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 are all kinds of tensions in the Christian life. Tensions as in truths that seem to clash. In this message, the idea of being ‘free’ in Christ is contrasted with the need to ‘submit’ to Christ as Lord. How do freedom and submission fit together? Maybe Matthew 11:28-30 has the answer!
In this fifth and last of the parable recorded in Matthew 13, this one in Matthew 13:47-50, Jesus spoke of things that would have been familiar to those who lived on the shores of the Sea of Galilee – the everyday, ordinary practice of the people who made a living from fishing, and the associated sorting process that would follow… the not up-to-scratch fish thrown away and the best ones either sold or eaten. On this, Jesus taught that this was just a pointer toward the end of time, when people are sorted out into categories – some rejected, some not – and the only safe place to be to avoid such judgement.