Matthew 14-15

Matthew 14

:1-2  Herod's thoughts about Jesus

:1  Herod the tetrarch

This is not the same Herod that tried to kill Jesus as a baby.

TSK:  Herod.  This was Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, by  Malthace, and tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, which produced a  revenue of 200 talents a year.  He married the daughter of  Aretas, king of Arabia, whom he divorced in order to marry  Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, who was still  living.  Aretas, to revenge the affront which Herod had  offered his daughter, declared war against him, and vanquished  him after an obstinate engagement.  This defeat, Josephus  assures us, the Jews considered as a punishment for the death  of John the Baptist.  Having gone to Rome to solicit the  title of king, he was accused by Agrippa of carrying on a  correspondence with Artabanus king of Parthia, against the  Romans, and was banished by the emperor Caius to Lyons, and  thence to Spain, where he and Herodias died in exile.

:2  mighty works

Ironic that the last section ended with:

Matthew 13:58-AV And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Greek word:  dunamis

:3-12  Herod kills John

:8  in a charger

A dish, plate, or platter

:9  for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him

Rather than be embarrassed, or stand up for what was right, Herod gave in to the opinion of those around him.


Obey God, not man

In contrast, when told to stop being offensive and preaching the gospel,

Acts 5:29-AV Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

:13-14  Mourning & Ministry

:13  When Jesus heard of it, he departed ...

Jesus apparently leaves for the wilderness to mourn over John's death.

:14  And Jesus went forth ... with compassion ...


Key to mature ministry:

You do it even when you don't feel like it.

Here Jesus has headed for the wilderness to be alone and grieve for His beloved cousin's death.

And the people follow along.

Rather than respond in anger, chase the people away, or go on strike, Jesus steps out and heals them.

:15-21  Feeding Five Thousand

:16  give ye them to eat

Jesus sees the needs of the multitudes and tells the disciples to feed them.

As they grow in ministry, they're going to realize more and more that this is the essence of ministry.

John 21:15-17 AV So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.  16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, [

son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.  17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

That's what ministry is all about, meeting the needs of the flock.

Feeding the sheep.

This is The Challenge of Ministry

:17  We have here but five loaves, and two fishes

Here we have The Problem of Ministry

There's lots of needs around us, but the truth is we don't have a lot to offer.

There might be some guys in ministry who feel that everybody is lucky who gets to spend time with them, but I'm not one of them.

I'm constantly overwhelmed with the things I hear about, the problems people are facing.

Each time I start preparing for the next Bible Study, I often wonder to myself, "Why would anybody want to come anyway?"

But to this, Jesus says,

:18  Bring them hither to me

Here is The Solution to Ministry

You take what little you do have to offer, and give it all to Jesus.

See what He can do with your few loaves and fish.

You can stand around all day and complain that you just don't have enough to give, or you can give what you have into Jesus' hands and stand back and watch what He'll do with it.

Jesus will bless it, break it, give it back to you, and expect you to hand it out to those in need.

:20  they did all eat ... filled ... that remained twelve baskets full

Here's a good picture of what happens to ministry when you give it over to the Lord and see what He'll do with it.

There's plenty for everybody.

Even the disciples.

We talked last Sunday about the manna ceasing in Joshua 5, and the people eating of the fruit of the Promised Land.

We talked about how it can require more work to feed yourself once you start growing as a Christian and step into the Promised Land.

Here's a good picture of these disciples doing the work of the ministry, and they find themselves fed by it in the process.


When you do ministry correctly, you get fed too.

:22-33  Walking on water

:23  apart to pray

Jesus found it necessary to spend time alone in prayer.

Should I need any less?

:24  in the midst of the sea

They are attempting to cross the Sea of Galilee

It's size:

It's capacity for storms to come quickly

:25  the fourth watch of the night

The Jews at this time divided the night into four watches;  the first was from six o'clock in the evening till nine, the  second from nine to twelve, the third from twelve till three,  and the fourth from three till six; so that it probably began  to be daylight before our Lord came to his disciples.

:30  when he saw the wind boisterous

Here's the key to Peter sinking - looking at the storm instead of Jesus.

This is the hard part of walking by faith, keeping our eyes where they belong.

2Corinthians   4:16-18  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day. 17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory; 18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.


If you want to rise above the trials, keep your eyes on Jesus

:33  and worshipped him

Now they're beginning to realize just who it is they have with them.


To "kiss towards"

1) to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence 2) among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence 3) in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication

Worship, respect, affection

Those who say that Jesus was just a nice guy who taught us a good way to live, ought to look at passages like this a little more closely.

This is no ordinary guy.

:34-36  Healing in Gennesaret

:36  made perfectly whole

This is a kind of more intense word than just the usual one for healing (therapeuo)

diasozo - to 1) to preserve through danger, to bring safely through   1a) to save, i.e. cure one who is sick, bring him through 2) to save, keep from perishing 3) to save out of danger, rescue

It's not just rescuing a person (sozo), but thoroughly rescuing them, thoroughly healing them.

When Jesus does something, He does it right!

Matthew 15

:1-20  Jesus and the Pharisees

:2  they wash not their hands

They probably didn't wash behind their ears either.

RWP:  This was the oral law, handed down by the elders of the past and later codified in the Mishna. Handwashing before meals is not a requirement of the Old Testament. It is, we know, a good thing for sanitary reasons, but the rabbis made it a mark of righteousness for others at any rate. This item was magnified at great length in the oral teaching. The washing of the hands called for minute regulations. It was commanded to wash the hands before meals, it was one's duty to do it after eating. The more rigorous did it between the courses. The hands must be immersed. Then the water itself must be "clean" and the cups or pots used must be ceremonially "clean." Vessels were kept full of clean water ready for use. So it went on _ad infinitum_. Thus a real issue is raised between Jesus and the rabbis. It was far more than a point of etiquette or of hygienics. The rabbis held it to be a mortal sin. The incident may have happened in a Pharisee's house.

:2,3  transgress the tradition ... commandment ...

Jesus doesn't even bother to answer their question, immediately, with a direct answer.

The very issue that the Pharisees are asking about isn't even worth dealing with.

In fact, more important is getting the Pharisees to realize that it's not transgressing the traditions of men that they should worry about, it's transgressing God's commands that they should worry about.

The Pharisees were worried about breaking human traditions, while Jesus is going to point out that human traditions can make you end up breaking something much more important, God's laws.


Be careful about traditions!

That's one thing I appreciate about starting with a new church, we don't have people saying, "Well, that's the way we've always done it!

Traditions can be good, things like Christmas stuff, etc.

But they can also get in the way of God's will.

We like traditions because they are comfortable and easy for us, we know what to expect.

But sometimes God wants to stretch us.

Let there be a warning flag go up when you hear yourself say, "But I've always done it that way!"

:5  It is a gift

There was a magical phrase the Pharisees had come up with, "Corban" (meaning:  "It is a gift")

If you had $500 in the bank, and your parents came up short on their house payment, and came to you for help, all you had to do was say, "Gee, it's corban".  That meant that you had dedicated that money to use for God, and God was more important than your parents.

In relation to taking care of your parents, Paul writes,

1Timothy 5:8-AV But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

:11  defileth a man

Now Jesus is going to deal with the question that the Pharisees raised at first, talking about the disciples not washing their hands.

The Pharisees had their tradition about washing their hands to keep themselves from becoming defiled, lest they ate something with ceremonially unclean hands.

But Jesus is saying that it's the things that come out of their mouths, namely their words, that would bring defilement.

:13  shall be rooted up

Kind of reminds me of the parable we saw last week of The Wheat and The Tares.

The enemy planted tares among the wheat.

The reapers waited until the harvest, then gathered up the tares and got rid of them.

Jesus doesn't mind at all that the Pharisees were bothered.

:14  Let them alone

Sometimes it's not worth it to argue with people.

They're going to just get madder and madder, and more defensive.

Let them alone.  Let them come to the end of their rope.

:16  without understanding?

Remember last week, Jesus asked the disciples, "Do you understand these things?" (Mat.13:51)

The disciples said, "Yes".

:17  cast out into the draught

or, "goes into the sewer, toilet"

:20  These are the things which defile a man

It's not what goes into you, it's what comes out of you, out of your heart.

:21-28  Jesus and the Canaanite Woman

:22  a woman of Canaan

This is a Gentile woman, a Canaanite.

:24 but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel

Remember, this was to be the focus of Jesus' ministry, going to the Jews first.

This is just the way it was.

The gospel would eventually go out to the Gentiles, but for now, it was to the Jews.

We've already been told:

Matthew 12:21-AV And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

:25  worshipped him


And calls Him "Lord"

She's really working on Jesus!

:26  it is not meet

or, "it isn't proper"

:26  to the dogs

To the Jews, the Gentiles were known as just "dogs"

Jesus is using this common word used for the Gentiles.

But Jesus doesn't use the word for a full sized dog, but just a "little dog", like a trained house pet.

Jesus is saying that it wouldn't be proper for take food from the mouths of your children to feed your dogs with.

:27  yet the dogs

The woman doesn't find offence in what Jesus said at all, instead she turned it around to press her point, and to ask Jesus for His help.

:28  O woman, great it thy faith

I think we have a little insight into Jesus here.

It sure seems He's kind of proud of her at this moment.

I don't think Jesus was intending to be offensive at all to this woman, He was simply putting her to the test.


"No" doesn't mean to stop asking.

Sometimes the "no" answers we get in prayer are only meant to test us and see what kind of faith we have.

Sometimes God wants to see just how important our request is to us, and so He says "no" to see how much we want it.

The parable of the unjust judge and the widow

She kept bugging the judge until he agreed to help her with her problems.

Luke 18:1-AV And he spake a parable unto them [to this end], that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

Those of you praying for a loved one who's not saved, don't faint in your prayers!

:29-31  Great Miracles

:30  cast them down at Jesus' feet

This is an interesting word used here.


1) to cast, throw 2) throw down 3) to cast forward or before 4) to set down (with the suggestion of haste and want of care) 5) to throw to the ground, prostrate

RWP:  A very strong word, flung them down, "not carelessly, but in haste, because so many were coming on the same errand" (Vincent).

It reminds me of:

1Peter 5:7-AV Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.


1) to throw upon, place upon


Teach me to quickly unload everything on You, Lord

:32-39  Feeding Four Thousand

:33  Whence should we have so much bread?

What's wrong, guys, don't you remember what happened just a chapter ago?

Answer:  NO, they don't remember.

In fact, we're going to be told in the next chapter that they're going to have basically forgotton this episode also.

I guess we can find comfort in knowing that other people are forgetful when it comes to God's great work in our lives, but it would sure be nicer if we had better memories.