THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XV: Christ As Israel's Messiah Seen By The Opposition To His Ministry, Matthew 11:2-16:12
L. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Powerful Revelation To Those Afflicted By His Foes
A. Jesus withdrew from His nation's hostile religious leaders (Matt. 12:14-15), from His hostile townsfolk (Matt. 13:53-58) and from wicked Herod Antipas with whom Jesus knew He would otherwise eventually get into open conflict in violation of His peaceful ministry calling, Matthew 14:1-13 with 12:17-21.
B. However, Israel's people faced affliction in the form of a godly leadership vacuum due to Herod's killing of John the Baptizer, so Jesus met His disciples' needs for leadership, giving them insight into His all-sufficiency:
II. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Powerful Revelation To Those Afflicted By His Foes, Matt. 14:22-36.
A. After His late afternoon miraculous feeding of the five-thousand, Jesus demonstrated His deity to His disciples by performing three additional miracles on the Sea of Galilee through the following night, Matthew 14:22-33:
1. First, Jesus miraculously walked on the water, Matthew 14:22-27:
a. Right after the miraculous feeding of the five thousand, Jesus compelled His disciples to take a boat to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, Matthew 14:22a.
b. He then dismissed the multitudes, and went up into a nearby mountain to pray alone, Matt. 14:22b-23.
c. By nightfall, a bad windstorm had risen on the sea, hindering the disciples' crossing, Matthew 14:24.
d. In the fourth watch, the next day's early morning hours, from three to six a.m., (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Matthew 14:25), Jesus went toward the disciples' boat walking on the sea, Matthew 14:25.
e. This was a fearful sight: at that time, He looked like a spirit, so the disciples cried out in fear, Matthew 14:26. Jesus immediately responded, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid," Matthew 14:27 ESV.
2. Second, Jesus miraculously equipped Peter to join Him walking on the water, Matthew 14:28-32a:
a. Wanting more assurance that this was the Lord, Peter responded by saying, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water," Matthew 14:28 ESV.
b. Not hesitating, Jesus responded with a simple command, "Come!" (Matthew 14:29a)
c. Peter obeyed, got out of the boat, and started to walk on the water to go to Jesus, Matthew 14:29b.
d. However, losing his focus on Jesus, and instead shifting his attention to the wind, Peter became afraid, and that led him to begin to sink, so he cried out, "Lord, save me," Matthew 14:30.
e. Jesus quickly reached out His hand and took hold of Peter, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14:31) Then, they both returned safely to the boat, Matthew 14:32a.
3. Third, Jesus miraculously stilled the wind storm, Matthew 14:32b: as soon as Jesus and Peter entered the boat, the wind ceased, showing it had risen for this demonstration of Christ's power to walk on the sea and His power over the windstorm itself in that He immediately calmed it.
4. As a result of these miracles, all the disciples in the boat, amazed at Jesus' miracles, worshipped Him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God," a reference to the deity of Jesus Christ, Matthew 14:33.
B. However, the miracle of the feeding of the five-thousand followed by these three miracles on the sea through a sleepless night were followed in turn by ongoing great miracles the next day, Matthew 14:34-36:
1. Crossing over to the other side of the Sea by morning light, the disciples and Jesus arrived at the land of Gennesaret on the northwest part of the Sea of Galilee, Matthew 14:34; Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Matthew 14:34.
2. The people there recognized Jesus, and sent word to the surrounding region for people to bring all of their sick, begging Jesus that they might just touch the fringe of His garment to be healed, Matthew 14:35-36a.
3. All who then touched His garment in faith were made well, a demonstration of great supernatural power following a night of human sleeplessness and miracles, that in turned had followed the great feeding of the five-thousand, Matthew 14:36b. The relentless supernatural power of the Lord Jesus was greatly displayed to Israel in the face of the nation's loss of its great prophet, John the Baptizer, by evil King Herod Antipas!
Lesson: Jesus repeatedly, miraculously demonstrated His all-sufficiency to afflicted Israel and His disciples, those who were afflicted by a vacuum of godly leaders due to wicked Herod Antipas' martyrdom of John the Baptizer.
Application: (1) May we trust in Christ as the Son of God for eternal life, John 3:16. (2) May we look to Him as our All-Sufficient Lord if we face a vacuum of godly leaders or if we face oppressive rulers in the secular realm.