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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John 9:8, 9 His neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit begging?” Some said, “He’s the one.” Others were saying, “No, but he looks like him.” He kept saying, “I’m the one.” (CSB)
Luke 6:43-45 “A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs aren’t gathered from thornbushes, or grapes picked from a bramble bush. A good person produces good out of the good stored up in his heart. An evil person produces evil out of the evil stored up in his heart, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” (CSB)
John 8:31, 32 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (CSB)