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21: Feeding the Multitudes and Walking on Water (Mt 14:13-36)
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21: Feeding the Multitudes and Walking on Water (Mt 14:13-36)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

Despite the rejection of His own people and potential danger from Herod, the Lord Jesus continued in His ministry. In this lesson, we will study two of His well-known miracles and learn with the disciples the importance of faith. We will also observe the actions of Christ and learn from His heart of compassion.

B.     Key Verse

            “And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’” (14:31).

C.     Did You Know…?

1.       Bread and fish (14:17) were staples in Galilee, especially for the poor. John 6:9,13 specifies barley loaves—the cheaper, coarser bread. 6/341

2.       Fourth watch (14:25): The ancient Hebrew world divided the night from sunset to sunrise into three watches (Judg 7:19; Lam 2:19), but the Romans used four. Jesus’ approach to the boat therefore occurred between 3.00 a.m. and 6.00 a.m. 6/344

3.       Gennesaret (14:34): Either the narrow plain, about four miles long and less than two miles wide, on the west side of the Sea of Galilee near the north end (north of Magdala), or a town in the plain. The plain was considered a garden spot of Palestine, fertile and well watered. 8/1461

II.    Observation

A.     Outline




B.     Key Words/Phrases

III. Segment Analysis

A.     14:13-21

1. Why do you think Jesus withdrew to a deserted place by Himself?

2a. What was it about the multitude that moved Jesus’ heart of compassion?

2b. Why is the mention of Jesus’ compassion important in beginning the story of feeding the multitudes?

3. Why do you think Jesus asked the disciples to feed the multitude (16)?

4a. What lesson can we learn from this miracle?

4b. Think of an incident where God has also met your needs with very limited resource. What did you learn from the experience?

5. Why is the gesture of looking up to heaven significant in the story?

B.     14:22-33

6a. “Made” in 22 is a very strong verb, which might be translated “compelled.” Why did the Lord “make” the disciples get into the boat “immediately”?

6b. What lesson can we learn from this action?

7. What might be the significance of recording Jesus’ prayer by Himself? Why was it important for Jesus to pray alone?

8. Observe and contrast the disciples and Jesus.

9. What details in this story indicate the authority of Jesus?

10a. Why do you think Peter wanted to go to the Lord? What does this tell us about his personality?

10b. Why did Peter begin to sink? What does this teach us?

11. What can we learn about Jesus in the three verses that mention “immediately” (22,27,31)?

12. What is the significance of the disciples’ worship (33)?

C.     14:34-36

13a. What can we learn about Jesus in this story?

13b. What do the people of Gennesaret teach us about seeking God’s help?

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