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Matthew Chapter Fourteen


I. Content of the Chapter


Men’s Knowledge of the King

I. John the Baptist suffered martyrdom ------Herod knew Christ according to the report (v.1-12).

II. Five loaves and two fish------believers knew Christ by obeying His words (v.13-21).

III. Jesus walked on the sea------Peter knew Christ by sight (v.22-33).

IV. Men touched the Lord and were healed------all the people knew Christ by touching Him (v.34-36).


II. Verse by Verse commentary


Matt. 14:1 “At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus

   YLT: “At that time did Herod the tetrarch hear the fame of Jesus,”

   The Background: “the tetrarch” is the king who rules one fourth of the lands. “Herod” is the fourth son of Herod the Great (Matt. 2:1) and he was also called Herod Antipas. He reigned over Galilee and Libya (in the southeast of the lake of Jordan) from A.D. 4 to A.D. 39.

Literal Meaning: “at that time” is the time He was rejected by people in His own city (Matt. 13:54. 57).

   Spiritual Meaning: “Herod the tetrarch” The Roman Empire granted Herod to be the king and therefore he is the type that the world is in power in God’s people.

     Enlightenment in the Word:

1) When the Lord was rejected by people in His own city, i.e. God’s people did not allow God to rein them, the world, replacing the position of God, reigned in God’s people.

2) “Herod” is an unbeliever, politician (“the tetrarch”) and typical sinner. He represents the unbelieving Gentiles who know the Lord Jesus according to others’ report (“heard the report about Jesus”). 


Matt. 14:2 “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.’”

   YLT: “and said to his servants, `This is John the Baptist, he did rise from the dead, and because of this the mighty energies are working in him.’”

   Meaning of Words: “servants”: boys; “are at work”: operate, appear to be.

   Literal Meaning: “This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead.” The process that John was put in prison and killed is recorded in the following verses from v.3 to v. 12.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The world does not know Christ because their thoughts are blinded by the god of this world (2Cor. 4:4) and they live in darkness.

2) Pagans have blind faith in spiritual things and hold that Jesus is one of those who have powers (“these powers are at work in him”). They do not know Him as the only-begotten Son of God.

3) Only doing mighty works cannot make men know the true God (See Matt. 7:22-23).


Matt. 14:3 “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.

   YLT: “For Herod having laid hold on John, did bind him, and did put him in prison, because of Herodias his brother Philip’s wife,”

   The Background: “Philip” was the consanguineous brother of Herod. He was also called Herod I. He did not reign as the king and lived in Roman. “Herodias” was the granddaughter of Herod the Great. She was married to her uncle Philip in Roman and then was married to her another uncle Herod Antipas.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Pagans seem to fear those who have mighty power (those whom John the Baptist represent) in appearance. Actually their god is their belly (Pill. 3:19). Anyone who is unable to help them to satisfy their lusts and blocks them will be stifled by them (“Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison”).

2) Herod represents Roman political power------the biggest political system in the world at that time------it is full of evil, corruption and darkness. Politicians serve the people in appearance. Actually they give priority to their own benefits instead of that of people and utilize authority to discriminate those who have different views.


Matt. 14:4 “Because John had said to him, It is not lawful for you to have her.’”

   YLT: “for John was saying to him, ‘It is not lawful to thee to have her,’”

   Meaning of Words: “not lawful”: not just, not right.

   The Background: according to the Law of Moses, if one’s brother is still alive, it is forbidden to marry his brother’s wife (See Lev. 20:21).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Though believers of the New Testament are not under the ordinance of the Law (Col. 2:20-21), we have to walk in order (Col. 2:5, 1Cor. 14:40).

2) Believers should not walk according to reasons in the sight of men. What’s more important is that we should judge whether it is right in the sight of God in everything (See Acts. 4:19).


Matt. 14:5 “And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.

   YLT: “and, willing to kill him, he feared the multitude, because as a prophet they were holding him.”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The usual way of politicians is to discriminate those who hold different views (“put him to death”). However, their only scruple is public opinion and feelings (“he feared the multitude”). There is no fear of God before their eyes (Rom. 3:18).

2) Men may have scruples about doing something and these scruples make men not do at their own wills. It is always good for us to be restrained, otherwise we may be presumptuous (See Ps. 19:13).


Matt. 14:6 “But when Herod's birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod.

   YLT: “But the birthday of Herod being kept, the daughter of Herodias danced in the midst, and did please Herod,”

   The Background: according to the research of the Jewish historian Joseph, “the daughter of Herodias” was named Salome. She was in her teens and danced beautifully and attractively. Later she was married to her another grand uncle who ruled the northern districts, i.e. Herod Philip II (the consanguineous brother of Philip I).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “Celebrating one’s birthday” is to remember oneself and hold high oneself. “Dance” represents fulfilling flesh’s lust. Under this condition, men are easy to make mistakes------he promised with an oath and killed John the Baptist (See v.7-10).

2) Celebrating one’s birthday is to remember the beginning of one’s life of flesh. It is to the mind of flesh according to spiritual meaning. The mind of the flesh is enmity against God and it brings death consequently (Rom. 8:6-7).

3) This verse is the only place in the Bible to mention birthday, showing that celebrating one’s birthday is not good and it is easy to cause trouble because sin comes easily through men’s happiness.


Matt. 14:7 “Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.

   YLT: “whereupon with an oath he professed to give her whatever she might ask.”

   Meaning of Words: “promised”: acknowledge, confess, announce.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Once one has promised something, he is beyond the control of himself. Every one that practices sin is the bondman of sin and he does not have freedom (John. 8:44).

2) There is a common saying goes like this, “one gets dizzy with success”. When one is extremely high, it is the easiest for him to lose self-control.

3) Men are unable to restrain flesh by themselves because flesh is uncontrollable.


Matt. 14:8 “So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, Give me John the Baptist's head here on a platter.’”

   YLT: “And she having been instigated by her mother `Give me (says she) here upon a plate the head of John the Baptist;”

   Literal Meaning: “platter” is a kind of flat plate made of wood and it is used to hold meet to serve guests.


Matt. 14:9 “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.

   YLT: “and the king was grieved, but because of the oaths and of those reclining with him, he commanded [it] to be given;”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) When men walked according to the lust of flesh, the first result is “being sorry”------unpeacefulness of consciousness.

2) For grief according to God works repentance to salvation, never to be regretted; but the grief of the world works death (2Cor. 7:10).

3) Herod was sorry because he talked boldly. Once one speaks incautiously, he may become the first one being snared by his own words (“because of the oaths”).

4) Because Herod was keen on face-saving (“because of those who sat with him”), he disregarded the unpeacefulness of consciousness (“was sorry”). Those who love to brag are every sensitive about their reputations. Those who are keen on face-saving are easy to make things worse by repeated delays.


Matt. 14:10 “So he sent and had John beheaded in prison.

   YLT: “and having sent, he beheaded John in the prison,”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The mind of flesh is death (Rom. 8:6). Because Herod killed the witness of the Lord (John), he was isolated from the lord of life and his end was death (eternal perdition).

2) Formerly Herod dared not to kill John because he feared the multitudes (See v. 5) and now he did not have any scruple for fulfilling the lust of the flesh, showing that flesh makes men lose rationality.


Matt. 14:11 “And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.

   YLT: “and his head was brought upon a plate, and was given to the damsel, and she brought [it] nigh to her mother.”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) When the daughter brought the platter with a head which is dripping with blood to her mother, the mother and the daughter were actually with perfect composure. It shows that the lust of the flesh makes men be extremely audacious.

2) This shows that Herod married Herodias because they both liked each other and corrupted public morals together. Because she was blamed by John the Baptist she hated him deeply in her heart and waited for the opportune moment to kill him to silence him. Herodias showed the nature of a vicious woman.

3) Believers should not partake in others’ sins and should keep themselves pure (1Tim. 5:22). Once one is not cautious and partakes in others’ sins, he is easy to withstand the truth with others.


Matt. 14:12 “Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.

   YLT: “And his disciples having come, took up the body, and buried it, and having come, they told Jesus,”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) John’s disciples had followed him for a long period and their attachments to John are very obvious. When their teacher was killed, how can they keep from being grieved? However, it was not recorded in the Bible that they wept all the day or that they stated the wrong of Herod to everyone they met. Here two things have been recorded: a) they came and took away the body and buried it; b) they went and told Jesus. It shows that these two things are very important.

2) “Buried it” means to cover the testimony of being treated unfairly. “Went and told Jesus” shows that they only told their bitterness to the Lord. These two are the principle of a Christian’s behaviors. 

3) What’s the most useless is to be sorrowful all the day towards the body. When we suffer pains, we should go to the Lord and tell Him, we will assuredly be encouraged by the Lord.

4) He is willing to hear whatever you tell Him. He is able to sympathize everyone and take care of everything of everyone. He bears all your sadness.


Matt. 14:13 “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.

   YLT: “and Jesus having heard, withdrew thence in a boat to a desolate place by himself, and the multitudes having heard did follow him on land from the cities.”

   Literal Meaning: “departed from there to a deserted place” “a deserted place” is the wilderness outside of the city of Bethsaida (See Luke. 9:10).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord “departed to a deserted place by Himself” to draw near to God. We should always have the experience of departing to secret places for prayer (See Matt. 6:6).

2) The footsteps of the lamb are always to “depart”. However, the more He departed to the deserted place, the more the multitudes “followed Him”, even “on foot”------paying price.

3) God’s Spirit shall not always plead with man for he indeed is flesh (Gen. 6:3). The departure of the Lord Jesus shows His attitude towards those who do not know Him. 


Matt. 14:14 “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.

   YLT: “And Jesus having come forth, saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion upon them, and did heal their infirm;”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Though men reject the Lord, He is still merciful to men.

2) For we have not the Lord not able to sympathize with our infirmities. Let us approach therefore with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and find grace for seasonable help (Heb. 4:15-16).


Matt. 14:15 “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.’”

  YLT: “and evening having come, his disciples came to him, saying, `The place is desolate, and the hour hath now past, let away the multitudes that, having gone to the villages, they may buy to themselves food.’”

   Literal Meaning: “when it was evening.” There are two evenings for the Jews. One starts from three o’clock in the afternoon and the other begins from six o’clock in the afternoon when the sun sets. It is the first evening in this verse and it is the second in v.23.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) It was evening, they were in a deserted place and the needs of the multitudes were large. We may be encountered with such predicaments. The way to solve this is to come to the Lord and do not voice one’s own opinions.

2) “Send the multitudes away” is to ask the multitudes to depart from the Lord and we usually use this tone. “They may buy themselves food.”------it is an irresponsible attitude.

3) The disciples suggested to “sent the multitudes away” and “buy themselves food” because they did not know the fullness of Christ and that He is able to meet all needs of men. Those who do not know the Lord always ask others to rely on themselves.


Matt. 14:16 “But Jesus said to them, They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’”

   YLT: “And Jesus said to them, `They have no need to go away give ye them to eat.’”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord said, “you give them something to eat.” The Lord said so to compel the disciples to turn to Him so that they would know and experience Him as the merciful and mighty Lord.

2) “You give them something to eat.” This word shows that the disciples have something to give them. The Lord always supplies those who draw near to Him before He supplies the multitudes.

3) Asking men to “buy themselves food” is the principle of the Law: one must gain enjoyment through works. “You give them something to eat” is the principle of grace: one gain enjoyment freely instead of by works.

4) If believers love the Lord, they will take care of and feed the lambs of the Lord (John. 21:15-17).


Matt. 14:17 “And they said to Him, We have here only five loaves and two fish.’”

   YLT: “And they say to him, `We have not here except five loaves, and two fishes.’”

   Spiritual Meaning: “five loaves and two fish” symbolizes the limited treasure, power, wisdom and physical strength in our hands.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) What we have in our own hands are so limited that it seems impossible to meet the large needs of the multitudes at that moment.

2) Believers must know that they are nothing and then turn to trust in God who calls the things which be not as being (Rom. 4:17).


Matt. 14:18 “He said, Bring them here to Me.’”

   YLT: “And he said, `Bring ye them to me hither.’”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Before we give (v.16) what we have in our hands to others, we have to “bring them to Me (the Lord)”------something is of spiritual value only after it has been dedicated to the Lord. 

2) If we keep the little things we have in our hands, they are nothing. However, if we dedicate them to the hand of the Lord, they will become the blessing of the multitudes.


Matt. 14:19 “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.

   YLT: “And having commanded the multitudes to recline upon the grass, and having taken the five loaves and the two fishes, having looked up to the heaven, he did bless, and having broken, he gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples to the multitudes,”

   Meaning of Words: “sit down”: recline, lean back.

   Spiritual Meaning: “sit down on the grass” symbolizes to stop one’s struggle and effort and rest at the feet of the Lord (See Luke. 10:39).

  “Five loaves and two fishes” symbolizes what believers have gained through their experience of the death and resurrection of Christ.

  “Looking up to heaven, He blessed” symbolizes that God is the fountainhead of all provisions.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) In “you give them something to eat” (v.16), “bring them here to me” (v.18), “gave the loaves to disciples” (v.19) and “the disciples gave to the multitudes” (v.19), the order of the four verbs is great and it is the way of full provisions.

2) If we wan to enjoy the Lord, we have to be quiet (“sit down”) first.

3) If the loaf keeps well, it will not supply the needs of others. The more the loaf is broken, the more people will be filled through it.

4) If believers love their souls and are not willing to be broken by the Lord, they are of no value.

5) “Gave” shows that believers are only channels of the Lord to deliver the Lord’s provisions.

6) The disciples delivered to others (“the disciples gave to the multitudes”) because they were given by the Lord (“He gave the loaves to the disciples”). The Lord lets us experience His life and then we are able to supply others with His life.

7) Every time we experience the Lord, though the experience may be little, we should not cover it and we should learn to share it with others.


Matt. 14:20 “So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained.

   YLT: “and they did all eat, and were filled, and they took up what was over of the broken pieces twelve hand-baskets full;”

   Literal Meaning: “baskets” are utensils which are taken along by the Jews to carry food or objects.

   Spiritual Meaning: this verse shows the Lord’s full provision:

1) “They all ate”------everyone can enjoy Him.

2) “They were filled”------He is able to make men be filled.

3) “The fragments that remained”------His provision is enough to spare.

4) “They took up twelve baskets full of the fragments”------“twelve” represents perfection and His provision is perfect.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Five loaves and two fish are so limited that they probably are not enough for himself if one is reluctant to give them to the Lord. However, once the five loaves and two fish had been put in the hand of the Lord and blessed by the Lord, the full and rich result came into being.

2) “Taking up the fragments” showing that we should cherish the Lord’s grace and we should not ruin His grace. We should keep the surplus grace for contingent use.

3) When we learn to supply the unsearchable riches of Christ to others, we will see that what we have received (“take up twelve baskets”) is much more than what we have given to the Lord (“five loaves and two fish”).


Matt. 14:21 “Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

   YLT: “and those eating were about five thousand men, apart from women and children.”

   The Background: according to customs of the Jews, women and children were not allowed to eat with men in public and therefore woman and children had eaten in another place and their number was not in detail.

   Spiritual Meaning: those who had eaten were about five thousand. “Five” in the Bible symbolizes responsibility. Therefore this verse symbolizes that the Lord is responsible to supply all the needs of men.

   Enlightenment in the Word: in other places of the Bible it is recorded that one hundred people were filled by twenty loaves (2Kings. 4:42-44) and four thousand people were filled by seven loaves and several fish (Matt. 15: 32-39). Here the loaves were the least and the most people were filled because the loaves were broken up most deeply. It shows that what matters is not whether there are many loaves but whether the loaves are broken up deeply. The more the loaves are broken up, the more they will supply men’s needs.


Matt. 14:22 “Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.

   YLT: “And immediately Jesus constrained his disciples to go into the boat, and to go before him to the other side, till he might let away the multitudes;”

   Spiritual Meaning: “Jesus made His disciples get into the boat” symbolizes that the Lord asked believers to live in the assembly.

  “Go to the other side” indicates that believers are strangers and sojourners on the earth and they are on the way to a better country, that is, a heavenly (Heb. 11:13-16).


Matt. 14:23 “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.

   YLT: “and having let away the multitudes, he went up to the mountain by himself to pray, and evening having come, he was there alone,”

   Spiritual Meaning: “He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray” symbolizes that He is a great high priest who has passed through the heavens (Heb. 4: 14) and intercedes for us before God (Heb. 7:25).

  “When evening came” shows that it is the time that the night is far spent and the day is near (Rom. 13:12).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) No matter how busy we are, we cannot stop praying. Doing the Lord’s work cannot replace praying and only those who draw near to God are able to do God’s work well.

2) We not only need to pursue and pray with saints (2Tim. 2:22) but also need to pray quietly by ourselves.

3) Sometimes the Lord’s presence is obvious (v.13-21) and sometimes His presence is hidden (v.22-26).


Matt. 14:24 “But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

   YLT: “and the boat was now in the midst of the sea, distressed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.”

   Spiritual Meaning: “sea” symbolizes the world in which we live today. “Waves” symbolizes the temptations and troubles arose by the power of darkness in circumstances.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) On earth the assembly will unavoidably encounter attack and obstructions from the enemy.

2) If believers always have favorable winds in their sails, it is not normal and contrarily this make us be unable to experience the peace in the Lord (See John. 16:33).


Matt. 14:25 “Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.

   YLT: “And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went away to them, walking upon the sea,”

   The Background: according to Roman chronometry, there are four watches: 1) from six o’clock to nine o’clock in the evening; 2) from nine o’clock to the midnight; 3) from midnight to three o’clock early in the morning; 4) from three o’clock to six o’clock early in the morning. Therefore “the fourth watch of the night” indicates three o’clock early in the morning to six o’clock.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The darkest time (“the fourth watch of the night”) is also the time we encounter the Lord (or the Lord comes to meet us).

2) The rising Christ who has been taken up into heavens has overcome sins, death, Satan and all tribulations (“walking on the sea”).

3) The assembly should go to the eternal age from this age and our Lord is coming to meet us. The Lord who prays for the assembly and takes care of the assembly is the one who walks on the waves of the sea. He is above every principality and authority and all things are under His feet (Eph. 1: 21-22).


Matt. 14:26 “And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.

   YLT: “and the disciples having seen him walking upon the sea, were troubled saying `It is an apparition, ‘and from the fear they cried out;”

   Enlightenment in the Word: because we do not know the Lord we fear when seeing the new deed of the Lord and even think it is of a ghost (“It is a ghost”). Therefore we should not judge unprecedented things abruptly by traditional thoughts and old concepts. We should wait until the Lord clear it up through His words by Himself (v.27) and everything is clear.


Matt. 14:27 “But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’”

   YLT: “and immediately Jesus spake to them, saying, `Be of good courage, I am [he], be not afraid.’”

   Literal Meaning: “Be of good cheer! It is I.” In original “it is I” is “I am” and God’s name is “I am” (Exod. 3:14). The moment the Lord said that “I am”, men went away backward and fell to the ground (John. 18:4-5) because He is God.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) As long as believers have the presence of the Lord (God), they are of good cheer and do not fear.

2) As long as we have the word of the Lord, we are able to be of good cheer in every adversity. We should pray to the Lord to only speak a word (Matt. 8:8) that is enough to satisfy our needs.


Matt. 14:28 “And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’”

   YLT: “And Peter answering him said, `Sir, if it is thou, bid me come to thee upon the waters;’”

   Spiritual Meaning: “command me…” Peter’s word here symbolizes believers’ prayers.

  “To come to You on the water” symbolizes that he is longing to be caught up and be with the Lord.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Though following the Lord starts from the Lord’s calling, we still should have our own wills and prayers in following the Lord.

2) The imperative mood here shows Peter’s ambition of obedience: if the Lord has not commanded him, he won’t do anything on his own.


Matt. 14:29 “So He said, Come. And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

   YLT: “and he said, `Come;’ and having gone down from the boat, Peter walked upon the waters to come unto Jesus,”

   Spiritual Meaning: “Peter” here also symbolizes a group of believers who are overcomers. Because they have received the Lord’s words (“the Lord said”) in praying (“command me”), they have strength to live a surpassing and raptured life, overcoming the world, sins, death, the devil and etc (“he walked on the water”) and go to meet the Lord step by step (“go to Jesus”).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord did not blame Peter for his request, showing that it is what believers should learn to walk on the sea by faith, overcoming dangers, difficulties and obstructions in circumstances.

2) Staying in the boat symbolizes the faith of the assembly as the whole body and walking on the sea symbolizes individual faith. The faith of body is easy for one to have and individual faith is difficult to have. Both kinds of faith are needed.

3) The proving of our faith is much precious (1Pet. 1:7).

4) “Come” is the promise of the Lord. If we do not have the promise of the Lord, we should not take a risk. However if we have the Lord’s words and still hesitate to move forward, it is unbelief.

5) As long as one trusts in the Lord’s words, the Lord will be assuredly responsible to fulfill the faith of His words.

6) None of natural life is able to walk on the sea. The power of the heavenly life has to hold him to do so. If we indeed want to be caught up in clouds to meet the Lord in air (1Thess. 4:17), today we should seek to live a raptured life.


Matt. 14:30 “But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, Lord, save me!’”

   YLT: “but seeing the wind vehement, he was afraid, and having begun to sink, he cried out, saying, `Sir, save me.’”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Those who lack the knowledge of the Lord’s faithfulness lack faith to hold the Lord’s words (“come”, v.29). The moment they see the circumstance (“he saw that the wind was boisterous”), they faint (“he was afraid”) and assuredly the circumstance becomes worse (“beginning to sink”). However, if we call out in our weakness, “Lord, save us!” we will be saved.

2) In the real experience of Christians, one’s faith usually does not accord with the sight of his eyes. They are even contradictory. Therefore we should walk by faith not by sight (2Cor. 5:7).

3) The true faith is continuous. We should not merely walk one step. We should walk step by step by faith (See Heb. 11:8).


Matt. 14:31 “And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’”

   YLT: “And immediately Jesus, having stretched forth the hand, laid hold of him, and saith to him, `Little faith! for what didst thou waver?’”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord stretched out His hand and caught Peter first and then blamed him. The principle for the Lord to guide us is: oil first and then wine (Luke. 10:34). He supplies us first and then deals with us.

2) “Little faith” is the faith to see circumstances because the moment one sees the circumstance, he will “doubt”. The true faith is to look upon the power of God’s promise and not to see the circumstances.

3) In normal, the Lord guides us with His words (“come”) by which we could walk forth. While we are in weakness, the Lord will “stretch out His hand to catch us” on which we could rely. How sufficient and reliable is the Lord’s guidance and keep.

4) Because Peter heard the Lord’s words, he had an overcoming experience (walking on the sea) and experienced of being saved by the Lord. Those who dare to prove the Lord’s words will have and enjoy power of His salvation much more than others.


Matt. 14:32 “And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

   YLT: “and they having gone to the boat the wind lulled,”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) As long as the Lord is in the boat (the assembly), all the winds will pass away.

2) The Lord considers us who are pilgrims on the way to the heavens and always guides us out of difficulties in person.


Matt. 14:33 “Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, Truly You are the Son of God.’”

   YLT: “and those in the boat having come, did bow to him, saying, `Truly God`s Son art thou.’”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Disciples experienced all things as to know that “truly you are the Son of God”. God’s deeds in circumstances or in us, especially the things that may made us feel weak and fail, are for the manifestation of His Son Christ. 

2) Every time the assembly experiences tribulations, her knowledge and experience of the Lord will increase more or less.


Matt. 14:34 “When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret.

   YLT: “And having passed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret,”

   Meaning of Words: “Gennesaret”: garden of the prince.

   Literal Meaning: the Sea of Galilee (Matt. 4:18) was also called the lake of Gennesaret (Luke. 5:1). Therefore “the land of Gennesaret” was the plain to the northwest of the Sea of Galilee.

   Spiritual Meaning: “the land of Gennesaret” is the type of the garden of God. This verse symbolizes that when the Lord comes back, He will take believers into the kingdom of a thousand years.


Matt. 14:35 “And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick,

   YLT: “and having recognized him, the men of that place sent forth to all that region round about, and they brought to him all who were ill,”

   Spiritual Meaning: when the Lord comes back, the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea (Is. 11:9). Every one shall know Him as “Jehovah the salvation” (the meaning of “Jesus” in original). 


Matt. 14:36 “and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.

   YLT: “and were calling on him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment, and as many as did touch were saved.”

   Spiritual Meaning: when the Lord comes back, anyone who comes to Him and touches Him by faith (“they only touch the hem of His garment”) will experience His power of healing (See Matt. 8:16-17).


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


The Anxiety of Herod (v.1-12)

I. He asked for justice because of anxiety (because he committed a sin).

II. He knew the justice and became anxious (because he was blamed for sin and did not repent).

III. He was anxious and backslided (he killed John the Baptist).

IV. He backslided and became more anxious (his conscious was accused).


Five Loaves and Two Fish

I. They had been dedicated to the Lord------“bring them here to Me” (v.18).

II. They had been blessed by the Lord------“looking up to heaven, He blessed” (v.19).

III. They had been broken by cross------“He broke” (v.19).

IV. They had become the Lord’s channels------“He gave the loaves to the disciples and the disciples gave to the multitudes” (v.19).

V. The provision was carried through to the end------“they all ate and were filled” (v.20).

VI. We should not ruin the Lord’s grace------“they took up the fragments that remained” (v.20).

VII. The grace is abundant and surplus------“twelve baskets full of the fragments” (v.20).


Our Relationship with the Lord

I. The disciples got into the boat and went to the other side (v.22) ------believers should obey the Lord’s commandments and walk on the heavenly way together from this age to the eternal age.

II. He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray (v.23) ------the Lord is now the high priest who has passed through the heavens and intercedes for us before God (Heb. 7:25).

III. The boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary (v.24) ------the assembly suffers many tribulations and persecutions in the world. On one hand, it is of Satan who stirs up troubles to hold back the assembly to go forth. On the other, it is predestinated by the Lord to make us experience Him more and know Him.

IV. In the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea (v.25) ------the Lord is the ruler above all things and He will come back to meet us.

V. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus (v.29) ------overcomers will be caught up to meet the Lord.

VI. Once they met the Lord, the wind ceased and they all worshiped Him with their hearts (v.32-33).


Christ in Matt. 14

I. Christ------who had been rejected (v.1-12).

II. Christ------who had satisfied men’s needs (v.13-21).

III. Christ------who had passed through heavens and interceded for us (v.22-23).

IV. Christ------who had saved believers (v.24-33).

V. Christ------who is glorious (v.34-36).


The Epitome of the Kingdom of A Thousand Years

I. Men of the Lord all come to the garden of God------“they come to the land of Genesaret” (v.34).

II. The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord------“the men recognized Him” (v.35).

III. They enjoy the power of the Lord’s healing------“all who were sick…were made perfectly well” (v.35-36).


Men’s Knowledge of the King

I. The fist kind of men in the world------they knew Him according to the flesh (Matt. 13:53-58).

II. The second kind of men in the world------they knew Him by the report (v.1-12).

III. Believers always did not know His “willing” and “power” (v.13-21).

IV. Believers always did not know His “transcendence” and “faithfulness” (v.22-33).

V. When the Lord comes back, everyone will know Him (v.34-36).


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Sharon Ren