Could you use a miracle today? Today’s chapter starts with a rather gruesome account of how John the Baptist died. However, following that, Jesus even after grieving His cousin’s death, He shows that He can provide, walk on water and save you. God is the God of Miracles. He is willing and able to reveal Himself to you through miracles. Sometimes, you may not notice them, but miracles are around you all the time. For instance, looking back at my life, it’s a miracle that I survived college! You can read the story here. I wasn’t even seeking God back then. Nevertheless, He had a plan for me. What could His plan be for You? Let’s dig in….
When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, heard about Jesus, 2 he said to his advisers, “This must be John the Baptist raised from the dead! That is why he can do such miracles.”
3 For Herod had arrested and imprisoned John as a favor to his wife Herodias (the former wife of Herod’s brother Philip). 4 John had been telling Herod, “It is against God’s law for you to marry her.” 5 Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of a riot, because all the people believed John was a prophet.
6 But at a birthday party for Herod, Herodias’s daughter performed a dance that greatly pleased him, 7 so he promised with a vow to give her anything she wanted. 8 At her mother’s urging, the girl said, “I want the head of John the Baptist on a tray!” 9 Then the king regretted what he had said; but because of the vow he had made in front of his guests, he issued the necessary orders. 10 So John was beheaded in the prison, 11 and his head was brought on a tray and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. 12 Later, John’s disciples came for his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus what had happened.
Now, you might be thinking — why couldn’t Jesus prevent John the Baptist’s death? Or at least raise him from the dead, like He did Lazarus and others? We don’t know that. God’s plan for each person is different. For instance, a few years ago, a young man from my church died in a motorcycle accident. He was a pre-med student in college. He had a bright life and career ahead of him. Because of his death, because he was a believer, at his memorial service, his father, step mom and step sisters all became believers.
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
13 As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns. 14 Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
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.”
17 “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.
18 “Bring them here,” he said. 19 Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. 20 They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. 21 About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children!
God provides. Jesus told us this in Matthew 6.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.Matthew 6:33-34 NLT
Jesus Walks on Water
22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 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!”
28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
34 After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed. 36 They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.Matthew 14 NLT
Why Did Peter Start to Sink?
He got distracted by the wind and the waves — by the storm. He took his eyes off Jesus. He doubted. He lost his faith.
That easily happens to us. We get distracted by the storms of life and we take our focus off Jesus. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6? It’s worth repeating. It’s worth learning this verse by heart.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Matthew 6:33 NLT
If we seek HIM first, He will provide and see to our needs. That’s needs not wants!
How Do You Seek His Kingdom?
- Become a believer. Invite Him into your heart.
- Dump the world’s garbage from your mind and replace it with the Word of God.
- Read the Bible every day. Study it. Get the free Bible apps: Through The Word and YouVersion. They make it easy to get into the habit of studying it every day.
- Join a Bible-believing church and get involved. Join a Bible study group. See where you can serve.
- Keep your focus on Jesus. Don’t let the distractions of the world send you on the wrong path.
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…