February 6 – Chronological Life of Jesus Day 27

Some great discussion is happening on the website this week! Thank you, and I encourage you to keep at it! If you’re reading today’s post from your e-mail, you can always access website comments by clicking on the “See All Comments” link near the bottom of the e-mail. God’s orchestrations are beyond our imagination, and it could be what you have to share is eye-opening and heart-changing to another reader. Also, if there’s something you don’t understand from the reading, this is a great forum to ask those questions.

During our break from the reading plan this weekend, please consider spending your daily time at the feet of Jesus in focused prayer, a candid conversation with your Creator, coming to Him in thanksgiving and laying it all at His feet. And have a great weekend!

-Becky

Scripture

READ: Matthew 14

Observation

First, a little back story on Herod the tetrarch introduced today–the Herod family was a royal dynasty that ruled in Palestine as vassals of the Romans. Herod Antipas was the tetrarch (a sub-ruler under Caesar) of Galilee and is the same Herod who is involved later with Jesus’ trial. You may remember Herod Antipas’ father, the infamous Herod the Great, who murdered all the boys under two years old in Bethlehem near the time of Jesus’ birth. From their reactions recorded in the gospels, we can surmise that the Herods were power hungry, not liked by the Jews, and scared of people like John the Baptist and Jesus who were gaining a following from the Jews. Power definitely corrupted this political family, and though the Herods were born and raised in the Jewish culture, their lives showed little indication that they even believed in God. However, it is interesting that Herod Antipas was distressed (vs. 9) when he realized he would have to kill John the Baptist. Perhaps Jesus’ light was shining into his darkness and convicting him a bit. Our reading in Mark 6 on Monday will give us more insight into his distress. But Herod Antipas’ hesitation is short-lived when he decides that impressing his guests is more important than the life of John the Baptist. This is what happens when a leader chooses to lead by his own authority rather than under the authority of God.

How does Jesus react to John the Baptist being killed? Check verse 13. But did it stop his ministry? No. Right after that, he performed one of his most well-known miracles to meet the needs of a hungry crowd of followers. In verse 16, Jesus tells his disciples, “They do not need to go away.” Their hunger was both physical and spiritual, and Jesus as the Good Shepherd knew their needs and met them where they were at. Often after a setback or bad news, I will isolate myself and stop forward progress. Jesus gives us a different example here. Yes, his heart was sad for the loss of John the Baptist, but it couldn’t stop his mission; he had to do God’s work through it, as he mourned. Though I still need to process and pray things through with God, I shouldn’t let things in the outside world stop my race either.

I love that the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 is surrounded in prayer. Here in verse 23, what does Jesus do after he dismissed the crowd and sent his disciples off in a boat? All of the times so far that we’ve read about Jesus going somewhere alone to pray, something awesome happens after that. And the story in verses 22-36 does not disappoint in that! I think the gospel writers saw the connection too. Prayer is SO VERY important! If you need encouragement in prayer or find prayer to be a weakness in your spiritual walk, check out this post from Beth Moore at Living Proof Ministries: http://blog.lproof.org/2015/02/its-prayer-thats-the-thing.html.

Application

You have given me the ability to communicate with You in prayer to remember that You are in charge.

Prayer

Thank You for the ultimate example of Jesus as The Leader. I want to be a leader who leads under Your authority and not my own. Please help me to continue pursuing the center of Your will in all areas of my life and to abide in You with my attention turned to You in prayer. Please help me to pray through each day that You give me.

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Posted on February 6, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Prayers of Thanksgiving and praise always preceded the miracles! Jesus’ power to heal and provide for people came directly from his Father through prayer. The coolest part? That same power is available to us! Oh Lord, that I might tap in! Thanks, Joni!

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  2. Hi Robin! Thanks for your comment! I’m hoping you check back and might expand on the same power being available to us.

    Like

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