We have come to Matthew 14. the first portion is about how a faithful servant of God, John, was killed by an evil king. However, John had already completed what he was born to do, just as Isaiah prophesied, be the voice in the wilderness, preparing the way of the Lord -Jesus the Messiah.
Today we look at the second portion. This watchman will only quote some verses here, leaving the readers to read the whole chapter in their own Bible. What is Jesus doing and saying to the disciples? What is His point? Why does He demonstrate His supernatural power?
Case One verses 13-21: He fed five thousand men plus women and children using ‘ridiculously’ minimum food resources -five loaves and two fish.
Case Two verses 22-33: He walked on the lake water around 3 am in the morning, whilst the disciples were battling with strong wind and heavy waves going on in the lake. By agreeing that Peter could come to Him, He enabled Peter walk on water too. When He entered the boat the wind stopped.
What was His point? The clues are in His words:
15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16 But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.”
In this case, Jesus said, “You feed them” and it was unnecessary to go and buy food. It could only mean one thing, the disciples could feed them through doing exactly what Jesus later did, multiplying the physical food by drawing on His powerful presence and the power and authority of His spoken word, “You feed them”. After all He is the Creator. He spoke and brought forth the existence of this world.
In the second case, Jesus also showed us the same clue:
26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
Jesus’ presence is more than enough. The natural elements obeyed Him as He is the Creator.
Jesus told them He is here. Therefore there is no need to fear the natural elements. Instead, they could also overcome the elements by faith and even walk on water just as Peter initially did when he saw Jesus and listened to what Jesus said. Why did the disciples fail, as exemplified by Peter who started to sink when he saw the strong wind and the waves and was terrified ?
31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
The disciples failed to see what Jesus has actually empowered them by His presence because of unbelief and doubt of Jesus.
Today, Jesus lives in us. He is our real life. His Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Him from the dead, lives in us, and Jesus has given us His name by which we can command just as He did, the natural elements, the spiritual beings, material and what can be seen, as well as the unseen.
What are the practical uses of such powerful resources? Plenty. You can save many from perishing physically before they are saved for eternal life with God. *
What do you need? Faith in Jesus. No doubting. Know His words and use His words with the authority He has given in His name. Minister in the power of the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Christ). Keep believing and practicing.
*Note: Read the recent sad news of heavily indebted farmers committing suicides after the recent hail storm had destroyed their entire winter crops.
God does provide Goshen land from which plagues can be diverted. This is what prayers can do. Plagues, hail storm, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fire, earthquakes, blizzards, wars, famines, swords, and even disastrous accidents or deliberate man made catastrophes will happen just as they have been happening with increasing intensities. How can the disciples differentiate themselves in this hour? This is the question each of us must ask and seek answer from the Lord and obey.