the waves breaking over the ship in the high winds, the disciples looked out from the boat, and here they saw a man walking on the water. Their first response was that it was a spirit. They were scared.
Sometimes we get a little afraid of things that happen around us, that is a natural reaction. How do you think that Jesus disciples felt?
Matthew 14:27 "But staightway Jesus spake unto them, saying "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid."
Jesus knew these old boys knees were knocking, and they were only thinking of their survival. This was not one of those spiritual highs that you remember. When you are afraid of something, it is easy to think of everything, but keeping focused on Christ.
Our lesson of these end times, is that you have to be able to think, even when the going gets tough, and strange events are happening all around you. It is not just a matter of knowing the supernatural powers, but you must be able to discern between the good and the bad. When the supernatural events start flowing, those not prepared for what the Antichrist will bring with him, will jump right into the bed of Antichrist, and his religious system.
Matthew 14:28 "And Peter answered him and said, "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water."
Peter was on a spiritual high here, for he felt if Jesus could do it, so could he. Before you act as such, you would have to make sure you are right with the Lord. Jesus Christ here is in his supernatural body, and these disciples are still in their physical bodies.
This is another part of the lesson that Christ is teaching His disciples; To be a disciple of mine, you must be able to think on the supernatural, to be able to understand from Jesus Christ's teachings of what is going to come upon you, and how you will be able to recognize them when they happen.
If you have the faith, the Lord will not hold you back, friend.
Matthew 14:29 "And He said, "Come", and when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus."
This shows the faith that Peter had in Jesus. In the middle of the storm, with the high wind, and waves breaking around him, Peter scrambled over the side, and walked to Jesus. In the flesh body, Peter's faith in Christ allowed him to do the supernatural.
Matthew 14:30 "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, "Lord, save me."
The "wind" in the Scripture also refers to the spirit. When you take your eyes of Christ, and focus them on the spirits of this world, you will also start to slip under. You let your mind waver for just a minute, and you will also start to sink. Notice that Peter did not wait until He was totally gone, but called out immediately, "Lord, save me".
Never take your eyes off the way, which is the path that we are to follow in Christ. Each of Christ's teachings and Words were to prepare His disciples for the times that they would face, when He would be gone. These aren't idle worlds, about another story, but a lesson to grasp for whatever level of study you are on.
Matthew 14:31 "And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"
When Peter called out, "Lord, save me", Christ was there with out stretched hands, to catch him and draw Peter to Himself. When you see yourself slipping, don't wait, call out immediately.
There is a time coming very shortly, as we see the labor pains of end-time prophecy fly by is at a rapid pace. We will see the appearance soon of Satan, and his angels as they are cast from heaven, as recorded in Revelation 12:7-9, and we will then have supernatural entities on this earth. Though Satan's evil spirits are here now, you will physical see them when Michael casts them for Heaven.
When that day comes to pass, your faith better be strong. Your strength of your faith is the knowledge from God's Word that you have in your mind, which is your heart, and that is the seal of God that protects you from any harm of Satans deceptions. Satan and his fallen angels, which is the locust army of the tribulation time, is ordered by God to leave you along, in Revelation 9:4.
I hope that in that day of the Antichrist, your armor will be on, and in place, and there will be no doubt to your faith.
Matthew 14:32 "And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased."
When Jesus Christ, and Peter came into the ship, the wind stopped. This is what you have to remember also in the supernatural sense, that Christ controls the times and events of every day, and the prophecies recorded in His Word will come to pass, you can count on it. Our job is not to interfere with those events, but to observe them, and remember them, and know where we are in the course of the dispensations of time.
Matthew 14:33 "Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him, saying, "Of a truth thou art the Son of God."
What is interesting here, is that these disciples had spent many hours hearing Jesus teach, and seeing miracle after miracle, and they took of five loaves of bread and two fishes, and fed thousands of people, with much left over, and yet it took this storm at sea, and the calming of the wind for them to see the truth. "Thou are the Son of God."
People are always looking for sign, yet when they see them their knowledge lets the sign pass them by unnoticed. The Antichrist when he is on earth, will be able to perform miracles in the sight of human beings, flesh man. This will be a sign to you, that when you see those miracles, not tricks or magic, be aware of the time that your are in.
Matthew 14:34 "And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret."
This place was on the north side of the sea of Galilee, and Jesus came here for a reason.
Matthew 14:35 "And when the men of that place had knowledge of Him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto Him all that were diseased;"
Matthew 14:36 "And besought Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole."
This is still possible today, if you have the faith. He will heal the heart instantly, and the healing of the body may come a little slow at times. God is always the same, and what He did then, He can also do today. It is not God, but man that changes.
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