Matthew 14

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“At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus” (Matthew 14:1 ESV)

January 21, 2016

This was Herod the “Tetrarch” (“ruler of a quarter”), not Herod the Great. He was one of the sons of Herod the Great, and was better known as “Antipas.” After the death of Herod the Great, his sons went before Tiberius Caesar to plea their case for their father’s throne, for their kingdom was ultimately under Roman rule. Tiberius subdivided Herod’s kingdom into a tetrarchy and gave Antipas rule over Galilee and Perea. Herod Antipas later divorced his wife and took his brother’s (Herod Philip II) wife, Herodias, as his wife. She was not only his brother’s wife, but also his niece (“Herodias” was Herod the Great’s granddaughter). John the Baptist publicly rebuked Antipas for this sinful union. Antipas, perhaps fearing anarchy in his kingdom from John’s preaching, and at the urging of his wife and her daughter, imprisoned and later beheaded John. It was this Herod, Herod Antipas, that now feared that Jesus was in fact John the Baptist raised from the dead. The contrast between this puppet king of the Jews and the true king, Jesus, Son of David, Son of God is striking. Yet, the choice still remains today for us. Which king will you choose? The world’s puppet king or the One True King, Jesus?

“And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water'” (Matthew 14:28 NKJV)

January 22, 2015

Perhaps you’ve heard someone say, “If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat.” This mantra is offered to encourage us to have a risk-taking kind of faith like Peter’s. Yet, it overlooks Peter’s first step. His first step wasn’t to get his feet wet. His first step was to ask permission from Jesus to join Him on the sea. Peter asked to walk on the water to Jesus. And Jesus said, “Come.” So, during the 4th watch of the night (3-6AM), Peter got to practice his gait on the Galilee. What unexpected joy awaits those who will follow Jesus wherever He leads!