Matt. 14:1-12-This is Herod Antipas…he ruled from 4 B.C.-39 A.D. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_Antipas for a brief history of his life). He was the son of Herod the Great, who was king at the birth of Jesus (2:1,22). When Herod the Great died his kingdom was divided up between his sons…Antipas (Galilee and Perea), Philip (N.E. Palestine), and Archaleus (Judah and Samaria…he senselessly killed many people and was an ineffective king, so Caesar Augustus removed him from power in 6 A.D. and he was banished to Gaul). Herod Antipas had arrested John the Baptist because he was publicly judging him for having married Philip’s (his half-brother) wife, Herodias. This was incest (Lev. 18:16). It greatly angered Herodias and when the opportunity came for her to have John silenced, she took advantage of it.
Matt. 14:13-When Jesus received the news of John’s death, He went off for a while by Himself. John was not only the prophet that God had sent to proclaim the coming of Jesus, but he was also Jesus’ cousin. So, his death probably had a profound affect on Him.
Matt. 14:14-When Jesus came back a large crowd had gathered. “And when it was evening…”…
“The Hebrew day, that is, the interval between dawn and darkness, was divided into three parts: morning, noon, and evening (Ps. 55:17). The Jews distinguished two evenings in the day: the first begin at 3 p.m., and the second at sundown (see Ex. 12:6, lit., “between the evenings.”). In this verse the first evening is meant; in v. 23, the second.” (Ryrie)
The disciples suggested that Jesus tell the crowd of people to go into the local villages for food. But Jesus told the disciples to feed them. They replied that they only had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Jesus told them to bring the food to Him. He then had the crowd sit down on the ground. He prayed for the food and began dividing up the bread and fish among the disciples…who then began dividing it up among the people. All of them ate, “and were satisfied” (:19). After they had eaten they picked up the leftovers and they filled 12 baskets. There were about 5,000 men in the crowd, plus women and children (:20).
Prayer: Lord, Jesus was moved with compassion because He loved the people. Please help me to be a man of love. One who acts on that love for the good of others. And Father, help those people to realize that it is Your love that is flowing through me, to them. Let it bring glory to You.