Verse 1 – At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus
Verse 2 – and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.
The title “tetrarch” is one who rules over a “fourth” part of any country. Herod was over Galilee and Perea. He was the son of Herod the Great, who had ordered the killings of the babies in Bethlehem. He was also known as Herod Antipas. Herod was afraid because he was the one who had had John beheaded.
Recount of the Murder of John the Baptist
Verse 3 – For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Phillip’s wife.
Verse 4 – For John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”
This Herodias was a granddaughter of Herod the Great. She was first married to Herod Philip, by whom she had a daughter, Salome. Herod had his wife, at that time, put away, and Herodias left her husband to be with Herod Antipas. They were both committing adultery and incest, since she was a near relation. This was forbidden by law. And when John told him, “It’s not lawful for you to have her,” Herod had John arrested.
Verse 5 – And although he wanted to put him (John) to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him a prophet.
Verse 6 – But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and it pleased Herod.
Verse 7 – Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.
Verse 8 – So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head on a platter.”
Verse 9 – And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths, and because of those who sat with him at the table, he commanded it to be given to her.
Verse 10 – So he sent and had John beheaded in prison.
Verse 11 – And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.
Verse 12 – Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
Herod had John killed because he would have looked like a coward in front of his guest if he hadn’t. We need to determine what is right before we ever are tempted into making a wrong decision. Don’t let yourself be pressured into following the crowd into something you know is wrong and against God’s will.
Jesus Feeds 5,000
Verse 13 – When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities.
Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee to a place called Bethsaida. I imagine John’s death affected Him deeply.
Verse 14 – And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude, and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
Have you noticed a pattern here? Everywhere Jesus went, He drew crowds and crowds of people. What’s amazing is He always, without hesitation, healed their sick. Why do yo think it’s so rare for us today to see the sick healed? What stopped these miracles in Nazareth? Unbelief!
Verse 15 – When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a desert place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.”
Now, wait a minute! Did not the disciples see Jesus healing the sick all afternoon? Did they only believe in those miracles? Do you believe Jesus only has one miracle for you, as a person of faith? Their question they asked seems as though their precept of Jesus’ divine power can only accomplish this one miracle. They are about to find out how truly divine His power is.
Verse 16 – But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
As a believer, do you send the sick and needy to another source? Why is that? Why are believers afraid to lay hands on the sick? Because they don’t believe that Jesus will heal through them! They doubt! We are to do the Fathers will, and He is responsible for the results. When you pray, pray in faith that it will be done, in Jesus name.
Verse 17 – And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”
Verse 18 – He said, “Bring them here to Me.”
The disciples are about to find out that whatever is placed in the Master’s hands will be blessed! We should take note.
Verse 19 – Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes.
How do you imagine this scene? I see Jesus blessing this small portion of food and as He broke it, and placed it in the disciples hands, and as they went, it began to multiply. Obedience will bring miracles. God can take a little and make it more than enough! He wants us to place whatever it is into His hands, and stand back and watch what He will do. That’s why He tells us to “not despise small beginnings!” Jesus can take that little bit of faith and make it grow into your miracle!
Verse 20 – So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained.
Please keep this in mind: “Our God is not stingy!” When He takes what little we have, blesses it, and returns it to us, it is always in “abundance!” There is a purpose in everything He does, or asks us to do. This story is a powerful reminder that Jesus can provide for us in abundance.
Verse 21 – Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children (15,000).
Jesus Walks on Water
Verse 22 – Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into a boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.
Verse 23 – And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on a mountain by Himself to pray. And when evening had come, He was alone there.
Verse 24 – But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
Verse 25 – Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.
At the time of Jesus, the night was divided into four watches – first, 6-9 pm; second, 9-12 am; third, 12-3 am; fourth, 3-6 am. So, Jesus had spent the biggest part of the night on the mountain praying. Have you ever spent hours in prayer?
Verse 26 – And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled saying, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out for fear.
Verse 27 – But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
Verse 28 – And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
Peter was not putting Jesus to a test, something we are forbidden to do. Instead, he was the only one which reacted in faith. His impulse led Peter to experience an unusual experience of God’s power. When in very difficult situations, keep your focus on Jesus, not on your inadequacies.
Verse 29 – So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
Verse 30 – But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord save me!”
Verse 31 – And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught Him, an said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
When we are in the same situation for a period of time, our faith will falter. Peter was afraid all of a sudden, and so we too can become afraid of how the situation is going to turn out. Don’t lose your focus. Jesus knows the outcome. Build yourself up daily in His Word, and your trust in Him will soar. He’s not going to let you go! He is able to deliver and provide!
Verse 32 – And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
Verse 33 – Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him saying, “You are the Son of God.”
Verse 34 – When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret. (This region was in Galilee.)
Verse 35 – And when the men of that place recognized Him, the sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick,
Verse 36 – and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.
All of these people came to Jesus for physical healing, but how many came for spiritual healing? People may seek Jesus to find relief from physical pain, but we miss a much bigger message if we only seek healing for our bodies. We must understand that Jesus can heal us physically and spiritually. He is not just concerned with this life, but the one to come.