Bread and Fish, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source: Wikimedia.
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Matthew 14:13-33 Commentary
by Stanley Saunders
In Matthew 14, Jesus’ exercise of divine power is set in contrast with the corrupt, violent, and fear-inducing power of Herod Antipas.
Jesus’ power not only surpasses that of Herod; it is, more importantly, a different kind of power with different outcomes. Both Herod and Jesus host lavish banquets, but one is an exercise in the murderous debauchery of human rulers, the other in gentle care for hungry masses in the wilderness. The disciples are the primary audience for this study in contrasts, which is meant to blow open their strait-jacketed imaginations. In these stories, Jesus is democratizing divine power.
After the death of John, Jesus flees Herod, but the crowds follow him. Despite traveling on foot, they are waiting for Jesus when his boat arrives on the other side of the sea. He responds with “compassion” and healing. Brief accounts of Jesus’ power to heal, in fact, frame the two stories in this lesson (Matthew 14:14, 34-36). Both stories take place in the evening or night, and away from the towns where Jesus has been ministering. Away from the human symbols and activities that order and ...
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2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 350: Feeding 5,000
February 24, 2019
Podcast on Matthew 14:13-33, the Narrative Lectionary readings for Feb. 24, 2019 (Feeding 5,000) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.