Matthew: The Depravity And Hope Of Mankind

Memory Verse: Matthew 14:14

14:1-2 Herod’s Guilty Conscience
Mark 6:14-29; Luke 9:7-9

  • 14:1-2 At that time Herod (Herod Antipas, one of the sons of King Herod the great) the tetrarch—(a sovereign ruler over a certain area but doesn’t have as much authority, power or land as a king does) heard of the fame of Jesus. Because of Jesus’ teaching and working of miracles, the news about Him was spreading. Herod became nervous that Jesus might actually be John the Baptist risen from the dead. He thought that the mighty works that Jesus was doing was evidence of this (this is not logical since Jesus and John lived at the same time). But really this feeling that Herod was having was guilt from murdering John the Baptist. Do you have a guilty conscience?—Don’t ignore it.
  • John the Baptist was a prophet preparing the way for the Christ. He preached a message of repentance and the coming kingdom.
    Matthew 3:1-17; 4:12; 9:14-17; 11:1-6, 14:1-12; John 1:29-36
  • John the Baptist was also more than a prophet because He was the fulfillment of prophecy—He was the one that would prepare the way for the coming Christ.
    Matthew 11:7-11

14:3-12 Herod’s Meal Exemplifies The Depravity Of Mankind
Mark 6:14-29; Luke 9:7-9

  • 14:3-4 Herod was a corrupted ruler. Herod was a married man but he decided that He wasn’t satisfied and he married his brother Philip’s wife Herodias. This was clearly contrary to the Old Testament law. Thus John told Herod it was not lawful for him to have her. Therefore, Herod apprehended, bound and imprisoned John. Application: Mankind is often controlled by their sinful appetites. They persecute those who show the right way. But God’s laws apply to everyone, not matter who you are, and it points out our depravity.
    Leviticus 18:16; 20:21
  • 14:5 Herod and Herodias both want to kill John for speaking out against their sinful actions. The only thing that kept Herod from killing John was that He feared the multitude because they counted John as a prophet. He feared the reaction of the people. But He also feared John because He knew that He was a just and holy man. Application: Mankind often chooses their sin over righteousness, which leads to more sin and despair.
    Mark 6:20
  • 14:6-9 It was Herod’s birthday and he hosted a banquet. At the banquet the daughter of Herodias danced before Herod and those that were at the banquet. This dancing pleased Herod. Therefore, Herod promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. The girl asked her mother what to ask for. The mother, who was obviously resentful towards John, told her to ask for John’s head in a charger to be given to her immediately. When Herod heard this request he was sorry. It is evident that he was not expecting her to ask for this kind of request. Nevertheless, Herod commanded for it to be done because of the oath and the guests—meaning those who sat at the banquet would have also heard the oath and known whether he would keep it and this would hurt his reputation and political future. Application: Mankind is often motivated by the fear of man and not the fear of God. We think about the problems horizontally but not vertically. This leads to uncontrolled sin.
  • 14:10-12 After the command was given, John was beheaded in prison and his head was brought in a charger and given to the daughter, who brought it to her mother. Corruption, fear and resentment all resulted in murder. Herod is a failed king because he didn’t punish evil and reward good. Finally, John’s disciples came and took His body, buried it and then went and told Jesus all that happened. Application: Mankind often follows the example of Herod, they reward evil and punish good. Mankind left to himself is hopeless.

14:13-21 Jesus’ Meal Exemplifies The Hope Of Mankind
Mark 6:32-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-13

  • 14:13-14 When Jesus heard of Herod’s reaction to the news about Himself (14:1-2), He departed from there by ship into an uninhabited (desert) place alone. But when the people heard where Jesus went, they followed Him on foot out of the cities. Then when Jesus got out of the boat and went ashore (went forth) He saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion toward them and he healed their sick. He was moved in His inner being and willing to show kindness, favor, grace and mercy to these people. Application: Jesus sees our depravity but He is willing to have compassion on us.
  • 14:15-16 When it was evening, Jesus’ disciples came to him saying that the day was over and because the place they were at was uninhabited that they should send the multitude away so they could go into the villages to buy food (victuals) for themselves. But Jesus wasn’t worried about the situation. He told them that the multitude didn’t need to depart, but instead they should give them food to eat. There was no food to give the multitude, but as usual, Jesus was using this as time to teach His disciples to have confidence in Him. Application: Jesus knowns our needs and wants us to rely on Him for them.
  • 14:17 Jesus’ disciples weren’t as confident as Jesus. They told Him that they only had five loaves and two fishes. This obviously wasn’t enough to feed the “multitude.” Jesus confidently tells His disciples to bring the bread and fish to Him. He commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass. Then He took the five loaves and the two fishes, looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Finally, He broke the loaves and gave them to His disciples. Then the disciples gave it to the multitude. Jesus performed a miracle. As the disciples were passing out the bread from the baskets, there was a never ending supply until everyone received something to eat. Application: Jesus shows us grace—He gives us what we don’t deserve. His miracle points to who He really is—the Messiah. He teaches us to trust Him with everything.
    Matthew 6:11
  • 14:20-21 Generosity: Not including women in children, there were at least 5,000 men. That means there could have been between 5,000-15,000 people there. Every person there ate and was filled. They didn’t get food from anywhere else because the place they were at was uninhabited. Finally, the disciples took up of the fragments that remained and there were twelve baskets full. Application: Jesus provides us with more than we needed—His generosity points to the abundant life for all those who trust in Him.

Review Questions

  • Why was Herod feeling guilty?
  • What was the story of Herod’s meal?
  • How did Herod’s meal exemplifies the depravity of mankind?
  • What was the story of Jesus’ meal?
  • How did Jesus’ meal exemplifies the hope of mankind?

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