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Lesson 21
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Lesson 21

I.       Observation

A.     Outline

Feeding the Multitudes (14:13-21)

Walking on Water (14:22-32)

Healing in Gennesaret (14:34-36)

B.     Key Words/Phrases

By Himself, moved with compassion, looked up to heaven, faith, Son of God.

II.    Segment Analysis

1. e know that Herod later on intended to kill Jesus (Lk 13:31). So it is quite possible that Jesus wanted to avoid Herod, having heard what Herod thought of Him (see Mt 14:1,2).

2a. hese crowds followed Jesus on foot from the cities into this deserted place (13). Jesus was moved by the large number of people who were in great spiritual need and seeking healing (Mk 6:34).

2b. ll that the Lord did for the multitudes, be it healing or preaching, came from a heart of compassion for the people, not an egotistic display of power or wisdom.

3. He probably wanted the disciples to realize their responsibility of ministering to the people (9:36-10:1). But feeding the great multitude was an impossible task. So the Lord might have also wanted to train them to turn to the Lord as their source of power when ministering to the people.

4a. Our Lord Jesus, who is full of compassion for us, is able to supply us with what we need even though our resources are limited. He will also enable us to provide for the needs of others (2Cor 9:10,11; Php 4:19).

5. “The actions—looking up to heaven, thanking God, and breaking the loaves—are normal for any head of a Jewish household” 6/342. Here the Lord acted as the head of the household distributing food to his family. His action is also an acknowledgment of and an expression of thanks to the heavenly Father for His provisions.

6a. Jesus’ miracle was so great that the people wanted to make Him king by force (Jn 6:14,15). Such uproar would hinder His ministry and possibly get attention from the authorities. He wanted to be alone and pray (Mt 14:13,23; Mk 6:31). The disciples, who had set their hearts on being the greatest (Mk 9:34), may have lingered behind since their popularity at this point afforded an opportunity to become great.

6b. When we have accomplished something for God, we should withdraw from the crowd. Move on to the next task and do not linger in the past accomplishment.

7. The Bible does not mention the exact purpose of Jesus’ prayer. But in the midst of rising opposition as well as popularity, and in view of the work He had yet to do, Jesus withdrew Himself and prayed alone. He did so probably to stay in touch with God, be focused on His mission, and receive strength from above (cf. Lk 22:43).

The gospels on occasion record that the Lord would pray alone in a quiet place (Lk 6:12; 5:16, 9:18; Mt 26:36). It is not surprising because He Himself taught us to pray in our inner room rather than in public (Mt 6:5,6). By praying alone, He could seek the Father’s will and receive power to carry out His work.

8. We can see the struggle and panic of the disciples, including Peter’s (24, 26, 30), in contrast to the Lord’s calmness and power (25, 27, 32).

9. His ability to walk on water in the midst of great waves demonstrated His authority over nature. He calmed the fears of the disciples (27). He commanded Peter, “come.” He had power over the wind (32).

10a. Peter often acted as the spokesman for the disciples and was quick to speak and act (e.g. Mt 16:16; 26:33; Mk 11:21; Jn 13:8,9; 18:10). In this story, his urge to go to Jesus was probably prompted by a sudden courage when he saw that it was the Lord and that the master was able to walk on water.

10b. When he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid (30). When we look away from the power of God’s promise and look instead at the overwhelming circumstances, we also lose courage and sink into despair. Faith means not doubting but trusting that the Lord will take care of us as He has promised.

11.   1. He does not linger to savor His past accomplishments but moves on.

    2. He is quick to encourage us and put our hearts to rest when we are afraid, and He does so gently.

    3. He is quick to deliver us when we cry out to Him in our trouble (Ps 34:17,18).

12. This is the climax of the story. The Lord Jesus demonstrated that He was the Lord of heaven and earth and the Messiah. So the disciples came to Him, worshiped Him, and confessed His lordship. This should also be our response when we experience the work of Christ in our lives.

13a. He reached out to all people by travelling from one place to another. He was accessible to the multitudes. He was the Great Physician.

13b. It is our duty to bring all the people around us to Christ so that they may be saved. The people of Gennesaret also showed their humble faith by asking to only touch the hem of the Lord’s garment. They were all made well because of their faith. We need to have the faith that if it is His will, God can help us even through the simplest means (cf. 8:8).

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