Study Guide

Gospel of Matthew Chapter 14

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Chapter 14

Goodbye, John

  • King Herod Antipas (not the guy who tried to kill baby Jesus) hears about Jesus through the grapevine and thinks that John the Baptist has come back from the dead.
  • Wait, what? When did John the Baptist die?
  • This is how it goes down: John says that Herod shouldn't marry his (Herod's) brother's wife, Herodias, and that just does not go over well with Herod. 
  • When his niece (Herodias's daughter) performs a dance for his birthday, Herod promises her anything she wants. Bad move. Herodias tells her daughter to ask for John's head on a platter. Literally. Herod doesn't want to do it, but he made a promise. And that's how John the Baptist's head ended up on a platter.
  • When Jesus hears about John's death, he goes off alone to process the news. But crowds of people follow. Moved with pity, Jesus begins to cure the sick.
  • It gets late, and the disciples start dismissing the crowd so everyone can go eat. But Jesus is on top of it—no need to scatter. 
  • All Jesus needs is five loaves and two fish and BAM! Five thousand men (plus women and children) are fed. Oh, and they end up with twelve baskets of leftovers.
  • Next up, the disciples take a boat ride without Jesus. But not wanting to miss out on the fun, Jesus walks over to them...on the water. The disciples are bewildered and Peter totally wants in on the miracle.
  • Happy to oblige, Jesus tells Peter to join him on the water. And sure enough, Peter actually starts walking on water out to where Jesus is. That is, until his doubt kicks in and he begins to sink. 
  • Obviously Jesus saves him, but he doesn't neglect to point out his little faith. 
  • By now, the entire boat is pretty convinced that they're chilling with the Son of God.
  • So the gang makes their way to Gennesaret. Jesus has a fan club here, too, and people start to bring their sick to him.
  • They're so into him that they'd be happy to touch even just a tassel of his cloak.

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