14:1-12 The Jews were not as concerned about chronology as our western culture is. Matthew was not written chronologically so John’s beheading may have occurred before or after this point. But this is when Matthew, inspired by the Holy Spirit, decides to bring it in to the narrative. Herodias hated John the Baptist for saying her marriage was unlawful. Herodias was the wife of Philip, Herod’s brother. Herod fell in love with her and agreed he would divorce his wife, the daughter of king Aretus of Arabia, if she would leave Philip. They did what they wanted and then married. Even though their marriage was legal through the laws of man, it was not lawful in the sight of God. Their divorces were not for righteous reasons. God still saw them as married to their previous spouses. John tried to warn them they were living in adultery.
14:13-21 Jesus loved John and wanted time alone to grieve over his passing. His compassion motivated Him to help people even when He was hurting. This desolate region provided an opportunity for Jesus to teach His followers how to accomplish much with so little. The loaves were about the size of a hamburger bun. This was just enough food for one man, yet Jesus fed thousands and after everyone had their fill there was more left than when they started.
14:22-33 This account is also in Mark 6 and John 6. John indicates that Jesus made His apostles leave without Him because they were intending to make Him king (John 6:15). Jesus needed some time in prayer. When He walked out to them on the water, John’s account says they were 25-30 stadia (3-3½ miles) from the shore. The sea was rough (Mk 6:48). Peter’s statement, “If it’s you” was not made with doubt in his heart. If he had doubts that it was Jesus, he would not have walked on water. He sank in the water because he took his eyes off of Jesus and was distracted by his physical surroundings. In the same way we sink down when we focus more on what we cannot do instead of what Jesus can do through us. From all indications, Peter walked on water back to the boat.
14:34-36 Gennesaret was on the NW bank of Galilee. As soon as they landed the crowds gathered and it started all over again.
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