It’s just after 4AM and I’m soon to head out the door to work. This morning however it’s, as it always should be, first things first.
The Death of John the Baptist
14 When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee,[a] 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.
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!
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[b] 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![c]”
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[d] 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.
John’s death impacted Jesus. What a visible reminder of how Jesus understands the loss of a loved one. How even Jesus understands the desire to retreat, to flee from everyone and be alone with His Father GOD. However, just like in real life, cause Jesus’ life was real after all, the people follow, and Jesus, even in death, can’t get away from The Living!
The people Jesus is about to die for *sinners-you-me-everyone* have just killed His loved one. Have just sent His human heart into heavy laden and here is a prime example for us of how to respond. Not only does He still keep going about the business His Father has for Him to do, His mission, He attends to the needs of the people. To top that off, the need, it’s hunger. It’s not hungering and thirsting for more of Him, well, sort of it is, they followed Him to hear Him, but this is the man hunger to eat. Jesus feeds them in two ways, just as we should. He brings sustenance for the body and the soul. He is still willing to lay down His life to this day for sinners such as you and I. He is still at the ready to feed us so that just like His mission from GOD which needed to be accomplished, so it is that we too can fulfill our purpose regarding His plans for our lives.
The Living Walking
All throughout our lives it takes courage to face all things we face. Courage isn’t enough though. We need to keep the faith that whatever it is we are facing we remind ourselves each and every time we are alive and well and Jesus is living for us still. He’s in our corner. He’s reaching out His hand on those sinking sand days, the days we are drowning in doubt, debt, what have you, and He says “Come!”
So today, or tomorrow, or the next day when you begin to wander in the world of weariness, remember this passage and how Jesus responded to those who were standing before Him hungering to hear His message, all the while knowing that in just a short time they were going to be some of the same people to give Him a different shout out, “Crucify Him!”. Yet His example is one of bringing to the table for them, while He still could physically do so, even to those who’d seen Him do so much, witnessed each wonder He performed before their eyes, His Hands of Hope, so they could continue to be people who had a choice to choose faith, hope and yes, Love for Him.
Until all have heard and know, His Love,