THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS

This program of daily Scripture studies is designed to help you in daily honoring God with adoration.

Each day, Monday through Friday, a Scripture with commentary is posted.

We have a great friend in Gary Godard. He has set up an archive page. To view ALL the prior Scripture studies by book and chapter, just clik


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Columbia, LA 71418

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE STUDY

MATTHEW

CHAPTER 14

1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, 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. 3 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife. 4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her. 5 And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.

Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great, was govenor of Galilee and Perea. Herodias was the daughter of Herod's half-brother, Aristobolus. She had been married to her uncle, Herod Philip. But Antipas had persuaded her to leave Philip and live with him. Herodias had a daughter named Salome.

John the Baptist had reproved Antipas and Herodias publicly for this adulterous marriage. Antipas wanted to kill John the Baptist, but he was afraid that the people would kill him because they believed John was a true prophet.

6 But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. 7 Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. 8 And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. 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. 10 And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. 11 And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.

In the parallel account, Mark 6:14-29, it is explained that Herodias was angry because of John's public reproval concerning Antipas' marriage to her. She devised this plan to have her daughter dance before Antipas.

People are the same today. When reproved because of the wrong that they do, they would rather "kill the messenger" than to change their ways.

Herod had already placed John the Baptist in prison (See Mark 6:17). When Herodias' daughter "pleased" Antipas, then she was instructed to ask for John the Baptist to be beheaded.

Now Herod Antipas was doubly shamed (verse 9). He would be disgraced among the people for killing John the Baptist. Nevertheless, he performed his promise, bending to his pleasure rather than doing that which was right.

12 And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus. 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.

When Jesus heard of John the Baptist being killed, He withdrew from the towns and went to "a desert place apart." Why would Jesus withdraw? He, the King of Kings, was certainly not afraid of Herod!

First, Jesus probably withdrew for personal reasons due to bereavement. It was all part of God's plan for John the Baptist to pre-announce the Christ. But John was also Jesus' cousin, and He grieved for the sins of people which caused such a great sacrifice.

Second, the disciples had just returned from the mission on which Jesus sent them (See Mark 6:30). These disciples needed rest, and Jesus probably wanted to give them further instruction.

However, Jesus' withdrawal endeared Him to the people. They "followed" Him into the desert. Many of those who had been following John the Baptist now attached themselves to Jesus.

14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. 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. 16 But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. 17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. 18 He said, Bring them hither to me. 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. 20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. 21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

This miracle of feeding the 5,000 is recorded in ALL FOUR Gospels (Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:11-17, John 6:1-13, and here in Matthew 14:14-20).

In John 6:4 we are told,just prior to the recording of this miracle, that "passover ... was nigh." This means that thousands of people had come to celebrate Passover, and many of them were following Jesus.

"And when it was evening," actually refers to 3PM. The "evening" of verse 23 would refer to sundown.

It was too late for the crowd to go to town and purchase food. Jesus told the disciples to feed the multitude. They complained that they had only found 5 biscuits and 2 small fish.

What is ENOUGH? Do you have ENOUGH? With Jesus ANYTHING is ENOUGH! Jesus told the disciples to bring the biscuits and fish to Him. He prayed God's blessings upon the food, and then gave it back to the disciples. When the disciples began passing it out to the multitude, it was MORE THAN ENOUGH!

About 5,000 MEN ate, PLUS women and children!!

And yet, they had LEFTOVERS (see verse 20)!!

What a miracle God we have!!

Several times I have organized a mission trip solely on what I felt was God's command. It seemed I NEVER had enough funds! But I would ask for God's blessings upon His own instructions, and ENOUGH would come!

Remember, when God instructs you to do something, and you think you don't have ENOUGH; just ask Him to BLESS it!!

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. 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.

It was close to sundown. EVERYONE knew that the little sea had storms in the evening. Jesus had been with His disciples once (we have read about that in Matthew 8) when a storm came up. But this time, He instructed them to go and He would stay.

Obviously Jesus taught the "multitude" some more (verse 23), then he went up to a mountain to pray. He KNEW what the disciples were facing!

Will Jesus send you into a "storm?" YES! Especially if it will encourage and strengthen you in faith, and bring glory to His Name.

24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

During the night, while the disciples rowed, fighting the winds, Jesus PRAYED! He "..ever liveth to make intercession for" those who trust Him (See Heb 7:25).

Then, in "the fourth watch" (between 3AM and 6AM), Jesus began walking across the sea to the disciples who were in trouble. They were exhausted from rowing, and about to lose the little ship.

When they first saw Him, the disciples thought Jesus was an apparition!

27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

But Jesus SPOKE to them, and assured them it was He.

Whenever you are in a "storm," rely upon God's PRESENCE! He is certainly there, and knows all about the problem you face. And He is the MASTER OF THE SEA!

28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Peter knew that if Jesus called him to come, he would be able to walk on the water! What FAITH Peter expresses!!

But when Peter lost his focus on Jesus because of the storm, he began to sink! Then he called out to Jesus to save him.

IMMEDIATELY Jesus put out his hand and lifted Peter out of the water! If God has something for you to accomplish in His Name, He will preserve you for it through ALL difficulty!!

Some would make remarks about Peter losing sight of Jesus and sinking. To those we might ask, "Have YOU ever walked on the water?"

Peter's faith was in the Lord, Jesus! It was HIM Peter called upon when he was in trouble.

32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

As soon as Jesus and Peter entered the ship, the storm CEASED. God's presence is all we need to have "PEACE IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM!"

All those disciples in the ship were encouraged by this incident. They were POSITIVE now that Jesus was "the Son of God!"

Sometimes we must experience a trial of our faith in order for us to grow to the point where we KNOW Jesus can handle ALL our problems!

34 And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. 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; 36 And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.

Jesus had been here before, and these people now knew Who He was. Upon seeing Him, the people went to gather all the diseased and brought them to Jesus.

Their faith in Him was so great, they only sought to "touch the hem of His garment," and believed they would be made well. And they were.

There's a beautiful song that the Squire Parsons Trio sings in relation to this story. The chorus goes like this:
"Touch the hem of His garment, as He passes by your way.
Touch the hem of His garment, he's within your reach of faith this very day."

Jesus knows your every storm. He will be there IN it to help you in strength of faith.
Jesus knows your every illness or burden. He will be there to help you with each and every one.

I have been waiting 28 years for Jesus to heal my arthritis. And even though He has not, I know that He has made me "WHOLE!" With His presence, He makes all things bearable!

PLEASE CONTINUE WITH US IN BIBLE STUDY TOMORROW.