It’s somewhat of an oddity that Matthew records the feeding of the 4,000 in Matthew 15.29-39 so soon after the feeding of the 5,000 in Matthew 14:13-21. But the two incidents are not the same. Matthew wasn’t confused and wrote down the same incident twice. Each of the ‘feeding miracles’ have their own contexts and particulars, so they were certainly different in his mind and in the mind of Jesus! Even so, it sowrth noting that the two miracles – though essentially the same – have their own purpose in Jesus’ ministry.
• Didn’t we just cover this text?? • This miracle follows the Canaanite woman’s faith • Where this miracle takes place…Gentile territory • See in this text how we are told about …
The wideness of His compassion (v.29-31)
The sureness of His actions (v.32-36)
The satisfaction in His provision (v.37-39)
The physical needs are most felt… The spiritual needs are more urgent!
It’s interesting to note how matthew has recorded the meeting between Jesus and the woman from Canaan directly after his comments relating to who is ‘clean or unclean’ and who is ‘defiled or undefiled’…because this woman was most certianly ‘unclean’ as well as ‘defiled’ in the eyes of the Pharisees and even in the eyes of the disciples who just wanted to shoo her away. But not Jesus. Even though it appeared that he wasn’t listening to her, he was, and he gave her what she asked for…and more!
• Jesus in an unusual place meeting an unusual person • A turning point in Matthew’s gospel • This woman – a real ‘outsider’ • See how we are told about their conversation …
A discouraging beginning (v.21-24)
A challenging middle (v.25-26)
A satisfying end (v.27-28)
Saving faith in surprising places… Outsiders are more than welcome…!
As soon as Jesus was back in the midst of the Jewish people, the Scribes and Pharisees questioned him about his lack of enforcement of the traditions around hand washing. Rather than explain himself directly, Jesus in turn, responded with questions as to why the Pharisees and Scribes failed to comply with God’s commandments about honouring their parents, so that they might escape the full force of their responsibilities. He also went on to explain that external hand washing (as well as any kind of food) does nothing to deal with the problem of our sinful hearts, reminding them that only a complete transformation from within, from the heart, is what God ultimately requires.
• From miracles and action to debate • Hand washing? • Was Jesus a traditionalist just for the sake of it? • See how the text tells us about traditions, and …
The confrontation that began (v.1-2)
The critique that followed (v.3-9)
The clarification that resulted (v.10-20)
Traditions and us! Caring more about the externals than the internals…
After Jesus fed the 5,000 with bread and fish, he proceeded to perform another miracle. This one, however was not on land, but at sea, and it was not in the day, but in the dark, and it was not done before the eyes of the crowds, but for his disciples alone. After sending away the crowds, Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, after also sending away his disciples in a boat to cross the lake. In the middle of the night, when the disciples had found the crossing hard going, Jesus came to them and gave them assurance of his person and power. Disciples who feel as though that they have been abandoned by Jesus, need to think through who it was that Jesus was praying for up there on the mountain, and that there is no barrier to his coming to his disciples in their hour of need.
• ‘Born to be at sea’… • Following on from the feeding of the 5,000 • A miracle on land, now one on water! • See how the text tells us about …
The priority Jesus gave to prayer (v.22-24)
The encouragement Jesus gave to disciples (v.25-33)
After Jesus received the news of John’s death, he withdrew from public appearances to go away to a lonely place with disciples for some rest and prayer. However, according to Matthew 14:13-21, the crowds twigged where he would be and soon were there too. Jesus, however, as a true Shepherd of the sheep, put their needs before his own and had compassion upon them, even providing them with a free meal. All this happened far away from the eyes of the religious leaders and rulers, but not was not hidden from the eyes of his watching disciples who were taught a number of lessons.
• A text we know well… • From John back to Jesus… • Just one year left for Jesus to live! • See how the text tells us about …
How Jesus demonstrated His compassion (v.13-15)
How Jesus instructed His disciples (v.16-20)
How Jesus showed His sufficiency (v.19-21)
His ability. Our problem. ‘You give them something to eat!’
After Jesus was rejected by the people of Nazareth, the text of Matthew 14:1-12 shifts to focus our attention on what was happening in the mind and heart of King Herod. Having heard about the miracles and ministry of Jesus, Herod, prompted by his guilty conscience, wrongly assumed that Jesus was John the Baptist ‘raised from the dead’. To fill in why Herod thought this, Matthew then explains for his readers how it was that John’s life ended in martyrdom – ultimately because of a partying King who made an dangerously open-ended promise to a dancing girl.
• A sad text! • From Jesus to John… • Which King Herod is this? • See how the text tells us about …
The awful danger of rejecting conscience (v.1-5)
The strange reward for faithful service (v.6-14)
Herod’s conscience and yours The cross – the cure for all sin and guilt!
There’s no doubt that Jesus was a popular among the people of Israel for a time. But not so among the people of Nazareth, his hometown. We read in Matthew 13:53-58 that they rejected His word and even rejected Him. It was by no means a ‘happy homecoming’ for Jesus. And so the question is ‘why?’. Why did the people of Nazareth turn their backs on Jesus and reject Him and His message? Hardness of heart has a lot to do with it – something that we must always pray that God would keep us from.
• Our new series • Resistance becoming hostility • Jesus’ experience in his home town • See how the text tells us about …
The hardness of their hearts (v.53-54)
The danger of their assumptions (v.55-57)
The poison of their unbelief (v.58)
Good and bad news from the prophet Isaiah! The challenge to those who do and don’t believe!
There’s no debating the fact that the final part of the reign of King Solomon, as recorded in 1 Kings 11:9-43, is something that he would not have been proud of. With the seeds of lust, power and greed sown deeply in his heart, there’s little surprise that these seeds bore fruit. But what is surprising is the speed with which it all ended, pretty much like a snowball rolling downhill gathering speed and momentum. And what of Solomon himself? No-one can say for sure if we’ll see him in glory, but we will see his greater Son, Jesus!
• Things going downhill…fast! • The ‘snowball effect’ • Solomon’s sins hit the nation hard • Note from the text how it tells us of…
The just anger of God (v.9-13)
The chastening hand of God (v.14-38)
The amazing faithfulness of God (v.39)
The final demise of the King (v.40-43)
Lessons we learn through Solomon… Jesus the better, unfailing King!
Much of what we read in 1 Kings 1-11 concerns the heights to which Solomon’s reign reached. The visit of the Queen of Sheba was one of the highlights along the way, but cracks have been appearing, and in today’s text of 1 Kings 11:1-8, those cracks just get wider and wider. The text tells us of Solomon’s 700 wives and 300 concubines, but more than that, it goes to a deeper level and points out a more serious problem – his heart. What led him to marry all these foreign women and worship their gods and abandon the Lord? His heart. His heart was the problem – and with us, the story is no different.
• Solomon in all his glory, at the top of the mountain • ‘King Solomon however…’ • How was it that his wisdom failed him?’ • Note from the text how it tells us of how he fell for…
The trap of unholy alliances (v.1-3)
The trap of a deceitful heart (v.4-8)
Say ‘no’ to ‘fooling around’ with sin! Say ‘yes’ to an ‘undivided heart’…
The text of 1 Kings 10:14-29 records the growth in King Solomon’s wealth and his armory. The world had never seen a King like him before – so wealthy, so wise, so much glory! But while all these things could be seen as the fulfilment of God’s promises to Solomon, they could also be viewed as things can could (and did) become a snare and a trap for Solomon. For very good reasons, Paul reminds us that the ‘love of money is the root of all evil’ (1 Timothy 6:10) and this was so true in Solomon’s case where even good things (God’s gifts to him) became that which his heart became enamored with – and so began his downfall.
• Solomon in all his glory, at the top of the mountain • One way from here …down • ‘The best of men are men at best’ • Note from the text how it tells us of …
The King’s worldly wealth (v.14-25)
The King’s military might (v.26-29)
What Jesus said about storing up treasures The trap that the King cannot see!