Herod offers his opinion of Jesus, and puts John the Baptist to death. Jesus feeds more than 5,000 people, walks on water, and heals sick people in Gennesaret.
Herod the tetrarch. That is, Herod Antipas. He was a son of Herod the Great.
the tetrarch. The rank of tetrarch was considerably below that of a king.
VERSE 2. and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptizer. He is risen from the dead. That is why these powers work in him.”
VERSE 3. For Herod had laid hold of John, and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife.
Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. She had three husbands:
- Her first husband was Herod (Booths)
- Her second husband was Herod II, who was her half-uncle
- This verse mentions her third husband, Herod Antipas
VERSE 4. For John said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”
VERSE 5. When he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
he feared the multitude. Herod feared that John’s popularity might lead to a rebellion.
VERSE 6. But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced among them and pleased Herod.
VERSE 7. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatever she should ask.
VERSE 8. She, being prompted by her mother, said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptizer.”
VERSE 9. The king was grieved, but for the sake of his oaths, and of those who sat at the table with him, he commanded it to be given,
VERSE 10. and he sent and beheaded John in the prison.
VERSE 11. His head was brought on a platter, and given to the young lady: and she brought it to her mother.
VERSE 12. His disciples came, and took the body, and buried it; and they went and told Jesus.
VERSE 13. Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat, to a deserted place apart. When the multitudes heard it, they followed him on foot from the cities.
he withdrew. Jesus increasingly withdraws from crowds.
they followed him on foot. In being a public figure, there is very little solitude.
VERSE 14. Jesus went out, and he saw a great multitude. He had compassion on them, and healed their sick.
compassion. The Lord Jesus Christ is the embodiment of compassion.
VERSE 15. When evening had come, his disciples came to him, saying, “This place is deserted, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves food.”
You give them something to eat. Being God, Jesus could easily have met their needs by himself. Yet he chose to ask his disciples to be involved.
Jesus wants to share the joy of ministry with us.
VERSE 17. They told him, “We only have here five loaves and two fish.”
VERSE 18. He said, “Bring them here to me.”
VERSE 19. He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass; and he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes.
blessed, broke and gave the loaves. In those days, these actions were common to meals.
VERSE 20. They all ate, and were filled. They took up twelve baskets full of that which remained left over from the broken pieces.
twelve baskets. These symbolize the twelve tribes.
VERSE 21. Those who ate were about five thousand men, in addition to women and children.
VERSE 22. Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat, and to go ahead of him to the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
VERSE 23. After he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into the mountain by himself to pray. When evening had come, he was there alone.
VERSE 24. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, distressed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
the fourth watch of the night. That is, from from 3 am to 6 am.
VERSE 26. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It’s a ghost!” and they cried out for fear.
they were troubled. They saw Jesus walking on water, and they were terrified. They got a tiny glimpse of Divine power, and right away they were terrified.
We believe it is of God’s love and mercy that most of his presence and activity is concealed from our perception. Otherwise, we would be terrified all the time.
Don’t be afraid. Once again, we read in the Bible those oft-repeated words: “Do not be afraid.” We need to hear this over and over again.
VERSE 28. Peter answered him and said, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the waters.”
Peter answered. Peter speaks up first. Of the twelve, he has the most domineering personality.
VERSE 30. But when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
beginning to sink. Many people are quick to point out that Peter failed. We would far prefer to point out that, of all the disciples present, only Peter stepped out in faith.
And for a brief time, Peter actually walked on water!!!
VERSE 31. Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand, took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
VERSE 32. When they got up into the boat, the wind ceased.
VERSE 33. Those who were in the boat came and worshiped him, saying, “You are truly the Son of God!”
worshiped him. If Jesus did not see himself as divine, he would have stopped them from doing this. But he permitted it.
VERSE 34. When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret.
VERSE 35. When the people of that place recognized him, they sent into all that surrounding region, and brought to him all who were sick;
VERSE 36. and they begged him that they might just touch the fringe‡ of his garment. As many as touched it were made whole.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.