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
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
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
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
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.