Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Morning Cup of Tea : Death of John the Baptizer, Jesus Feeds the Multitude

Good morning! Today we begin chapter 14 of Matthew. 

King Herod at this time (Herod the Tetrarch) had just begun to hear of Jesus. His thought was that Jesus was John the baptizer, come back from the dead to do miracles. Herod's conscious must have been bothering him a bit on that one.
  John the baptizer had been imprisoned because he told Herod that he should not be with Herodius, who was his brother Philip's wife. Herod didn't want to kill him because he feared retribution from the people who knew and loved John.

  On Herod's birthday, Herodius' daughter danced for the king and it pleased him so much he told her to ask and it would be hers. Mama had instructed her daughter well, and she asked for John the baptizer's head on a platter. Not wanting to break his oath and wanting to save face among those who had been at his dinner, Herod ordered him beheaded. (Matthew 14: 1-11 paraphrased)

 John's disciples came and took the body to be buried, then went to tell Jesus.  After hearing this, Jesus had wanted to be alone for a while, but of course he had his followers. But instead of sending them away, he had compassion and healed the sick among them (v 14). Toward evening his disciples came to him and said, Lord, send these people away so they can go buy some food.
 Jesus replied in vers 16 They need not depart, give ye them to eat. The disciples replied we have 5 loaves and two fishes. Jesus took the bread and the fish and blessed it, and the multitudes were fed, with plenty left over!
  20. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
21. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
  Can you imagine feeding so many people with so little? We have no idea how many there actually were because during this time women and children weren't counted. We know there were some there, just not how many.
  For me, this teaches me to share, no matter how little I have, and that the Lord will take care of us. He made sure all those people had plenty to eat.  
  Once they had eaten, Jesus sent the multitude away and even told his disciples to go on ahead of him in  a boat. He himself went up into a mountain to pray.  Another lesson there: He wanted time alone, and could have immediately sent everyone away, but he put others first. He took care of their needs, but did not neglect his own. He took the time he needed. How often do we just keep going and going and taking care of others and neglecting ourselves until we're worn to a frazzle? 
  Some days, especially as moms, the few minutes we take in the morning with our bibles and our cup of tea may be all we get that day! But we do need that time to collect our thoughts and prepare for the day ahead. Enjoy your quiet time. If all goes well, we'll return tomorrow and finish up chapter 14.

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