King Herod was convicted of the evil he had done to John the Baptist
When Jesus came to His hometown His disciples followed Him, vs 1. It is there that He was unable to do a miracle, except to lay His hands on a few sick people and heal them, and He was amazed at their unbelief! This was because they viewed Him from an earthly standpoint, and therefore their eyes were not opened to see Him for who He really was, although they marvelled at His teachings, vs 2-6! Are we in a similar position?
Do we marvel at Jesus’ teachings, and yet are unable to get anything from Him because of our unbelief?
Jesus sent His disciples out in twos. He gave them authority over evil spirits, vs 7,8. And they went out and preached repentance, cast out many demons and healed people on anointing them with oil, vs 12,13.
He gave specific instructions as to what they needed to take with them and how they needed to react, if a place or home did not welcome them, vs 9-11. After a successful ministry, they gathered around Jesus and told Him everything they had done and taught, vs 30.
What a beautiful way to end a time of ministry that has been initiated by the Lord!
Do we practice ministry unto the Lord based on these similar principles?
As Jesus encouraged them to take a break and they set out to a remote place to do so, the crowds followed them and thus the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand took place! This miracle was birthed out of compassion that Jesus felt for the multitude whom He saw to be like sheep without a shepherd, and taking whatever they found at hand, viz. five loaves of bread and two fish, He gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to the disciples to distribute it to the people, and all ate, with leftovers of twelve baskets full, vs 31-44!
After this miracle, Jesus sends His disciples away and bids the crowds goodbye, while He Himself goes to the mountains to pray. In their time of need, as they encounter a storm, He comes to them walking on the water, intending to pass them by, vs 45-48! Thinking Him to be a ghost, they cry out in fear, but He assures them that they had nothing to be afraid of, as it was the Lord Himself who was near to save them.
As He gets into their boat, the wind ceases and they are amazed…as they don’t understand yet, concerning the power of God operating through Him, since their hearts were hardened, vs 49-52! After this incident, when they landed at Gennesarat, the people on recognising Him, brought their sick on mats for healing, vs 53-55.
Even so, wherever He would go, they would ask Him if the sick person could just touch the edge of His cloak, and all who touched it were healed, vs 56! While people mistook Jesus for Elijah or a prophet from the past, Herod felt that Jesus was not other than John the Baptist who was raised from the dead, vs 14-16!
King Herod was convicted of the evil he had done to John the Baptist as the behest of Herodias, his brother’s wife, (just because he exposed Herod’s relationship with his brother’s wife as a sin) by first imprisoning John, and later beheading him, even though he knew that John was a righteous and holy man! Thus, we see that while we may enjoy listening to a prophet, and yet never turn from our sin, we can eventually turn out to be the murderers of that prophet, in order to please people, vs 17-29!
So, walking on water, being filled with compassion and thus feeding a multitude, while giving thanks for the little we have in our hands to do so, spending nights in prayer, healing the sick, enduring persecution, driving out demons, being rejected by our own, being inconvenienced while vacationing, living godly lives in Christ Jesus etc. are all part and parcel of what it means to walk in Jesus’ footsteps! Let us examine our lives to check and see how much we are walking in this manner, so that in those areas in which we are found lacking, we can seek the power of the Holy Spirit to fill up that which is lacking in our bodies in the afflictions of Christ, Colossians 1:24, for the sake of building Christ’s body, the Church, and so go on to count for God in our generation! Amen.