Matthew Chapter 14:14-33


Matthew 14:14. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

Different persons take different views of multitudes, according to the state of their minds. Many an officer when he sees a multitude considers how long it would take to march them from a certain place. Another man begins calculating how much food they will all need. Another begins to estimate their wealth, another to calculate how many per cent will die in the year. But the Lord Jesus Christ’s heart was full of pity and mercy, that the thing for him to do as he looked upon them was to have compassion upon them. He healed their sick, and helped them in their sorrows.

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 multitudes away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.

This really meant “Get us out of the difficulty.” There was no hope that so many of them could get victuals in the villages; but the disciples as good as said “We cannot bear to see them starving. Help us to forget it.”

Matthew 14:16. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.

“You do not know what you can do, seeing I am with you,” the Lord answered. “You can feed them all.” O Christian church, never give up the most difficult problem. It may be worked out. The city may be evangelized, crowded as it is; the nations may to brought to Christ superstitious though they be; for he is with us.

Matthew 14:17-18. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me.

He will not work without us. Whatever little gift or ability we have must be consecrated. Christ could easily have made loaves and fishes without taking their little stock, but that is not his way of working. “Bring what you have hither to me.” Whenever we have a church that brings all its store to Christ — (when shall we ever see such a church?) — then he will be pleased to make sufficient for the multitude.

Matthew 14:19-21. 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. And they did all eat and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

A wonderful evening that must have been. Just as the sun’s slanting rays would fall upon the mighty mass of people, Jesus Christ, the sun of righteousness, was scattering his beams of mercy over them at the same time. To him it is nothing to feed five thousand — nothing to do it with five loaves. Where he is present we may expect wonders, unless indeed our unbelief should hamper him, for sometimes it is too sadly true he could not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. O my soul, chide thyself if thou hast ever thus hampered the hands of Christ.

Matthew 14:22-23. 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. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray.

It was a very busy day that he had had. If you read the narrative for yourself you will be astonished at the number of miracles which he wrought that day, and all of them in addition to the preaching, so he must have been well worn with weariness, but he sought rather the rest and refreshment of prayer than that of sleep.

Matthew 14:23-24. And when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.

It did not matter however. For if his disciples be in a storm, so long as Christ is praying for them all the storms in the world are unable to sink them. They had a good protector. From the outlook of that hill his eyes, which could see through the distance, observed and regulated every breath of wind, and every wave upon the lake.

Matthew 14:25-26. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus’ went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit;

“A phantom!” Having all the superstition so natural to sailors, they thought that this was something quite supernatural and boded ill to them.

Matthew 14:26-28. And they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer it is I, be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

Strange impulse! It showed genuine faith mixed with that imperfection and presumption which was so common a feature in Peter’s character.

However, his master admired the confidence.

Matthew 14:29-30. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

When he began to be afraid he began to sink. As long as his confidence in his Master lasted he could walk the waves.

Matthew 14:31-33. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Well might they worship, for they had seen abundant proof of his deity. They worshipped him, saying, “of a truth thou art the Son of God.” They could not have meant by this, “Thou art a superior person, an excellent character.” They would not, if they were Jews, have worshipped a mere man; for of all things you ever saw in this life, you never saw a Jew that would worship any form that was visible to the eye. The captivity of Babylon delivered the Hebrew race from idolatry altogether. They may fall into superstition of another sort, but never into idolatry. Mark that. There has not been since that time a man of Jewish race who would have worshipped Christ if he had not believed him to be God.




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