20 Points of Application from Matthew 14
- As ambassadors of Christ, we are to hold the entire world accountable to God’s law just as John the Baptist held Herod, the Governor of the land, accountable.
2. Pointing out people’s sins in order to help them turn to Christ might come at the cost of your head. It did for John.
3. Trust not in your plans because the greatest of your works for God can, according to his will, serve only for a time and then come to a dismal conclusion. A tragic end to that work is not necessarily a defeat but a divine plan like the end of John’s ministry where he was beheaded as a gift to a teenage girl.
4. A godly wife is to be her husband’s crown. She is his aid and his glory and does not manipulate the circumstance to meet her own ends like Herodias did. Such a wife is her husband’s curse.
5. A godly mother will never use her son/daughter as an instrument or an ally in the pursuit of their selfish (and often sinful) desires. Herodias brought condemnation on her daughter.
6. A godly child must be grown in the discipline and instruction of the Lord so that they might refuse their ungodly parents when called to partake of sin. Herod’s step-daughter is not the model child, and her obedience was sinful.
7. A godly husband leads well. He is to govern his home well, heeding the needs and desires of his wife and children according to God’s word, but also able to deny them when he must. A good Father is able to discern the hearts of those in his household. Herod failed in this regard.
8. Our God sympathises with us, he knows our weaknesses, so we can go to him with confidence knowing that he understands. When you are encouraged to be Christ-like, and respond by saying, “You don’t understand my situation”, remember that Christ does, and he still requires it of you. Jesus, exhausted from the healings that didn’t even give him or his disciples time to eat, did not delay helping the crowds that followed him to his place of rest. He knows our weaknesses but does not excuse them. He strengthens us in our weaknesses.
9. Do not make promises you cannot keep, and do not sin by keeping those promises that you ought not to have made. Herod fell into this trap unintentionally but many try to fall into this trap intentionally to get what they want out of it.
10. The true Gospel work is hard labour. It is also selfless labour. It is compassionate labour. So, work in such a manner as Christ worked.
11. God is able to feed you in the barren lands where food and water are not found. Seek first the Kingdom of God as Jesus required of his disciples.
12. Do not be dismayed at the greatness of the task that God has appointed you to do. Do it faithfully knowing that he will provide what you need. The disciples looked at the vastness of the crowd instead of looking to Jesus.
13. Trust in God’s provision who is able to do much with the little you have. Bring your five loaves and two fish with great hope.
14. Do not finish God’s plans for him, do not complete his sentences. Jesus did not want to be crowned King by the Jews, no matter how much they thought that was the obvious next step.
15. Imitate Christ in your prayer life. Have your own mountains of seclusion where you can be alone with the Father in heaven and pray. Virtue went out of him when people touched him and was filled again by the Spirit when he prayed. Prayer seemed more important to Christ than rest or sleep. He slept during the storms so he could work during the day.
16. Do not fear the storm. There are many reasons for us to not fear the storm. Jesus is able to calm the storm and walk the storm. He is also able to make you walk the storm.
17. Faith looks away from the storm and to Christ. Doubt looks away from Christ and at the storm. Train yourself to look at Christ during the storms. This was Peter’s lesson.
18. Christ will hold you and keep you from drowning. Even your doubt as a Christian cannot keep you from Christ. In the end, you are not saved by your works but by his work. Jesus kept Peter from drowning.
19. God causes all things to work together for our good. The storm, the desolate lands and the scarcity of food were all part of God’s plan to bless the people who gathered that day.
20. Touch the hem of his garment. Chirst’s compassion healed those who were desperate to touch the hem of his garment. We can pray with confidence knowing that he hears our cry and is able to heal us if he wills.