The Authority Of The King
Text: Matthew 14:1-36
Focus: Matthew 14:15-33
What we will find as we continue to study in the Book of Matthew is that Jesus Christ will continue to prove His authority. We will see Him as He suspends the laws of nature for His use. We will see that all the laws of nature are obedient to the God of creation. We will see how Christ Jesus can and will always provide for those that follow Him. We will see that even Christ Jesus spent some time alone, in His prayer closet with the Father who is in Heaven.
We will find that after His rejection Jesus withdrew some from the crowds and spent some time alone. Christ dealt with three groups of people at this time.
1.) His enemies.
2.) His disciples.
3.) The many multitudes that followed after Him.
The multitudes wanted to make Jesus King.
His enemies wanted to kill Him.
His disciples continuously showed a lack of faith at times.
When we see and realize the truth of these scriptures, how can we not allow Jesus to rule in our lives?
Before we begin let’s take a look at this man called Herod.
The Herod family were enemies to Christ Jesus and to the Jews.
1.) We first saw Herod the Great.
He ruled from 37 BC to 4 BC the birth of Christ. This man was not a true Jew by birth. He was an Edomite. He was a descendant of Esau. If we look back to the prophesy of Isaac:
Gen 27:39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;
Gen 27:40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.
We can see it is this time, the time of Christ and the beginning of the Church that the descendants of Esau had dominion over the Jews and they broke the yoke of domination of the Jews. The descendants of Esau hated the Jew and we can see that the rule of the Herods was a terrible time for the Jew.
Herod was a heathen and he was also a monster. It was this Herod that ordered the murder of the infants in Bethlehem.
Mat 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.
This Herod had nine wives and he thought nothing of slaying his wives or his sons if they got in the way of his plans.
2.) We see in our chapter 14, Herod Antipas.
He was a son of Herod the Great. As “tetrarch” he was a ruler over just one fourth of his father’s kingdom. He ruled from 4 BC till 39 AD. He was a selfish ruler and was ambitious to become a great ruler. When he heard about Jesus and the things he did, this Herod thought that Christ Jesus could be a resurrected John the Baptist.
This Herod was guilty of gross sin. He had eloped with Herodias who was the wife of his half brother Philip I after having divorced his own wife who was the daughter of the King of Petra. Herodias was also a half sister of this Herod making this an incestuous relationship.
Mat 14:3 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife.
Mat 14:4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.
3.) There was also Herod Agrippa.
This the Herod who killed the Apostle James and imprisoned Peter:
Act 12:1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
Act 12:2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
Act 12:3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
4.) There was also Herod Agrippa II.
This was the Herod that tried the Apostle Paul.
Act 25:13 And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus.
Act 25:21 But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar.
Act 25:22 Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.
****In our chapter 14 we see that John the Baptist had preached the truth of the Bible. God’s rulers “even if they are unbelievers” are expected to live moral lives. The Bible proves that God did chastise the nation of Israel if the rulers did not follow God’s laws.
God expects all rulers to live moral lives even today and nations are still chastised for not following God’s laws.
The Moral laws are the “schoolmaster” of this world to all peoples.
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
There are no rulers that are not put in place except of God.
Joh 19:10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
Joh 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, [except it were given thee from above]: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
As Herod had murdered John the Baptist, he was also determined to kill Jesus:
Luk 13:31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.
Luk 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
If you study it out you will find that that word “fox” is feminine. Jesus was saying “Go tell that vixen” Which could have meant that He was saying to Herod that it was Herodias that was the true ruler of his throne.
What we see in history after this incident, is that Herod soon lost his prestige and power. His armies were defeated by the Arabs and The Roman Emperor Caligula ignored his request to be made king and he was soon banished from Israel and died in Spain.
This Herod is remembered as the man who killed the greatest prophet that ever lived:
Luk 7:28 [For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist]: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
We find that the Bible teaches that Christ was cautious after the murder of John and followed His own timetable to the cross, fulfilling all prophesy.
The Jewish nation had permitted the death of John the Baptist. The ruling government was immoral and “when the religious leaders should have stood with this, God’s prophet”, they stood with the world.
The nation of Israel stood with it’s religious leaders also becoming the enemy of God.
Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? [whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God].
They, by rejecting the witness of John the Baptist, rejected not only the Messiah but the One True King of the Jews.
Mat 14:15 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
Mat 14:16 But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
Mat 14:17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
Mat 14:18 He said, Bring them hither to me.
Mat 14:19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
Mat 14:20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
Mat 14:21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
We can see a turning point in the ministry of Christ Jesus at this point in His life on this earth. There had been a blaspheming of the Holy Spirit in chapter 12 and now we see the death of John the Baptist. Christ Jesus now turned from a public ministry to more of a teaching ministry, especially to His disciples. At this time in history there was only about a year before the cross.
Christ Jesus and His disciples were in need of rest. Mark writes:
Mar 6:30 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.
Mar 6:31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
Mar 6:32 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.
What we can see is that even though Jesus in His flesh was tired, He still could not separate Himself from the multitudes that followed but He had compassion on them. We can know that even though Christ has called out His Church:
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
He does still have compassion on those in the world.
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Christ Jesus would not teach a principle that He Himself would not follow!
To be “moved with compassion” means to be stirred in your inner being. It is having more than sympathy.
The Bible says:
Mat 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Mat 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
Mat 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
While Christ Jesus concerned Himself with the spiritual needs of the people.
1Pe 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
The disciples concerned themselves with their physical needs. They recognized that these people needed food but their solution was to end the revival that was going on and to send the people away to buy their own food.
Remember everything Christ did at this time was teaching these disciples for His time was growing short. Christ was not just concerned with the spiritual needs of these people but He also had their well being in mind.
Christ commanded the disciples to fulfill the needs of these people. The disciples quickly estimated the cost of such food (a working man’s wages for at least eight months) and they knew they did not have enough money.
Mar 6:37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?
There were more than 5000 and the disciples had no means to feed them. Remember if each person had a wife and one child there easily have been 15,000 people in this multitude. Certainly the disciples knew that Jesus had the power to fulfill this need but all they could think of was their own food supply. (the lad with the fives loaves and two fishes)
When they considered the time (evening) and the location (a desolate place) they came to the conclusion that nothing could be done for these multitudes of people. They had no answer for Christ Jesus!
It is sad in this world that when we go through this world having accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior that when we go through our trials and tribulations, we still have no answers.
IT IS THE WORD OF GOD THAT HAS ALL THE ANSWERS!
The Apostle John writes:
Joh 6:5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
Joh 6:6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.
*****We must first start with what we do have:
Joh 6:9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?
God begins where we are and uses what we have.
*****We must then obey the commands of Christ Jesus:
Joh 6:10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down.
The disciples here are now pictured as “distributors”.
If we give what we have to Jesus, He will bless it and give it back to us to use in the feeding of others.
*****We must conserve the results:
Joh 6:12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.
Joh 6:13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
As disciples of Jesus Christ we must admit that we have an inability to meet the needs of people. It is Christ Jesus that has that responsibility. We must make ourselves “available” to the Lord and He will use us!
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
He will never ask us to do things that are unreasonable.
*****The lesson the disciples were to learn was:
1.) The ministry of Christ is still “His” ministry.
2.) We as disciples are “His” agents in “His” ministry.
3.) We as disciples must give ourselves to the Lord to meet the needs of the people of “His” ministry.
4.) We as disciples must depend on the Lord when we make ourselves available to “Him” for “His” ministry.
Christ Jesus still has compassion on all people and He depends on the Church to provide spiritual food and when neccessary to provided physical food.
A hungry world is feeding on “empty substitutes” while the Church deprives them of the “Bread of Life”.
There is another principle we should not miss here. When we give what we have to Christ, we can never lose. We will always end up with the greater blessing!
Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Mat 14:22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
Mat 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
Mat 14:24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
Every word here has a special meaning in “typology”. Jesus commands the disciples to go on
board this ship. A change is about to take place by Jesus’ own arrangement and it is Jesus the Christ that will dismiss the multitudes. All of this indicates the setting aside of Israel, because of their rejection, though it will never be completely nor will it be final.
Jesus goes upon the mountain which in “type” represents His ascension back to the presence of His Father as intercessor and advocate.
The Apostle John writes of this incident:
Joh 6:14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.
Joh 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
Joh 6:16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea,
Joh 6:17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.
The Lord Jesus knew that their motives were not spiritual, but carnal. These people only wanted a King who could free them and provide all their needs. The Lord knew what He would do but He did not want the disciples to get caught up in this. Christ Jesus sent His disciples across the lake to Bethsaida and He remained behind to dismiss this crowd which would not be dispersed.
What we now see is a stormy night and the storm tossed disciples. In “type” this night gives us a picture of the time when Christ Jesus has returned to Heaven, this present Church age in which we are now in.
The return of Christ from that mountain in the fourth watch is in “type” a representation of the second coming of Christ and the beginning of a NEW age.
To describe this present age in which we now live we see these words:
“But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary”
It was by design that Christ Jesus compelled these disciples to take this boat across the sea. Jesus would now demonstrate His “Authority” over all His creation along with valuable instruction.
As these storms develop we see an uncertain fear among the disciples as these experienced fishermen are tossed about on the Sea of Life. They had not been able to make this journey across the Sea alone. This Sea had prevented them from fulfilling the commands of Christ. They did not give up even though they buffeted by the waters. They strained at the oars and Christ Jesus saw their peril:
Mar 6:48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, [and would have passed by them].
Mat 14:25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
Mat 14:26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
Mat 14:27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
Mat 14:28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
Mat 14:29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
Mat 14:30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
Mat 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
Mat 14:32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
Mat 14:33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
It is said by many that this ship represents the Church but really this period of time represents the age between the rejection of Christ and His second coming. Though the Christian lives in this storm tossed age the Christian nor the Church is in peril.
Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What we see is that this peril that impeded their movement was no obstacle to the One who created it all. These disciples that expected death thought they had seen a ghost or some one coming from the world of the dead but when they heard the “Voice of the Comforter” they new it was safe:
Mar 6:50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.
Peter then said then “Lord if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water”.
We will always get the same answer from Our Lord in the times of peril or at any other time:
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Jud 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
Suddenly the thing Peter had been so afraid of was gone. Peter could face his fear with confidence because of the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not know how far Peter walked but we do see that his fears over came him again and at that moment he began to sink and he said:
“Lord, save me”
and we find an immediate reaction from Christ Jesus:
” And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
This incident proves that obedience to Christ Jesus does not remove all the obstacles in the fulfillment of His will. There are things that we cannot overcome by our selves. Christ will always be available in our difficulties.
Our “trials must be born in faith”!
Our “faith” is our greatest weapon against the trials of this world!
God wants us to fulfill His will that He has for us and He will not allow us to fail if we will only “trust” Him!
Now if this ship does not represent the Church then what?
1.) In a general way it is a “type” of the Jewish people. The Lord being absent from them who are His own and for whom He came and they rejected Him.
The Bible says:
Mar 6:48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and [would have passed by them].
2.) The Sea represents the nations.
3.) The waves and the wind represent the persecutions and distress the nation of Israel is going through.
This is the portrayal of this age from the rejection of the King and Savior until His second coming.
Remember all prophesy of the Church has been fulfilled EXCEPT for the “Rapture”.
This ship with fluttering sails, broken mast, tossed from wave to wave, blown about, uncontrollable yet controlled, ever in danger and yet never in danger is in type the Jewish nation.
It is still upon this sea!
4.) These disciples then represent the saved Jewish remnant.
When the Lord Jesus Christ ascended back to Heaven He did not leave the Church behind for the Church had not been established at that time. When the Lord Jesus Christ returns to this Earth, He will not find the Church for the Church will have already been taken out!
He is coming back to receive the remnant of His own people.
As believers we should have no fear of the fourth watch of the night for when Christ comes for the Church we will all rejoice:
1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
OF A TRUTH THIS IS THE SON OF GOD
To the Church when Jesus says “come” then that word will accomplish it’s intended purpose:
Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
When He says “come”:
Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, [Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter].
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?