Daily D – Matthew 14:19-20
Then he commanded the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish, looking up to heaven, he blessed them. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. Everyone ate and was satisfied. They picked up twelve baskets full of leftover pieces.
MATTHEW 14:19-20 (CSB)
This chapter ends much differently than it begins. The first dozen verses are about the beheading of John Baptizer. Matthew inserts the story here between the Kingdom emphasis in chapter 13 and several miracles including the feeding of the five thousand, walking on water, and many healings.
Herod heard what Jesus was doing and saying and realized there was a commonality with what John Baptizer said and did. Herod was even more dramatic than that. He said, “This is John the Baptist, . . . He has been raised from the dead, and that’s why miraculous powers are at work in him,” (verse 2).
That makes it sound like he thought Jesus was possessed by John or something. Crazy people have crazy thoughts.
Notice what Jesus did when he heard about John. “(H)e withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone,” (verse 13). Notice what the crowds of people did. “(T)hey followed him on foot from the towns.”
As he was getting out of the boat (verse 14), “he saw a large crowd, had compassion on them, and healed their sick.” After everyone was well, he fed them. This miracle is found in all four Gospel accounts. The disciples each picked up more leftovers than the five loaves and two fish Jesus started with.
Some people have a hard time believing this event. I am not sure why. When God created the heavens and the earth, he created it good. He filled it with all we need for life, living, meaningful work, and pure delight. He who spoke things into existence from the beauty of his glorious mind has no problem multiplying bread and fish.
Get the full picture of Matthew 13 and 14. The King has come. His kingdom is expanding. Kingdom rules apply. Nothing is impossible with God. The sick are healed. Waterways become pathways. Where God guides, God provides. Death is no longer an enemy to oppose, but a gift into the perfection this life makes us long for.
Jesus gives us glimpses of heaven in these two chapters. One day he will answer the prayer he taught us to pray: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” (Matthew 6:10). We will never lack our daily bread. All of our sins and life complications will be forgiven and untangled. We will spend forever in the paradise of God.
Until then, every bite of food will remind us that God knows all about our problems and has the perfect solution for each. Most of those solutions come on this side of the curtain of time. Some await our arrival in our heavenly home. All of them are evidence of Kingdom grace, mercy, kindness, and love.
I will delight in God’s good gifts now and forever.
Our Father, this is your world, your gift of love to us. You created a kindergarten for us to learn about you, to experience you, and to discover there are some things only heaven can provide. Empower us to live lives of maximum expression while we are here on this earth. Prepare us for the exponential improvement awaiting us beyond the curtain of time. Thank you for loving us so much and so well. Amen.
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Genesis 26:26-31 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Genesis 22:13, 14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
Genesis 21:1-3 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.