BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 15, Day 4: Matthew 14:22-36; Mark 6:45-56

Summary of passages:  Matthew 14:22-36:  After feeding the 5000, Jesus made the disciples go ahead of him in a boat while he dismissed the crowds.  Then he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.  The boat was a distance away from shore so Jesus walked on the water to get to the boat.  The disciples thought Jesus a ghost and were afraid.  Peter decides to ask the ghost to allow him to walk on water if the ghost is really Jesus.  So Peter does.  But Peter becomes afraid, loses faith, and starts sinking.  Jesus then grabs him and reprimands him for his lack of faith.

Then the disciples worshipped Jesus and declared him the Son of God.  They reached Gennesaret on the other side of the Sea of Galilee where the people recognized Jesus and brought him their sick, which he healed.

Mark 6:45-56:  Mark reveals that the disciples were straining against the oars so Jesus was about to walk by them when they were all terrified.  Jesus told them to not be afraid and he climbed in their boat.  They were amazed for they had not understood about the loaves and had hardened hearts.  All throughout the region people came and the sick were healed.

Questions:

10a)  He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.

b)  Mark says that after the feeding of the 5000 miracle, the crowds began to believe him to be the Prophet so Jesus, knowing they intended to come and force him to be king, withdrew to a mountain by himself.

11a)  Jesus preached to a huge crowd in Bethesaida and fed them all and healed them all.

b)  Both just as we are to do.

c)  He prayed probably for strength in his ministry and to commune with the Father.  He probably thanked him for the strength and healing powers he had, the ability to do his Father’s will, and for his needs being fulfilled.  He probably asked for more people to heal and for more strength to persevere to the end.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Thank God for everything:  my needs being met and my desires; for all my blessings. I will ask for the ability to continue in His work and pray for others and their needs as well.

Conclusions:  I’m wondering why we didn’t read John’s take on the walking on water (John 6:16-24) but we read John’s reasoning for Jesus’ seeking solitude.  I’m confused especially since we read all the passages in the previous days.

John’s is significantly different than Matthew and Mark’s.  Would have liked to have explored that instead of questions on prayer that although helpful for new believers are intuitive for believers who are close to God.

[Note:  We read John’s take tomorrow; however, in my opinion, the passage is still left thoroughly unexplored.]

End Notes:  John just mentions this passingly but this is extremely important:  after the miracle of feeding the 5000, the crowd was probably in an uproar, excited and agitated for what was to come.  Jesus just provided bread as God had done, the first sign many of these people had of him.  Think of mob mentality and how easy it is to get caught up in the emotion of the moment.  Jesus and his disciples had to escape before it got out of hand.  It was not yet time to reveal himself as the Messiah and Jesus still had much work to do.  He couldn’t afford to get derailed here.

The fourth watch of the night would have been somewhere between 3 and 6 am.  We can assume Jesus was praying that entire time.

Peter’s walk is a picture of faith.  He believes in Jesus and follows him but the moment he began to doubt Jesus and his ability to save him, Peter began to sink.  But Peter called out to Jesus for rescue and protection and Jesus answered.  So it is with us as well.  Even if we are sinking, salvation is there, waiting for us to take it by the hand.

We can learn from Jesus when he asks Peter, “Why did you doubt?”  We should ask ourselves the same question for our doubt is often ill-founded.  We must examine ourselves so the next time we trust instead of doubt.  For with God, there is NO reason to doubt.

John tells us that as soon as Jesus got in the boat, “immediately the boat reached the shore”.

So did Jesus land in Gennesaret as Matthew and Mark say or Capernaum as John says?  It’s hard to say.  Gennesaret was also a region as well as a town in Jesus’ day.  Scholars don’t really know mainly because they don’t really know the exact location of these towns and the borders of the regions.  Here’s two sites I found helpful but ambiguous in answering the question:

http://www.welcometohosanna.com/LIFE_OF_JESUS/026_Ministry6Capernaum.htm

http://dqhall59.com/walking_on_water.htm

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 9, Day 3: Matthew 8:5-17

Summary of passage:  In Capernaum, a centurion came to Jesus and asked him to heal his servant.  Jesus said he would do so.  The centurion protested, saying he does not deserve to have Jesus under his roof and asked Jesus to just say the word from afar.

Jesus was astonished at the man’s faithfulness in his ability to heal from afar and Jesus told him to go because it would be done as he believed it would.

Jesus said all will be in heaven with no barriers in place and warned that the Jews could still go to hell for unbelief in Him.

Jesus entered Peter’s house and healed his sick mother-in-law.  Then he healed many who were demon-possessed and all the sick, which fulfilled Isaiah’s words in Isaiah 53:4.

Questions:

6a)  He is a man of faith in Jesus, believing Jesus can heal from afar.  He is compassionate and caring for he traveled a long ways to ask for Jesus to heal his servant.  Most servants in the day were barely considered human and were not cared for in the least.  He is a man of authority and leadership as he is used to giving orders and being obeyed.  He is humble as he recognized he is a servant (a man under authority) as well.

b)  “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.  But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I myself am a man under authority.”

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I get up every day and try to follow His will.  I care for my kids, guide and protect them, and do the same for others.

7a)  The Gentiles

b)  The kingdom of heaven

c)  Many hear the word of God but few accept Him and His invitation.

8a)  He heals when he sees a need.  Jesus wasn’t asked to heal her.  He just did.  He can’t stand to see others suffering.  He has compassion on all.  Upon healing, she began to serve as we all should from the moment our heart becomes His.

b)  She got up and began to wait on him.

9a)  Isaiah 53:4

b)  That Jesus is the one whom Isaiah spoke of as the suffering servant.  That he will take up our infirmities and carry our diseases/sorrows.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus is Lord, compassionate, and omnipotent.  He does not discriminate in his healing.  He heals all those who need it and who have faith in him or those who ask who have faith in him.  We see a leper, a servant, and a woman healed.  These were people most disregarded in society as unimportant and disposable. Yet Jesus healed them.  All are important to him.

This encourages me because I know I am important to him as well as are my needs no matter how big or small.  Jesus will provide if I have faith.

Conclusions:  Here we see three specific miracles Jesus performed among ten that are forthcoming in the next few chapters.  Matthew writes these here to further establish Jesus’ authority as the son of God.

I often wonder what miracles Jesus performed that are not recorded.  For I strive to know Him better and the more information I have, the better!

Admittedly, I had no idea about question 7.  I had to look that up in a commentary.

End Notes:  Capernaum is Jesus’ home (Matthew 4:13).  Hence, Jesus is returning home for a bit.  Hence, we see Peter’s mother-in-law as this is Peter’s home as well.

We know the Centurion was a Gentile for he was a Roman soldier who worshipped pagan gods. Note every time we meet a centurion in the Bible, he is a good man.  Under Roman law, the master could have killed his slave especially if he were sick and unable to perform his duties.  This was a special master indeed.

Because Jesus was Jewish, the centurion knew his home would be considered unworthy to enter by a Jew.  Hence, the centurion asked Jesus not to break this custom (it’s not against Jewish law, merely custom) and speak a word of authority to make it so.

Note Jesus’ use of the term Israel.  There was no state called Israel at this time but Jesus still considered them as such.

It is here that Jesus announces for the first time that God’s promises extend to Gentiles as well and not just the Jewish people.  Many will come from the east and the west and take their places in heaven.  Being Jewish does not guarantee entrance.

God heals as He pleases, not necessarily as we may want.