Source of this story: Manaen, former friend of Herod (Act
JOHN... HAS RISEN: Was there a family resemblance
between John and Jesus?
Herod believed John was fomenting political rebellion in the
guise of religious preaching.
HIS BROTHER PHILIP'S WIFE: Was Philip still legally
married to Herodias -- even though she now "lived" with Herod?
ON HEROD'S BIRTHDAY: The only other person whose
birthday is recorded in the Bible was another Gentile king, Pharaoh: Gen 40:20.
THE DAUGHTER OF HERODIAS DANCED FOR THEM AND PLEASED
HEROD: Are we pleased to allow the "goddess" of pleasure to dance before us?
"The character of the dance and the quality of the appreciation of it may well
be imagined" (WGos 314).
TO GIVE HER WHATEVER SHE ASKED: "Up to half my kingdom"
The pattern of Elijah: John also incurred the ruthless
vengeance of the consort (Jezebel) of a weak monarch (Ahab).
PROMPTED: Or "instructed" (AV): the sw Deu 6:7, LXX --
but what a contrast.
The time of this incident: the 3rd of 4 Passovers in Christ's
ministry (Joh 6:4n).
Jesus needs solitude for thought and prayer (cp Isa 50;4; Psa
119:147,148). A list of "solitude passages": Mar 1:35-37; 3:7,9,20,21; 4:35-38;
6:31; 7:17,18,24; 8:10,11,27; 9:30; 10:32; 14:32.
HE WITHDREW BY BOAT: He separates his disciples from
the world -- by water.
He submerged his personal sorrows (at the death of John the
Baptist) by ministering to others.
HE HAD COMPASSION ON THEM: "For we do not have a high
priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses" (Heb 4:15).
Contrast the two great feasts: (1) There is Herod's feast --
which is sumptuous, attended by captains and kings, and the entertainment is
provided by a "strange woman". It is a feast of death -- for a righteous man is
slain on a whim. (2) Then there is Christ's feast -- which is frugal, with food
for the poor. Here is no strange, lewd woman, but rather Christ's "bride", for
whom he provides the bread of life. In contrast to Herod's feast of death, this
is a feast of life, for it typifies the death of one who lays down his life for
THEY DO NOT NEED TO GO AWAY. YOU GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO
EAT: None need depart empty-handed or hungry from the presence of Jesus. The
bread that he provides is for all.
Cp special ordering of wilderness encampments (Num
THE GRASS: Which was "green" (Mar 6:39; cp Joh 6:10),
indicating Passover time.
HE GAVE THANKS...: The language of the Last
THEY ALL ATE AND WERE SATISFIED: "Satisfied with the
bread of heaven": Psa 105:40; cp Psa 22:26; 132:13-16; Isa 25:6-8.
AND THE DISCIPLES PICKED UP TWELVE BASKETFULS OF BROKEN
PIECES: Twelve baskets = twelve apostles! In ministering to others, they
lost nothing themselves. (In the atonement of Christ, there is ample provision
BASKETFULS: "Kophinos" = small basket, in ct "spuris"
(large basket) of Mat 15:37; Mar 8:8.
BROKEN PIECES: Which the Canaanite woman, like a "dog"
under the Jewish "table", was only too willing to eat (Mat 15:27; Mar 7:28).
Five broken things in the Bible and the results achieved by
them: (1) broken pitchers (Jdg 7:18-20), causing the light to shine forth; (2) a
broken jar (Mark 14:3), causing the ointment to be poured out; (3) broken bread
(Mat 14:20), causing the hungry to be fed; (4) a broken body (1Co 11:24),
causing the world to be saved; and (5) a broken will (Psa 51:17), leading the
sinner back to God.
From the "mount", Christ could see his disciples on the
troubled sea, going toward Bethsaida (Mar 6:45). At the appropriate time, ie
when they were in the greatest need, he could go to them.
WHILE HE DISMISSED THE CROWD: Why? Because they
intended to make him king (Joh 6:15).
HE WENT UP ON A MOUNTAINSIDE BY HIMSELF TO PRAY: Jesus
knew they intended to make him king by force (Joh 6:15). "The waves of popular
acclaim might have drowned him in a glory which was suffocation in the sea of
men" (ADN 63).
Instances of Jesus withdrawing into a mountain, apart --
sometimes for privacy and prayer, and sometimes to instruct his followers: Mat
5:1; 8:1; 14:23; 15:29; 17:1; 24:3; 28:16; Mark 3:13; 6:46; 9:2; 13:3; Luke
6:12; 9:28; 22:39; John 6:3,15; 8:1.
WHEN EVENING CAME: Lit, "between the two evenings": as
in Exo 12:6.
BUFFETED BY THE WAVES... THE WIND: "Life can present a
picture of a dark and turbulent sea with Jesus afar off. It is the slow triumph
of faith to see him on the heights above in communion and intercession with his
Father. Sometimes he comes to us in the midst of the storms and darkness, in
unfamiliar form which we must learn to recognize. We are quick to appreciate, if
we are slow to learn, that when we walk over the waters to meet him, we must not
be dismayed by the darkness, the wind or the waves; we must believe that his
power is greater far; that he can save even unto the uttermost: that faith can
only be sustained by keeping our eyes fixed lovingly and obediently upon him"
Christ first breaks bread -- signifying his own body in death
-- and then, when his disciples are in distress on a troubled sea, comes to calm
and save them -- his second coming!
JESUS WENT OUT TO THEM, WALKING ON THE LAKE: "He was
about to pass by them" (Mar 6:48).
"A deliberate demonstration of loyalty in the face of coolness
of the rest" (WGos 322).
A Galilean "space walk" -- with no life-line!
BEGINNING TO SINK: Sinking times are praying times with
the Lord's servants. Peter neglected prayer at starting upon his journey, but
when he began to sink his danger made him a suppliant, and his cry though late
was not too late
LORD, SAVE ME!: Short prayers are long enough. There
were only 3 words in Peter's petition, but they were sufficient for his purpose.
Not length but strength is desirable. A sense of need is a mighty teacher of
Can we not understand Peter's failings, when winds drown out
voice of Christ, and towering waves of trouble obscure our view of him? "When I
said, 'My foot is slipping,' your love, O LORD, supported me" (Psa 94:18; cp Psa
AND ALL WHO TOUCHED HIM WERE HEALED: All the occasions
of Jesus touching, or being touched, in the context of healing (notice that not
one of them is in John's gospel): Mat 8:3,15; 9:20,21,29; 14:36; 17:7; 20:34;
Mark 1:41; 3:10; 5:27,28,30,31; 6:56; 7:33; 8:22; 10:13; Luk 5:13; 6:19;
7:14,39; 8:44-47; 18:15; 22:51.