We’ve had a miracle over nature, a miracle over the Devil, a miracle over disease, and a miracle over death. Christ has shown His power over all four.
1 ¶ And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.
2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
The world looks at you that unless you have the world’s learning and education you can’t amount to much.
John 7:15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?
But, education will not save you in eternity or from sin and its consequences in this life.
1 Corinthians 3:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
You can not know God or have a relationship with Jesus Christ from a textbook. It is His Bible that will set you apart for His service. A book on engineering is not going to save you from Hell or make you useful to God.
3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
See here, how the Roman Catholic Church is wrong, and Jesus Christ has brothers and sisters, and that Mary had many other children than Jesus. She had at least six children other than Jesus. This and other verses show that the Vatican doctrine is incorrect. Things like the Assumption of Mary, she was a perpetual virgin, and the like have no Biblical basis.
Matthew 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
Saying that they were cousins or Joseph’s children from a first marriage have no basis in the Scripture. We can’t get together with the Catholics if they reject God’s word. It is impossible to pursue righteousness when you are zealously clinging to error.
4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
With regard to John the Baptist whom they thought might be that Prophet and asked him;
John 1:21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
There are times, though, when Jesus worked when the people’s faith wasn’t an issue. This is reported to prove a point to us. We complain that God isn’t doing enough for us and we don’t examine our unbelief.
6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
Unbelief limits God by His own rules. If you refuse to believe He will not honor unbelief.
Psalm 78:40 ¶ How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! 41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
Mark 5:36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
A church will get warning after warning but their belief in God’s word is not there and God’s spirit over the congregation is removed because of that unbelief. It can happen in a city where God removes His presence. There are cities where you can feel the absence of God. I felt that when I went to Philadelphia once. That place is void. There are Christians there and you can get saved in Philly but you won’t feel the Spirit of God there. When God removes His Spirit from a country, such as England, it becomes a spiritually barren wasteland.
7 ¶ And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
9 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.
Here’s a sending off of the twelve to Israel with signs for the Jews.
Matthew 10:5 ¶ These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. 9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, 10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. 11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. 12 And when ye come into an house, salute it. 13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. 16 ¶ Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? 26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. 28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. 32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. 40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
The Anabaptist group, the Vaudois, from the Cottian Alps in Northern Italy went out two by two to witness all over Europe during the Medieval period, preparing them for the Reformation to come.
10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.
11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
This is one evidence of levels of punishment in Hell. The perverts in Sodom will not be as miserable as those Jews who heard the preaching of Jesus’ disciples.
12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
Remember, to translate the word as demon links it to the Greek idea that demons could be good. No, they are never good. They are devils.
14 ¶ And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
Here is the power of a bad conscience.
Acts 24:25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
Leviticus 26:36 And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth.
15 Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.
16 But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.
17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her.
18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.
This simple truth profoundly affected King Herod. This is the power of the word of God and of preaching it in the streets.
19 Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:
20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
21 And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;
22 And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.
23 And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.
24 And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.
25 And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.
26 And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.
27 And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,
28 And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.
29 And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.
Herod here was afraid of looking weak. He was afraid of his wife and of his companions.
Jude 1:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
30 ¶ And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.
31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
Jesus Christ mandates rest, not pushing yourself to death. There are people who think they can substitute obedience with causing themselves unnecessary personal suffering as a sign of spirituality.
Pastors need a balance. Christians need a balance. God didn’t call us to go without sleep or to not eat right under ordinary circumstances. It proves nothing.
32 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.
33 And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.
34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.
It must have been amazing to have compassion on a bunch of hard hearted and stupid sheep who you know won’t do what you have told them to do. One of God’s character traits is that He has compassion on stupid, stony hearted people. Here is something of note. Jesus condemns the religious leaders but regards the people as stupid sheep who need a shepherd. The world needs to be taught this Book, this Bible. They are in darkness and they don’t have a clue what to do. Every week Christians are hearing the same message; how to be saved, that they must attend church, and that they must give money to the church. They aren’t growing because they aren’t being fed. They have to learn how to feed themselves and bring others to a knowledge of the truth.
Christians who don’t read the Bible or know it are ignorant and in need of the knowledge it gives.
35 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:
36 Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.
Compare the disciple’s attitude with Jesus Christ’s. We need to feed people who we lead to the Lord. Take some time. Create a Bible study in your home or on the ‘net.
Furthermore, it is incumbent upon a Christian man, a husband to feed his wife and children during the week with the word of God. If you are waiting for and dependent upon the Pastor to feed your family and yourself once a week or even three times a week you are a worthless Christian. We have Sunday Schools in America because Christian men failed and let God down in their duty to be the Pastor of THEIR family and teach them (that’s not the reason it was founded in Great Britain first but that’s not for this commentary). If you are a Christian husband and you don’t conduct daily Bible reading with your family and Bible Study and devotions and worship with daily prayer, you are a waste of oxygen. Period. Get right with God you scoundrel, you cad, who dares to waste the family that God Himself has given you for the purpose of teaching them about Him and expressing His love to them.
Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?
38 He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.
39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.
40 And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.
41 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.
42 And they did all eat, and were filled.
43 And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.
I think of the significance of twelve baskets showing that this passage is doctrinally significant to the Jews, the twelve tribes of Israel.
44 And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.
Five is the number of death and of grace, depending on the context. Spiritually dead men hear the gospel and live, just as those who are faint from hunger eat bread and are revived.
45 ¶ And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.
46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.
Get alone and pray.
47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.
48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.
God’s character is such that He will walk right past you, wanting you to call Him. If you reject Him and deny Him, even if after claiming His salvation He’ll walk right by you. Many Christians don’t wish for fellowship and God will leave you alone in your trouble. You have to call to Him.
49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:
Call out to God.
Romans 10:21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.
Reject Christ’s admonitions and you will find yourself very alone in a time of trouble and it won’t be because God didn’t try to reach you. But, eventually He’ll move on.
Did God hear your voice this morning when you woke up?
Psalm 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
Did God hear your voice at noon and at night?
Psalm 55:17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
Do you have a Hollywood Jesus who expects nothing from you but feigned, lisping spirituality, and benign neglect?
Jesus is not walking on ice or running like the lizard you’ve seen on the Discovery Channel. He is walking on water and stops and talks. This is a violation of natural law, a miracle.
50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.
He’ll respond to your cry with comfort. He will take away your fear. Call to Him. However, you will probably have to learn the lesson He wants you to learn before He comes to you.
51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.
52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.
Our hearts are hardened when we forget His miracles. God, the Lord Jesus Christ, has done miracles in your life and you aren’t thankful and don’t even acknowledge it. If you think about it there have been many times in your life when you should have died in your sins before you received Christ and yet He kept you alive. You forget those mercies. You might even look back and say, “things were better before I believed in Christ.” God didn’t bring you out of “Egypt” for you to die.
Numbers 11:5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:
Even though Christ is going to rapture His church before the Great Tribulation we will see some terrible trouble.
Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Luke 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
1Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Revelation 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
But this doesn’t mean that His believers won’t go through some terrible times before that. And don’t we deserve it. Here is what one church is told before the rapture in Revelation.
Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Historically, this may be a reference to the “ten great persecutions of Christians” in the early centuries of Christianity but an application may be made safely to the present day as we will see the suffering that foreign churches have endured come to apostate America.
53 And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore.
54 And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him,
55 And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was.
56 And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.
These people had expectations of Christ. What expectations do we have of Christ?
Look at how the faith healers have to set up a tent, take up an offering, advertize on television. Why don’t they do it like Christ did if they are genuine? If you could really heal people you wouldn’t need our modern rituals. People would probably throw money at you to be healed of cancer.