34-36 On return, they beached the boat at Gennesaret. When the people got wind that he was back, they sent out word through the neighborhood and rounded up all the sick, who asked for permission to touch the edge of his coat. And whoever touched him was healed.
-Matthew 14:34-36 The Message
Verse 34: When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.
Verse 35: And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent word into all that surrounding region and brought to Him all who were sick;
Verse 36: and they pleaded with Him that they might just touch the border of His cloak; all who touched it were cured.
Verses 35-36 studies: The people recognized Jesus, as a great healer, but how many truly understood Jesus? They always went to him for physical healing, but what about spiritual healing? They came to prolong their lives on earth, but what about eternal lives? People may seek Jesus to learn valuable lessons from life or in hopes of finding relief from pain. But we miss Jesus’ message if we only seek healing to our bodies, but not our souls if we look for help only in this life, rather than his eternal plan for us. Only when we understand the real Jesus Christ, we can appreciate how he can truly change our lives.
Verse 36 study: Jewish men wore tassels (fringe) on the lower edges of their robes, according to God’s command (Deuteronomy 22:12). In Jesus’ day, the tassels were seen as a sign of holiness (23:5). It was natural that people seeking healing should reach out and touch the fringe. But as one woman learned, it’s not about the cloak, it’s about having faith to be healed (9:19-22).
22-23 As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night.
24-26 Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared to death. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror.
27 But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
28 Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.”
29-30 He said, “Come ahead.”
Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”
31 Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”
32-33 The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, “This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!”
-Matthew 14:22-33 The Message
Jesus Walks on the Water
Verse 22: Immediately afterward He compelled the disciples to get into the boat and to go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away
Verse 23: After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.
Verse 23 study: Verse 13 mentions that Jesus went into solitude after hearing John’s death. Jesus made solitude a priority. He made room in his busy schedule to be alone with the Father. Spending time with God alone nurtures a vital relationship and equips us to meet life’s challenges and struggles. You will grow spiritually and become more and more like Christ.
Verse 24: But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary.
Verse 25: And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.
Verse 26: When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.
Verse 27: But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Verse 28: Peter responded and said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
Verse 28 study: Peter was not putting Jesus to the test, something we shouldn’t do (4:7). Instead, Peter was the only person on the boat that reacted out of faith. His impulsive request led him to experience an unusual demonstration of God’s power. Peter started to sink because he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the high waves surrounding him. His faith wavered when he realized what was going on. We may not walk on water, but we do walk through our situations. If we focus on the waves of difficulty around us without looking to Jesus, we may despair and sink. Maintaining your faith when difficult problems arise will take focus, keeping your eyes on Jesus’ power than your inadequacies.
Verse 29: And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and came toward Jesus.
Verse 30: But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and when he began to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
Verse 31: Immediately Jesus reached out with His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Verses 30-31 studies: We start with a good attitude or purpose, sometimes our faith falters. This don’t mean that our actions have failed. When Peter’s faith faltered, he reached out to Christ, the only one that can help. When you aren’t sure about your troubles around you and doubt Christ’s presence or ability to help, remember he is the only One who can help.
Verse 32: When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.
Verse 33: And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are truly God’s Son!”
13-14 When Jesus got the news, he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. But unsuccessfully—someone saw him and the word got around. Soon a lot of people from the nearby villages walked around the lake to where he was. When he saw them coming, he was overcome with pity and healed their sick.
15 Toward evening the disciples approached him. “We’re out in the country and it’s getting late. Dismiss the people so they can go to the villages and get some supper.”
16 But Jesus said, “There is no need to dismiss them. You give them supper.”
17 “All we have are five loaves of bread and two fish,” they said.
18-21 Jesus said, “Bring them here.” Then he had the people sit on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples. The disciples then gave the food to the congregation. They all ate their fill. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. About five thousand were fed.
-Matthew 14:13-21 The Message
Five Thousand Men Fed
Verse 13: Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard about this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.
Verse 14: When He came ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.
Verses 13-14 studies: Jesus went into solitude after hearing about John’s death. Sometimes, we may need alone time to heal and deal with grief. But Jesus didn’t dwell on his grief; he returned to the ministry he came to do.
Verse 14 study: Jesus uses miracles for two purposes; his identity and to teach important truths. Reading this passage of scripture, we learn he healed because he has compassion for them. Jesus was and still is a loving, caring, and feeling person. Remember, when you are hurting or suffering, Jesus hurts with you. He has compassion for you.
Verse 15: Now, when it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This place is secluded and the hour is already past to eat; send the crowds away, so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
Verse 16: But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go; you give them something to eat!”
Verse 17: They *said to Him, “We have nothing here except five loaves and two fish.”
Verse 18: And He said, “Bring them here to Me.”
Verse 19: And ordering the crowds to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looked up toward heaven. He blessed the food and breaking the loaves, He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
Verse 20: And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces: twelve full baskets.
Verse 21: There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.
Verses 19-21 studies: Jesus multiplied five loaves and two fish, feeding over 5,000 people. When Jesus was given only five loaves and two fish, that seemed insufficient. Not for Jesus. In his hands, it was not only sufficient but way more than enough. We may feel our contributions to Jesus is sparse, but he uses us to multiply whatever we give him. It can be talent, time, or treasure. It’s when we give them to Jesus that our resources are multiplied.
Verse 21 study: The text states 5,000 men present, including women and children. These numbers can expand 10 to 15 thousand. The number of men was listed separately because, in the Jewish culture of the day, men and women ate separately when in public. The children ate with the women.
14 1-2 At about this time, Herod, the regional ruler, heard what was being said about Jesus. He said to his servants, “This has to be John the Baptizer come back from the dead. That’s why he’s able to work miracles!”
3-5 Herod had arrested John, put him in chains, and sent him to prison to placate Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. John had provoked Herod by naming his relationship with Herodias “adultery.” Herod wanted to kill him, but he was afraid because so many people revered John as a prophet of God.
6-12 But at his birthday celebration, he got his chance. Herodias’s daughter provided the entertainment, dancing for the guests. She swept Herod away. In his drunken enthusiasm, he promised her on oath anything she wanted. Already coached by her mother, she was ready: “Give me, served up on a platter, the head of John the Baptizer.” That sobered the king up fast. Unwilling to lose face with his guests, he did it—ordered John’s head cut off and presented to the girl on a platter. She in turn gave it to her mother. Later, John’s disciples got the body, gave it a reverent burial, and reported to Jesus.
-Matthew 14:1-12 The Message
John the Baptist Beheaded
14 Verse 1: At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the news about Jesus,
Verse 2: and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he himself has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”
Verse 1 study: Herod was a tetrarch, one of four rulers over four districts of Palestine. His territory included the region of Galilee and Perea. He was the son of Herod the Great; he ordered the killing of babies in Bethlehem (2:16). He is also known as Herod Antipas. He heard Jesus’ case before his crucifixion (Luke 23:6-12).
Verse 3: For when Herod had John arrested, he bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip.
Verse 3 study: Herod’s half-brother Philip was another of Palestine’s four rulers. His territories were Itvraea and Trachonitis, which is Northeast of the sea of Galilee (Luke 3:1) Herodias, Philip’s wife, left Philip to live with Herod Antipas. John the Baptist condemned them for living together; immorally (Mark 6:17-18).
Verse 4: For John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”
Verse 5: Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded John as a prophet.
Verse 6: But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod,
Verse 7: so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked.
Verse 8: And after being prompted by her mother, she *said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.”
Verse 9: And although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths and his dinner guests.
Verse 9 study: Herod didn’t want to kill John the Baptist, but he gave orders so he wouldn’t be embarrassed in front of guests. How easy it is to give in to a crowd to be pressured into doing the wrong thing. Don’t put yourself in that situation where it is too embarrassing to do what is right. Be the determined person to do what is right, regardless of how embarrassing or painful it may be.
Verse 10: He sent word and had John beheaded in the prison.
Verse 11: And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.
Verse 12: John’s disciples came and took away the body and buried it; they went and reported to Jesus.
53-57 When Jesus finished telling these stories, he left there, returned to his hometown, and gave a lecture in the meetinghouse. He stole the show, impressing everyone. “We had no idea he was this good!” they said. “How did he get so wise, get such ability?” But in the next breath they were cutting him down: “We’ve known him since he was a kid; he’s the carpenter’s son. We know his mother, Mary. We know his brothers James and Joseph, Simon and Judas. All his sisters live here. Who does he think he is?” They got all bent out of shape.
58 But Jesus said, “A prophet is taken for granted in his hometown and his family.” He didn’t do many miracles there because of their hostile indifference.
-Matthew 13:53-58 The Message
Jesus Revisits Nazareth
Verse 53: When Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there.
Verse 54: And He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, with the result that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man acquire this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Verse 55: Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is His mother not called Mary, and His brothers, James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
Verse 55: Jesus was acquainted with his family as a young child and had residents there he was connected to. But none of them could see themselves believing in his message, and they were too close to the situation. Jesus went to them as a prophet, to challenge them to respond to unpopular spiritual truth. They didn’t listen because they couldn’t see beyond the man.
Verse 56: And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man acquire all these things?”
Verse 57: And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not dishonored except in his hometown and in his own household.”
Verse 57 study: Jesus was not the first prophet to be rejected in hos own country. Jeremiah went through rejection in his hometown; by the community and his family members rejected him (Jeremiah 12:5-6)
Verse 58: And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.
Verse 58 study: Jesus did a few mirales because of their unbelief. The lack of faith blind people of the truth, and robs them of hope. they missed the Messiah. How does your faith measure up? If you can’t see God’s work, it’s probably because of you; unbelief. Talke the time to believe, ask God for a mighty work in your life, and expect him to act. Look with the eyes of faith.
47-50 “Or, God’s kingdom is like a fishnet cast into the sea, catching all kinds of fish. When it is full, it is hauled onto the beach. The good fish are picked out and put in a tub; those unfit to eat are thrown away. That’s how it will be when the curtain comes down on history. The angels will come and cull the bad fish and throw them in the garbage. There will be a lot of desperate complaining, but it won’t do any good.”
51 Jesus asked, “Are you starting to get a handle on all this?”
They answered, “Yes.”
52 He said, “Then you see how every student well-trained in God’s kingdom is like the owner of a general store who can put his hands on anything you need, old or new, exactly when you need it.”
-Matthew 13:47-52 The Message
Verse 47: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered fish of every kind;
Verse 48: and when it was filled, they pulled it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away.
49 So it will be at the end of the age: the angels will come forth and remove the wicked from among the righteous,
50 and they will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Verses 47-49 studies: In the parable of the dragnet (the fishnet) has the same meaning as the parable of wheat and tares. We obey God and tell others about his grace and goodness, but we can’t dictate who is a part of his kingdom and who is not. This act of judgment will be done on the day of judgment by those infinitely more qualified than we.
51 “Have you understood all these things?” They *said to Him, “Yes.”
52 And Jesus said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure new things and old.”
Verse 52 study: Anyone who understands God’s real purpose in the law as revealed in the Old Testament has a real treasure. The Old Testament points the way to Jesus, the Messiah. Jesus always had authority and relevance. There is a double benefit to those who understand Jesus’ teaching about the kingdom of heaven. Jesus was revealing a new treasure. The old and new teaching give practical guidelines for faith and for living in the world. The religious leaders were trapped in the old, blind to the new. They were looking for a future kingdom that was preceded by judgment. Jesus taught that the kingdom was now and judgment was the future. The religious leaders were looking for a physical and temporal kingdom via the military rebellion and physical rules; but were blind to spiritual significance of the kingdom that Christ brought.
44 “God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic—what a find!—and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field.
45-46 “Or, God’s kingdom is like a jewel merchant on the hunt for exquisite pearls. Finding one that is flawless, he immediately sells everything and buys it.
-Matthew 13:44-46 The Message
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy, over it, he goes and sells everything that he has, and buys that field.
A Costly Pearl
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold everything that he had and bought it.
Verses 44-46 studies: The kingdom of heaven is more valuable than anything else we have. A person should be willing to give up everything to obtain it. The man that discovered the treasure in the field by accident knows the value of it once he saw it. The merchant was earnestly searching for pearls of great value; when he found it, he sold everything he had to purchase it.
36 Jesus dismissed the congregation and went into the house. His disciples came in and said, “Explain to us that story of the thistles in the field.”
37-39 So he explained. “The farmer who sows the pure seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the pure seeds are subjects of the kingdom, the thistles are subjects of the Devil, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, the curtain of history. The harvest hands are angels.
40-43 “The picture of thistles pulled up and burned is a scene from the final act. The Son of Man will send his angels, weed out the thistles from his kingdom, pitch them in the trash, and be done with them. They are going to complain to high heaven, but nobody is going to listen. At the same time, ripe, holy lives will mature and adorn the kingdom of their Father.
“Are you listening to this? Really listening?
-Matthew 12:36-43 The Message
The Weeds Explained
Verse 36: Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.”
Verse 37: And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,
Verse 38: and the field is the world; as for the good seed; these are the sons of the kingdom, and the weeds are the sons of the evil one;
Verse 39: and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.
Verse 40: So just as the weeds are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.
Verse 41: The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,
Verse 42: and they will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Verse 42 study: Jesus uses these terms to refer to the coming judgment The weeping points out sorrow or remorse, and gnashing of teeth shows extreme pain or anxiety. Anybody that says don’t care what happens to them after death does not realize what they are saying. They will be punished for living a life of selfishness and indifference to God.
Let this be our prayer today, that we care about how we live, and what we can do to help others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Verse 43: Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The one who has ears, let him hear.
Verse 43 studies: Those who receive God’s favor stand in bright contrast to those who receive his judgment.
Verses 40-43 studies: When the world end, the angels will separate the evil, and the good. In churches today, there are true and false believers, but we should be careful in judgments. Christ is the only one that can make the final separation. If you start to judge, it is possible you may damage some “good plants.” It’s important to judge your response to God than to analyze other responses.
33 Another story. “God’s kingdom is like yeast that a woman works into the dough for dozens of loaves of barley bread—and waits while the dough rises.”
34-35 All Jesus did that day was tell stories—a long storytelling afternoon. His storytelling fulfilled the prophecy:
I will open my mouth and tell stories;
I will bring it out into the open
things hidden since the world’s first day.
-Matthew 13:33-35 The Message
Verse 33: He spoke another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three sata of flour until it was all leavened.”
Verse 33 study: In other Bible passages, leaven as yeast, is used as a symbol of evil or uncleanness. It is a positive symbol of growth. Yeast looks like a minor ingredient, it permeates the whole loaf. Although the kingdom began small and was nearly invisible, it will soon grow and have an impact on the world.
Verse 34: All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, and He did not speak anything to them without a parable.
Verse 35: This was so that what was spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled:
“I will open My mouth in parables;
I will proclaim things hidden since the foundation of the world.”
Luke 13:21; Matthew 13:24; Genesis 18:6; Judges 6:19; 1 Samuel 1:24
Mark 4:34; John 10:6; 16:25
Father, you created us the way you wanted us to be. There is a reason why we have certain talents and gifts. I pray we can learn of them and use them to your will to grow our faith and our foundation of teaching your Word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
31-32 Another story. “God’s kingdom is like an acorn that a farmer plants. It is quite small as seeds go, but in the course of years it grows into a huge oak tree, and eagles build nests in it.”
-Matthew 13:31-32 The Message
The Mustard Seed
Verse 31: He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a person took and sowed in his field;
Verse 32: and this is smaller than all the other seeds, but when it is fully grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the sky come and nest in its branches.”
Verses 31-32 studies: The mustard seed was the smallest seed used. Jesus used this parable to show that his kingdom has a small starting point, but will grow and produce great results.
Luke 13:18, 19; Matthew 13:24; Matthew 17:20; Luke 17:6
Ezekiel 17:23; Psalm 104:12; Ezekiel 31:6; Daniel 4:12
Why don’t we use the mindset you have, Father? If you know you start small but will grow and produce incredible results, why can’t we believe in that? I pray that in whatever task you give us that we see that we will be small at the beginning, but only grow to be better following you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.