Summary: Jesus teaches us that with Him anything and everything is possible.
A Messiah Who Helps Us See the Possibilities
Text: Matt. 14:13-21
1. Illustration: I recently came across a quote that I found amazing. While I am not sure who said it, I am sure that what this persons said is true: "If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints; possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating, as possibility."
2. We have a Messiah who teaches us a lot about possibility. He teaches us about the possibility of:
b. The Obvious
c. The Miraculous
3. Read Matt. 14:13-21
Proposition: Jesus teaches us that with Him anything and everything is possible.
Transition: Jesus teaches us about...
I. The Possibility of Compassion (13-14).
A. He Had Compassion On Them
1. Jesus teaches us that sometimes we need to put our own problems aside and see that there are others worse off than ourselves.
2. Our text begins with Matthew telling us, "As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone..."
a. Jesus now travels to area east of the Sea of Galilee, which was sparsely populated in comparison to the western side where it was hard to get any privacy.
b. After John was murdered, Jesus withdrew from public view in order to have some teaching time alone with his disciples.
c. Some people falsely claim that Jesus was running from Herod, but Jesus never ran from a fight and is here taking time to prepare his disciples for what would come later (Horton, 301).
d. What we need to keep in mind here is that Jesus wanted two things here. He wanted to be left alone to mourn the death of a friend and to teach his disciples.
e. Unfortunately, that is not what he gets.
3. What Matthew tells us next is proof of the old saying that word travels quickly. Matthew says, "But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns."
a. They followed him "on foot" around the top of the lake, presumably crossing the upper Jordan at a ford two miles north of where the river enters Galilee.
b. They saw where Jesus was going and set out after him; but arriving first, they were already there when he landed with his tired disciples (Carson, Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary (2 volumes), Pradis CD-ROM).
c. All he wanted to do was to be alone, but because of who he was and what he could do people followed him wherever he went.
4. However, look how Jesus responds when he sees them. Matthew says, "Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick."
a. Unfortunately, Jesus plan is interrupted by the crowds that flocked to him, even in remote places.
b. Now I don't know about you, but when my plans get interupted I get a little bit snippy!
c. But Jesus didn't look at his own needs he saw the needs of others.
d. Even though He was exhausted and in great need of rest, He was drawn to them because He felt compassion for them.
e. To have compassion" means literally to be moved in one's bowels, where the people in Jesus day considered the emotions and feelings to reside.
f. The Son of God was not remote or coldly calculating and analytical concerning men's needs but was deeply moved by the suffering, confusion, despair, and spiritual lostness of those around Him (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew 8-15).
g. What matters the most is that Jesus put his plans on hold in order to minister to the needs of the people. "His heart went out to them" (France, NICNT: Matthew, 561).
B. Hearts of Compassion
1. Illustration: "Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too" (Frederick Buechner, "Wishful Thinking.")
2. Jesus shows us the possibility of compassion because we all need some compassion.
a. Matthew 9:36 (NLT)
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
b. We are all in the same boat.
c. We are all lost and hopeless without Jesus.
d. We need to remember what we were without Jesus!
3. Jesus shows us the possibility of compassion because he understands our needs.
a. Hebrews 4:15 (NLT)
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.