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LOOK AROUND

Jesus People   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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As we read through scripture, we can go from a very disheartening story, to one that gives us hope. In Matthew 14, we see happening before our eyes. We go from learning about what happened to John the Baptist, to a faitfh filled event that changed the lives of thousands.

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LAST WEEK

We looked at the Kingdom Parables
We read about how the Kingdom can have such a small beginning, yet have such a massive impact on so many people.
It can grow from a small mustard seed
To a tree that nests the birds of the air
It can be like the small amount of leaven
That when used properly, could cause dough to rise and feed hundreds of people
We also saw some examples of what it is to find the worth of the kingdom, and invest in it
When the man found the treasure in a field, He purchased everything surrounding that treasure because He saw its worth
When the man found the Pearl of Great price, He sold everything in order to have it
We also saw Jesus being rejected in his own home town.

THIS WEEK

We will look at a few life altering events
We will see how God works through all things for his glory
We will see how even in the Gospel Narrative, there are roller coasters
My prayer is for us to know the things that distract us from the miraculous things that Jesus is doing and wants to do.

TURN TO

Matthew 14 NKJV
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus 2 and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.” 3 For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. 4 Because John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. 6 But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. 7 Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. 8 So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.” 9 And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her. 10 So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. 11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 12 Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus. 13 When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. 15 When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.” 16 But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” 18 He said, “Bring them here to Me.” 19 Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. 20 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. 21 Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children. 22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” 34 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, 36 and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.
PRAY THAT GOD WOULD SHOW HIMSELF FAITHFUL THROUGHOUT THE JOURNEY OF LIFE. THAT WE WOULD KNOW THAT HE IS WITH US DAILY, NOT JUST IN THE HIGHS, BUT ALSO IN THE LOWS. HE IS IMMANUEL.
Matthew 14:1–12 NKJV
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus 2 and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.” 3 For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. 4 Because John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. 6 But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. 7 Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. 8 So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.” 9 And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her. 10 So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. 11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 12 Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
MATTHEW
During this time, Herod the Tetrarch heard about what Jesus was doing
His Servants wanted to know more about Jesus
So Herod,
Specifically about how He was doing all these mighty works
Herod, responds with an educated yet false description of who Jesus was
He says,
This is John the Baptist, risen from the dead
This is why He is doing these works
This is why He is so powerful
I dont know about you, but if I believed that the dude I had beheaded was reincarnated and was doing mighty works . . . I’d be pretty scared.
NOW WHO IS HEROD THE TETRARCH?
AKA Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great who tried to kill Jesus
AKA Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great who tried to kill Jesus
Herod Antipas had a brother named Philip whose wife was named Herodias
Herod Antipas and his Sister in Law Herodias became a thing
John called Herod out on it
So Herod had him arrested and had him put in Jail
That wasn’t all, Herod actually wanted to have him executed
But because of the Prophetic Reputation that John had, Herod feared how the multitude would respond.
One day, as the Royal Family was celebrating Herod’s birthday
Salome, Herodias’ & Phillips daughter according to Josephus
Dances for Herod Antipas in such a way that He is pleased
So pleased, that he promises her to give her whatever she wishes
What Herod didn’t know, was that Salome had been coached by her mom, Herodias, for that very moment
When Herod offered her anything she wanted
She asked for the execution and the head of John the Baptist
Though the King was sorry, he had to uphold his word
His word, his reputation, his position, became more important than doing what was right
So, Herod Antipas keeps his word
He has John beheaded
Brings his head to Salome
The Disciples come and take the body in order to give it a proper burial
Church, we normally look at the end result of the story as the awe factor
We think:
Man, John the Baptist was beheaded by an Evil King
We are disgusted more by the fruition of sin than the process of the conception of sin
Think about it, John’s head on a platter isn’t the awe factor
What about how disgusting it was for Herodias, Salome’s mom to approve and coach her daughter through this event
To dance provocatively for her uncle
The same uncle who had caused her parents to get a divorce.
The same uncle who dishonored her biological dad
What about Herod?
Who allowed his niece to defame her innocence
Who was pleased by her performance
Who then relegated his position as king
In order to serve her, and give her whatever she wished
Though he felt sorry, though he was scared of the multitudes
His reputation was at stake
His voice was at stake
His position mattered
These became more important than doing what was right
Herod wasn’t worried about what God thought
His biggest concern was what people would think of him
CHURCH, We should be as disgusted with the fruition of sin as we are with the conception and the manifestation of sin
From the temptation
We wont be disgusted by reaping the wages of sin
Through the process of making that decision
To seeing the actual sin fleshed out
Every stage of sin should grieve us
NOW LET
AFTER BURYING THE BODY, THE DISCIPLES GO TELL JESUS WHAT HAPPENED
MATTHEW 14:13-
Matthew 14:13–21 NKJV
13 When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. 15 When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.” 16 But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” 18 He said, “Bring them here to Me.” 19 Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. 20 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. 21 Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
When Jesus heard the news
He departed to a deserted place by himself
Desiring to mourn, or just have some time of prayer with the Father
But the multitudes found out, and followed him by foot
When he saw the multitudes
With Herod and John the Baptist still on his mind
He was moved with compassion for them
It is like an inward groaning
A turning of the stomach
He felt sick and burdened for the people
SO HE HEALED THEIR SICK
As dusk hit, the disciples, maybe acknowledging that Jesus wanted some alone time
Came to him and asked Jesus to send the multitudes away
Go tell them to go into the village and grab some food for themselves
CHECK OUT JESUS’ RESPONSE
They don’t need to go away.
You give them something to eat.
In light of the other narratives
We know that when Jesus told them this, they didn’t have the fish or the loaves
It involved work
It involved looking around
It involved finding those willing to invest in order to see lives changed
Church, we are quick to make decisions based on the things we don’t have
We fold our arms and kick our feet up because we feel under-resourced
Jesus recognizes the need for food, and the absence of food among his disciples
Why?
So that the disciples would learn to partner with people for the greater good of the world
So that the disciples would look around and see what God would use to meet a real need.
When I was in retail
What made me fruitful was this:
When I came to a place where I did not know what to do, I would anticipate what my boss would say
I would say to myself “What is he/she going to ask”
“Have you checked with so and so?”
“Did you look in storage?”
“Have you done your due diligence?”
I would then, communicate the challenges and the possible solution to them, and ask for their approval
As I moved up, I would look for this in future leaders
I would say to them
“Don’t just come to me with your problems, come to me with your problems and what you want to do about it”
In this story, the disciples not only came to Jesus with the problem
They came asking him to remove the problem
When they should have been asking him to do the miraculous in light of the problem
FINALLY, AFTER FINDING THE FISH AND THE LOAVES
The Disciples declare what they have
Jesus summons their resources
NOTICE HOW IT IS STILL INSUFFICIENT TO MEET THE NEED
But when we bring what we have into the hands of God
God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or think
JESUS ASKS THE CROWD TO SIT DOWN
He begins to work with what was brought into his hands
What if you were that kid, with the loaves and the fish
“Hey remember the time when Jesus’ disciples stole my food in order to feed 5 thousand people?”
“Hey remember when Jesus took all that I had and miraculously impact over 5,000 people”
WHERE ARE THESE STORIES TODAY?
Jesus lines up the disciples, asks them to distribute the food
The multitudes eat and are filled
And still, there was 12 baskets of leftovers
One basket for each person that had no clue God was able to do something with their nothing.
One basket for every student that wanted to send the people away
One basket for every disciple that only thought about the hurdle and not how to get over it.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
Matthew 14:22–33 NKJV
22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
Matthew 14:22-
Jesus strongly encourages the disciples to get into the boat and head out to the other side while he sent the multitudes away
So he sends them away and heads up the mountain by himself to pray
As evening came, Jesus is still on the mountain
But the boat is now in the middle of the sea getting worked by a storm
Between 3am-6am Jesus came upon the disciples and the boat
As the disciples saw him approaching
They were scared
They thought He was a ghost
They cried out for fear
Immediately
Jesus, as the storm is raging, says to them
Be of Good Cheer
It is one word in the Greek
Tharseiti
Be Courageous
Have Courage
It is I
I AM
Do not be afraid
DONT FEAR
PETER BEING PETER, GETS SUPER PUMPED
Even after hearing that it was Jesus
He asks again
Lord, if it is you, call me out into the water
JESUS RESPONDS . . . “COME”
Peter proceeds to get out of the boat and begins to walk on water
However as soon as he looked at the situation he had got himself into
He began to fear
He began to sink
He cried out
Lord, Save Me!
This will happen in your life
It is currently happening in my life
God is saving me from that fear
Asking me to fix my eyes on him
Stretching his hand out to me
Rescuing me
But challenging me
“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
TO THE STORM OF OUR LIFE, WE MUST TAKE COURAGE, NOT FEAR, BECAUSE JESUS IS EVER PRESENT
WHEN IT LOOKS DANGEROUS, BUT WE SEE JESUS IS PRESENT
WE MUST TAKE COURAGE, NOT FEAR, BECAUSE JESUS IS EVER PRESENT
We must walk by faith and not by sight.
That when your season is over
People can look at your life and say
Save me from my fear
“That guy lived in a way that forces me to declare that Jesus is the Son of God.”
Notice that the last time they were in a storm they questioned who Jesus was, This time, they acknowledge who he was.
This time, they acknowledge who he was.
WHERE WAS THE MULTITUDE?
Matthew 14:34-
Matthew 14:34–36 NKJV
34 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, 36 and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.
They found where Jesus was
And because they knew who he was
They brought out those who were sick
And they begged him to touch his garment
And as many as touched his garment,
Were as many as were made perfectly well.
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