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About Matthew 14:13 + 23

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v13 [COLOR=#663300] When Jesus heard of it, He departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed Him on foot out of the cities.[/COLOR]
v23 [COLOR=#663300]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.[/COLOR]

At first glance, we read about Jesus having 'time out' as we might put it, today, and it appears in order to pray.

But there a few things we might have overlooked
The idea in this thread, with no strings attached, is to look at the passage and discuss those bits and share what they mean to us.

Before continuing, note that between these two verses is the account in the Gospel of Matthew of the feeding of the 'about five thousand men beside women and children and the twelve baskets full of fragments taken up afterwards' This might have been something that 'happened' 'outside' of His reason for departing by ship into a desert place.

If we look at the context and especially if we can 'ignore' the verse numbers which can tend to break the flow up a bit at times, we see this:

from verse 1 of chapter 14 of Matthew
[COLOR=#000066]At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, and said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife. For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her. And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.

And his [/COLOR][COLOR=#404040][John's?][/COLOR][COLOR=#000066] disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard of it, He departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed Him on foot out of the cities.
And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick.

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. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.[/COLOR]

It was when Jesus heard about John's death that He [Jesus] "departed thence by ship into a desert place apart:"

It is not stated that Jesus went in a ship with anyone else, but we do read that His Disciples came to Him when it was evening.
then if we read on,

verses 17 to 27:
[COLOR=#000066]And they say unto Him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to Me. 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. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

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. 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.

But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.[/COLOR]

we see that "straightway' after the feeding of the multitude, Jesus 'made moves' if we can use that expression, to be alone, which appears to be the reason He was there in the first place.

Was this because of something related to when He heard about John's death and burial, from John's disciples?
If so, the surrounding incidences, including His walking on the sea unto His Disciples in the fourth watch of the night, can take on a slightly different 'meaning'. A compassion, perhaps, being Himself deeply moved about what happened to John? He had compassion on them and healed their sick, so again, the feeding part may not be the real point of the passage and account, or perhaps better put, is only A part of it and we might do well to consider the other parts?

So, did Jesus depart by ship on His own? Given it was immediately after hearing about John, we can see a picture of a man getting into a boat and sailing away to spend time alone perhaps in grief, perhaps in a realisation of the reality of the events that were unfolding that He Himself was to be the centre figure in, resulting in His own death, but perhaps more so, that the reality of everything He was, was unfolding. Or perhaps only a real sadness about John?

Also note, the Gospel tells us that "when the people had heard thereof, they followed Him on foot out of the cities" .Heard what? I shall let someone else put a few thoughts out, if you wish.
Note, also, that 'evening' was mentioned twice.

To me, the thought of Jesus being moved deeply for whatever reason, but possibly due to sadness about John, and eventually being alone and spending time in prayer, and the storm brewing meanwhile, and then walking to His Disciples, all flows together.
Also, the whole feeding the multitude I am reminded of when He said, except a grain of wheat (?) falls to the ground and dies (my paraphrase) it will not 'set seed' and bring forth much fruit (again, my crude paraphrase) which makes me think about John dying and the blessing of the multitude being blessed 'as a result', both in being fed but ALSO the healings that Jesus did for them. Was this a 'great shift' or catalyst in the whole 'ministry' of Jesus. Both the feeding and walking on the water being overly amazing miracles, immediately following Jesus 'reaction' to hearing about John and 'entering a depth' in His heart and life that up until then may not have been reached?
(suffering something deep can bring us to a place of change or growth or whatever-it-is one-might-call-it, where we are never the same in our outlook and ways, some for the better and some for the worse)

And again, Jesus heading out in boat on His own. Something we don't usually hear about.

Most of all I see Jesus deeply moved by hearing of what happened to John.

Welcome any thoughts on any of this and there may be even a few more things in the passage we can overlook as we don't usually 'hear' about it.


Bless you ....><>
 
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It is interesting that the Apostle Paul said.....

Rom 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

When Jesus heard that John the baptist was be headed in prison, he went about to "overcome evil with good" by healing all those that were sick. Luke, in the book of acts says that Jesus healed all those who were oppressed of the devil. (Acts 10:38)

Mat 14:13 When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.
Mat 14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

It is also very interesting that the same 5,000 people whom he fed caught back up to him after he went by boat to the other side. It would have been disheartening to feed 5,000 people and then that same group came back NOT to hear his words, or miracles which he performed, but they just wanted Jesus to feed them again!!

John 6:25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?
John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

It reminds me that there are a lot of people who go to Churches to get free food, and clothing, and they also do not care to hear the Word of God, they only you to feed, and cloth them for life!! I am not saying all people are like this, but most of them are.
 
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It reminds me that there are a lot of people who go to Churches to get free food, and clothing, and they also do not care to hear the Word of God, they only you to feed, and cloth them for life!! I am not saying all people are like this, but most of them are.
I have to agree. Jesus knew what was in their hearts, or should I say stomachs and why they sought him.....all the years and still, nothing knew...people don't change much....they still want idols and other things over Jesus! What rings true then is what does today, in the end, all that matters is the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. God determines who of the dead before us have Jesus in them and no one else and like-wise who now dies as a believer and who a non-believer...to that end, that is all that matters!
 

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