The Gospel Of Matthew Theology Religion
We now move into a new and of import subdivision of the Gospel of Matthew, “ The Retirement of the King ” ( fellows. 14-20 ) . In this subdivision, we see Jesus “ retreating ” from the battalions and disbursement clip entirely with His adherents, fixing them for the coming crisis in Jerusalem. Keep in head that even the adherents, at this phase, thought in footings of an earthly land ; and His learning about a cross perplexed them. It was necessary that He fix them for this faith-testing experience. The three events in this chapter illustrate the features of this present age, when the King is rejected:
Persecution ( 1-12 ) : Jesus ‘s retainers will endure and decease for Him
Provision ( 13-21 ) : Jesus ‘s retainers will curate the staff of life of life to adult male
Protection ( 22-36 ) : Jesus will pray for His retainers and deliver them.
Persecution ( 14:1-12 )
John had been in prison for several months ( see 4:12 ) , and doubtless was martyred a few hebdomads prior to the events recorded here. ( Note that vv. 3-12 are a flashback. ) Matthew puts John ‘s decease at this point in his Gospel because it illustrates the attitude of work forces toward the King ; for, by murdering His courier, they were rejecting the King Himself! “ He who receives you receives Me, ” said Jesus in 10:40 ( NKJV ) , and the contrary is besides true: to reject the courier is to reject Christ. John ‘s decease is a anticipation, so to talk, of Christ ‘s ain decease, a subject He discusses with His adherents in this period of retirement.
The name “ Herod ” was a household name, and it is easy to confound the different Herods of the NT. “ Herod the Great ” was the Herod who slew the kids ( 2:16-18 ) . “ Herod Antipas ” was a younger boy of Herod the Great. He was non truly a male monarch, but simply a tetrarch-the swayer over a 4th of the land. He is the Herod who had John the Baptist killed and before whom Jesus was soundless ( Luke 23:5-12 ) . “ Herod Agrippa ” is the Herod who slew James and imprisoned Peter ( Acts 12 ) . He was a grandson of Herod the Great. Finally, “ Herod Agrippa II ” was the Herod before whom Paul was tried ( Acts 25:13ff ) . He was a great-grandson of Herod the Great. All the Herods had Edomite blood in their venas and hated the Jews. They were unreliable swayers who in the Bible epitomize the “ God of this age ” and the spirit of Antichrist. Like Satan, all of them were prevaricators and liquidators ( John 8:44 ) .
John ‘s ministry was now completed. He had heralded the coming of the King and had dependably preached God ‘s truth. Jesus must increase, and he must diminish ( John 3:30 ) . Any Christian who is faithful to the Word of God, as John was, will endure persecution. The universe is non the friend of the Christian. The universe has rejected the King and will besides reject His couriers.
Provision ( 14:13-21 )
Jesus now withdraws ( v. 13 ) . There were several grounds for this withdrawing: ( 1 ) the study of John ‘s decease, ( 2 ) the turning hostility of Herod, ( 3 ) the adherents ‘ demand for remainder after their sermon circuit ( see Mark 6:31 ) , and ( 4 ) His demand to acquire entirely with His adherents to learn them. It is of import that we get entirely from clip to clip to hear God ‘s voice and refresh ourselves physically and mentally. “ If we don’tcome apart and rest-we ‘ll come apart! ” said Vance Havner.
John 6 makes it clear that the miracle of the eating of the 5,000 was a discourse in action. Jesus, through His Word, is the Bread of Life on whom we feed. It is the privilege-and responsibility-of His retainers to give this staff of life to the hungry battalions. The retainers receive that bread personally from Christ, so pass it on to others.
There are other lessons from this miracle: ( 1 ) Jesus can take our small and do it much. ( 2 ) Whatever He blesses, He breaks. Are we willing to be broken? ( 3 ) Peoples today are in the wilderness of wickedness ( v. 15 ) and need Christ. ( 4 ) Jesus can get the better of every trouble and feed the battalions. The adherents had many excuses-not adequate money, the incorrect topographic point, the incorrect time-but Christ took what they had and met the demand. He will make this today!
Protection ( 14:22-36 )
John 6:15 Tells us why Christ was so dying to disregard the crowds: they had been filled with staff of life and wanted to do Him male monarch! Work force will follow anyone who promises them the material things of life, but Jesus will non hold “ bread-and-butter ” adherents.
We have here a beautiful image of the church today. Christ is on the mountain praying while the adherents are combating the storm on the lake. Today, Jesus is in heaven interceding for us while we fight the storms of wickedness on this Earth. His coming seems a long manner off, yet merely at the darkest hr ( the 4th watch-3-6 A.M. ) He came to them! He stilled the storm and took His ain safely to their finish ( John 6:21 ) .
Peter ‘s experience gives us the personal application. Peter could walk on the H2O because he had faith in Christ ‘s word, “ Come ” ( v. 29 ) . “ Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God ” ( Rom. 10:17, NKJV ) . But when he forgot the beginning and stopped looking unto Jesus ( Heb. 12:1-2 ) , he began to drop. The secret of get the better ofing the storm and making the impossible is merely to believe the Word of God and maintain looking to the Son of God. Yet, even when we fail, Jesus gracefully helps us! How well-prepared Peter was to compose, “ Projecting all your attention upon Him, for He cares for you ” ( 1 Peter 5:7, NKJV ) .
This present age will be one of storms for the church. Keep in head that the adherents were in the storm, non because they disobeyed Christ ( as Jonah did ) , but because they obeyed Him. If we obey the Word of God, there will be enduring and persecution, but Christ is praying for us and will shortly come to take us place. The secret is faith. Doubt and fright ever travel together, and religion and peace ever travel together. May we non be “ little-faith ” Christians!
This full chapter, so, shows the class of this age. The King withdraws and there is persecution against His retainers. Through His retainers He distributes the cherished Bread of Life to a hungry universe. His retainers go through storms and proving, but Christ returns to give them peace and deliver them from the enemy. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
14:1-12. As the intelligence refering Jesus and His mighty works spread, Herod heard about Jesus and His marvelous powers. This was Herod Antipas, who ruled over a 4th of Palestine ( hence the rubric the tetrarch ) , including Galilee and Perea. He ruled from 4 b.c. to a.d. 39. His male parent Herod the Great had killed the Bethlehem babes ( 2:16 ) . Herod Antipas judged Jesus when He was on test ( Luke 23:7-12 ) . ( See the chart on the Herods at Luke 1:5. )
Herod concluded that Jesus was John the Baptist aˆ¦ risen from the dead ( californium. Luke 9:7 ) .
Matthew ‘s last mention to John the Baptist was John ‘s directing couriers to Jesus to ask about Him ( Matt. 11:2-14 ) . The narrative refering John was now completed by Matthew. Herod Antipas had arrested John aˆ¦ because of Herodias. John had publically condemned Herod, who was populating with Herodias, his sister-in-law. She was his brother Philip ‘s married woman so this was an immoral relationship. Herod Antipas wanted to put to death John but was fearful, for the people loved John and thought him to be a prophesier. Therefore he merely removed John from the populace by puting him in prison. But at a birthday jubilation Salome, Herodias ‘ girl aˆ¦ danced. She so delighted Herod that he unwisely promised her anything she wanted. Her petition, Give me here on a platter the caput of John the Baptist, was non her thought, for she was prompted by her female parent Herodias. Though this petition greatly distressed ( lypA“theis means to be grieved or sad to the point of hurt ; californium. 18:31 ; 19:22 ) Herod, he was caught in a trap for his curse was at interest ( 14:9 ) . So he granted the wish and John was beheaded.
John ‘s adherents gave his organic structure a nice entombment, and reported to Jesus what had happened. Herod ‘s act was another illustration of the rejection of Jesus, for Matthew so connected the ministries of these two work forces that what happened to one was viewed as holding a direct consequence on the other. Herod, by rejecting the King ‘s precursor, was rejecting the King who followed him.
B. The issue of Jesus ( 14:13-36 ) .
When Jesus learned of John the Baptist ‘s decease, He withdrew with His adherents to a distant topographic point. From this clip on, the ministry of Jesus was directed chiefly toward His adherents. His end seemed to be to teach them in visible radiation of the fact that He would be go forthing them. He said about nil more to the state to convert them He is the Messiah.
14:13-21 ( Mark 6:30-44 ; Luke 9:10-17 ; John 6:1-14 ) . The people anticipated where Jesus and His adherents were traveling. The crowds, by walking along the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, joined Jesus. Feeling compassion ( esplanchnisthA“ ; californium. remarks on Matt. 9:36 ) , Jesus aˆ¦ healed their sick. When flushing came, the adherents wanted to direct the crowds off for there were no supplies in that distant topographic point ( californium. a lone topographic point, 14:13 ) to feed so many people. But the Lord said, They do non necessitate to travel off. You give them something to eat. However, they had merely five loaves of staff of life and two fish. With these elements in Jesus ‘ custodies, a miracle occurred. The staff of life and fish continually multiplied so that all present Ate and were satisfied. More than plenty was available, for 12 basketfuls of broken pieces aˆ¦ were left over. About 5,000 work forces were fed on this juncture, plus many adult females and kids, possibly 15,000 to 20,000 in all.
This miracle took topographic point at Bethsaida ( see remarks on Luke 9:10 ) merely before the Passover ( John 6:4 ) . This is the lone miracle of Jesus which is recorded in all four Gospels. The significance of this miracle was intended chiefly for the adherents. Jesus was exemplifying the sort of ministry they would hold after His going. They would be involved in feeding people, but with religious nutrient. The beginning for their eating would be the Lord Himself. When their supply ran out, as with the staff of life and fish, they would necessitate to return to the Lord for more. He would provide them, but the eating would be done through them. The people Jesus fed sensed that He was the awaited Prophet ( John 6:14-15 ; Deut. 18:15 ) and tried to do Him King. Surely One who could mend their physical diseases and supply nutrient so copiously must be the King. But the timing was non right, for the state ‘s leaders had decided against Jesus ( Matt. 12:24 ) , and His official rejection would shortly come.
14:22-36 ( Mark 6:45-56 ; John 6:15-21 ) . Jesus sent the adherents off in a boat. After disregarding the crowd aˆ¦ He went up into the hills entirely to pray ( californium. John 6:15 ) . Sending the adherents into the boat did two things: it got them off from the crowd, and it gave them chance to chew over the significance of what had merely happened through them. But shortly they were in a storm. Somewhere between 3 and 6 in the forenoon ( the 4th ticker of the dark ) , Jesus joined them, walking on the lake to their boat-a distance of “ three or three and a half stat mis ” ( John 6:19 ) . His power over the elements was obvious, but there was besides a lesson in religion for the adherents in this experience. Their fright of seeing a shade ( Matt. 14:26 ) was relieved when Jesus announced that it was He.
But Peter wanted greater confidence that it was truly the Lord. He said, Lord, if it ‘s You aˆ¦ state me to come to You on the H2O. The Lord ‘s answer was a simple Come. Peter ‘s initial response demonstrated his religion for he stepped out of the boat and began walking toward the Lord. ( Merely Matthew recorded Peter ‘s walk on the H2O. ) In all recorded history merely two work forces of all time walked on aˆ¦ H2O, Jesus and Peter. But Peter ‘s religion was challenged when he saw the air current, that is, when he saw its consequence on the H2O. As he sank, he cried to the Lord for aid. Immediately the Lord caught him. Jesus rebuked Peter for his deficiency of religion ( californium. 6:30 ; 8:26 ; 16:8 ) , which had caused him to drop.
When they reached the boat, the storm calmed and the astonied adherents worshiped Him. Their construct of Jesus had been expanded and they acknowledged Him as the Son of God. Their position of Jesus was in direct contrast with the work forces of Gennesaret ( 14:34 ) , a fertile field sou’-west of Capernaum. When these work forces learned Jesus had arrived, they brought all their sick for mending. Their touching His cloak recalls a shed blooding adult female in that country who had touched His garment ( 9:20 ) . Though they acknowledged Jesus as a great Healer, they did non to the full grok who He is. The adherents, nevertheless, were turning continually in their comprehension of His true individuality.
The passage.-With the beginning of book four, in Matthew ‘s lineation, there is a complete displacement in the ministry of Jesus. Having been rejected by the spiritual leaders, the metropoliss of Galilee, and his ain hometown, Jesus now turns to a period of backdowns into parts outside of Galilee. He is seeking to acquire his adherents entirely and fix them for the crisis that is coming.
At foremost the crowds still seek to follow him. The study of the decapitation of John the Baptist was the juncture for the first backdown of Jesus. He knew that this meant the clip was fast nearing when his ministry would be interrupted, so he was dying to concentrate on acquiring his adherents ready.
Because he went by ship across the sea to a “ desert topographic point, ” it is likely that the location of this first backdown is Perea, on the east side of Galilee and the Jordan. But the crowds followed him around the lake, and their hungriness was so great that Jesus was moved with compassion. Five 1000 work forces plus adult females and kids were fed with the five loaves and two fish. We know from John ‘s Gospel that they wanted to do him king, and Jesus had to direct the crowd off and literally coerce his adherents to acquire into a boat and leave. Jesus spent the dark in supplication. He may hold been contending the old enticement to “ turn the rocks into staff of life ” and be the popular Messiah the people wanted.
In the shutting portion of chapter 14, Jesus comes to the adherents, walking on the H2O. In this confidant brush with the little set of adherents, Jesus revealed himself and his celestial power in a manner that he had ne’er disclosed himself to the battalion. It is little admiration that “ they that were in the ship came and worshiped him. ”
Even as the intelligence about the decease of John the Baptist precipitated the first backdown, a clang with the Scribes and Pharisees led to the 2nd. They made a combative onslaught upon Jesus because his adherents did non pattern all the ceremonial lavations which the Pharisees required. This backdown took Jesus and his adherents up along the Mediterranean seashore toward Tyre and Sidon.
The healing of the girl of the Canaanite adult female is one of the most of import illustrations of the ministry of Jesus outside of Israel. Her religion was so great that it overcame all the cultural barriers, and Jesus answered the supplication of this distraught female parent.
Returning from this northwesterly part along the sea, Jesus came to a mountain “ near unto the sea of Galilee. ” This may hold been along the lower inclines of Mount Hermon, North of the sea of Galilee. There the crowds found him once more and stayed with him three yearss. As earlier, because there was no nutrient in this desert topographic point, Jesus fed the battalion from a few loaves and fishes. This clip the figure was about 4,000 work forces, beside adult females and kids.
Particular points.-Although Jesus worked many miracles, he would non step in with his marvelous power to salvage John the Baptist. In a similar manner, he would non name on his celestial power to salvage himself when he faced the cross. He used his miracles to show the inbreaking land of God in the lives of work forces, but he would non raise them to take the cross of enduring from himself or his adherents. He obviously told them that they must take up their cross and follow him. Finally all of his faithful adherents sealed their informant by their agony and decease.
The backdown of Jesus into parts beyond Galilee was non inadvertent. It was an object lesson for the adherents. They would besides be rejected by their ain people, but they would follow the illustration of Jesus and travel outside their homeland-even to the terminals of the Earth.
Truth for today.-There is much unfavorable judgment today of the church which “ retreats behind its walls. ” Ridicule is even heaped upon the thought of worship as a signifier of service to God. Some recognize merely societal action outside the walls of the church as valid Christian service.
Jesus stressed action in the market-place and in the thick of pullulating society. But he besides stressed backdown for supplication and religious reclamation. Matthew has merely given us two whole chapters which balance backdown and involvement-social action and religious retreat. If Jesus needed this, it would be about profane for his followings to state that they do non!
The ministry of Jesus beyond Galilee, and to people as hated and despised as the Canaanites, shows us that the Gospel has no boundaries. It must be proclaimed at place, but it must non halt at that place. It must be carried to the terminals of the Earth. No 1 is excluded from the love of God. No 1 should be left out in the sharing of the Gospel.
John ‘s decease at the custodies of Herod ( 14:1-12 ) added its dampening consequence. The early temper of anticipation Jesus ‘ ministry had stimulated was vaporizing. The Pharisees had taken sides against Him. Jesus had non acted as the expected King should. The despised Herod had even executed Jesus ‘ cousin John-and Jesus had done nil. Alternatively of mounting a vindictive onslaught on Herod and Rome, Jesus “ withdrew aˆ¦ to a lone topographic point ” ( v. 13 ) .
The crowds followed Jesus. Waiting. Though Jesus would no longer execute miracles as authenticating marks to show the cogency of His claim, He continued to be moved by compassion. Thus Jesus continued to heal-because He cared. And, when the crowds around Him were hungry and there was no beginning of nutrient nearby, Jesus distributed five loaves and two fish-and fed the 1000s who had come.
Late that dark Jesus met His adherents on the sea ( Matt. 14:22-32 ) . They ‘d taken a boat ; He walked across the Waterss to them. The rejecting Pharisees and doubting crowd would have no more such cogent evidence of the King ‘s authorization. But the believing adherents would go on to have marvelous reassurance. So it is even today. The grounds work forces seek-and so reject when given-is withheld. But the truster who walks with Jesus sees changeless grounds that God is of all time nigh.
1. State the Auca narrative and ask: “ What is most likely to maintain people who understand the Gospel from swearing Jesus? ” See “ link-to-life. ”
analyze carefully what Jesus said in His treatment of the bosom, and what this means to us today. Then sum up in a individual sentence the major lesson we can pull.
Discus: “ How can we assist each other avoid the hazards of Phariseeism in populating out our religion in Christ? ”