Summary: exposition on Matt ch 14
THE DEATH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
Matthew 14 v. 1 - 21 in this portion we have :-
1. Herod’s reaction to John’s death v. 2 "this is John the baptist"
(a) The opportunities he had received. Herod had heard God’s word by John on many occasions, he heard and respected it, "he did many things", but he heard and rejected it
(b) The opportunities he rejected v. 9 " and the king was sorry, nevertheless he commanded it to be given her" Note:-
(1) The course of his rejection was gradual, he had kept John bound for one to one and a half years.
(2) The cause of his rejection was fear, he feared for his throne, his reputation, his peers, his wife - Herodias - (his half brother Philip’s wife) who was also his neice
(3) The callousness of his rejection v. 10 "he sent, and beheaded John", no defence was offered or allowed by John
(4) The consequences of his rejection, Herod was left to his own devices, Herodias influence, and his own ruin, later "Jesus answered him nothing"
(c) The opportunities he had remembered v. 2 "this is John", how Herod’s memory was stirred and how his conscience was awakened. as in Luke 16
(d) The opportunities he had regretted missing Luke 16 "now he is comforted, but thou art tormented" surely it was similar for Herod.
2. John’s disciples reaction to John’s death v. 12 "his disciples came"
(a) Their reaction was bold, brave, and blessed "they came."
(b) Their respect - "took up the body and buried it."
(c) Their report - " they went and told Jesus"
3.The Lord’s reaction to John’s death v. 13 "He departed into a desert place"
(a) Out of necessity - to rest (human)
(b) Out of responsibility to God’s work, not to expose himself needlessly to danger "thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God"
(c) Out of affinity i.e. to meet with his Father "Lord teach us to pray" - the disciples saw him pray
4. The Multitudes reaction to John’s death v. 13 "when people heard, they followed on foot out of the cities."
The multitudes provoked pity from the Lord v. 14 - "He was moved with compassion"
The multitudes provoked power from the Lord v.14 "He healed their sick"
The multitudes provoked problems for the Lord v.15 feeding them
The multitudes provoked provision from the Lord v.16 "they need not depart," they need not perish, nor starve, nor die. Here was something powerful, something personnal " give ye,"and something practical "to eat." Note :-
(a) v. 17 The size of their gift i.e. 5 loaves,and 2 fish "what are these among so many"
(b) v. 18 The sacrifice of their gift i.e. "bring them hither to me"
(c) v. 19 The service of their gift i.e.it was given to the multitude
(d) v. 20 The sufficency of their gift i.e. they did all eat and were satisfied with12 baskets over.