Matthew 14:14-36 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Seeing a large crowd, Jesus had compassion on them and healed their sick. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He does the same today when crowds come to seek him. The Elijah Challenge in India
(15) As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” (16) Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” (17) “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. (18) “Bring them here to me,” he said. (19) And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. (20) They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. (21) The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Jesus performs an extraordinary, unprecedented miracle not witnessed before on earth, proving his identity as the Son of the Most High God.
(22) Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. (23) After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, (24) and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. (25) Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
We read of still another unprecedented miracle—Jesus walking on the water.
(26) When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. (27) But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (28) “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
Peter is touched beyond measure. Perhaps he is thinking of the miraculous healings he has already seen using the power and authority over infirmities and demons the Lord delegated to his disciples (Luke 9:1-2, 6). He sees Jesus walking on the water and wants permission from the Lord to do it himself.
(29) “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. (30) But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (31) Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
For a few steps at least, Peter is actually performing the miracle of walking on the surface of the water as Jesus had commanded him. But then he sinks into the water and fails to fulfill the Lord’s command. He fails because of his little faith and because he doubted. Exactly what did Peter doubt causing him to sink?
Typically we will say that when Peter took his eyes off of Jesus to look at the wind, he began to doubt. But what did he doubt? Did he doubt God? Did he doubt Jesus? Did he doubt that Jesus could walk on water? No. Peter sank because he doubted that he himself could on water as Jesus had commanded him. One reason why we fail to fulfill the Lord’s commands is because we doubt that we can in fact do what He commands us to do. Mountain-moving faith vs. doubt
(32) And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. (33) Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
This and the other extraordinary miracles proved that Jesus was not simply another “healer” (of which there likely many self-proclaimed ones) but rather the Son of the Living God Himself sent from heaven to save us.
(34) When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. (35) And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him (36) and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
Hearing of all these incredible miracles, the faith of the people exploded. Unlike at the beginning of this chapter when Jesus healed their sick, now sick people could be healed simply by touching the edge of his cloak. When people with such faith made contact with Jesus in this way, healing power (dunamis) came out of Jesus and flowed into them to heal them (cf. Mark 5: 30).