- Herod, the governor of Judea, hears about Jesus and believes that John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, which is why all these miraculous things are happening.
- Previously, Herod had arrested John because John had been pointing out Herod’s sin of having a relationship with Philip’s (Herod’s brother) wife, Herodias.
- Herod arrested John and wanted to kill him, but couldn’t bring himself to do it because of the people who revered John as a prophet.
- At one point, Herod was having a party to celebrate his birthday and Herodias’ daughter came and danced for him. The dance was very pleasing and Herod made an oath that he would give her whatever she asked for.
- The daughter returned to her mother, Herodias, who told her to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Her daughter did as she was told and Herod, as distressed as he was, followed through with the request to save face in front of his guests.
- John was beheaded, his head was given to the girl who took it to her mother, and John’s disciples came to take care of his remains.
- John’s disciples go to Jesus and tell him everything that happened. Jesus then crosses the Sea of Galilee and withdraws to a private place.
- The crowds hear that Jesus has moved, so they seek him out. When Jesus comes to shore, a crowd has already gathered; and even though He has just lost His cousin (and is probably in mourning) He looks at them with compassion and heals their sick.
- At the end of the day, the disciples tell Jesus to send they people away to get food. Jesus replies and tells them that they should provide for the crowd’s needs. He directs them to bring the five loaves of bread and the two fish they have.
- After giving thanks and breaking the bread, they divided the food amongst the people. Once everyone was finished and satisfied, there was still 12 basketfuls of food leftover. This crowd amounted to five thousand men, not counting the women and children that were there.
- After the evening meal, the disciples get back in the boat and head back to the other side. Jesus sends the crowd away and goes up on the mountain to pray by Himself.
- Hours later, in the middle of the night, the disciples have been fighting against the wind and have not made it to the other side.
- Jesus walks on water and walks out to meet them. The disciples are terrified and think they are seeing a ghost.
- Jesus assures them of who it is, and tells them to have courage and not be afraid. After this Peter asks to be invited to walk on the water with Jesus. Jesus gives the go-ahead and Peter walks on the water towards Jesus.
- As he is walking, Peter focuses on the wind, becomes afraid, and starts to sink. He cries out for Jesus who immediately reaches out and grasps his hand.
- Jesus asks Peter, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
- Once Jesus enters the boat, the wind died down and everyone worshiped Jesus saying, “truly you are the Son of God”.
- Once they made it to shore, people recognized Jesus and sent word to the surrounding countryside letting people know that Jesus was in town. They brought their sick to Him and asked even if they could touch the edge of His cloak so they might be healed.
This may be obvious, but Jesus amazes me. Upon hearing of His cousin’s death, He removes Himself in order to have time alone, but this plan is interrupted by the huge crowd. Rather than sending them away, He recognizes their need and spends the day taking care of them and healing their sick. Then He goes above and beyond that to provide for their hunger need as well.
So often I have something on my mind or something I need to get to that I send the crowd away. I walk past them or ignore their needs. If I do stop to have compassion, I give what is necessary but I don’t always go above and beyond to meet more than one need. Jesus was the perfect example of putting others’ needs before your own. Even when I’m tired, or frustrated, or desire time to myself, I am called to love people and show them compassion.
Jesus, I want to be like you. I struggle with putting my needs and my comfort before the needs of others. But I’m surrounded by a hurting world; a world that needs your love. Would you use me today to be show your love and compassion to someone who needs it? To you be glory both now and forever, amen.
Posted on Mon, September 7, 2015
by Brian Landers