Walking on the sea - Matthew 14:25

Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Matthew 14:25-15:5

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Walking on the sea - Matthew 14:25

Walking on the sea. Jesus has already performed many miracles that show his power and authority (Matt. 8:1–9:34), including the ability to control nature (Matt. 8:26). Walking on water strongly indicates Jesus divine nature (Job 9:8).

It is I – Matthew 14:27

It is I! Do not be afraid. The Greek phrase for "It is I" (egōeimi) has a double meaning because it is also the way God often speaks of himself in the Scriptures, including the revelation of the divine name to Moses at the burning bush (Exod. 3:1-17). The Gospel of John uses this language as a major theme to describe Jesus as God (John 6:20; 8:24, 28, 58; 18:5). In addition to revealing himself as divine, Jesus also spoke peace to his people; God's presence means his people have nothing to fear.

Peter walked on the water – Matthew 14:29

Peter walked on the water. This divine power inherent in Jesus is transferred to his disciples by faith. Peter's ability to walk on the water while focused on Jesus is a picture of the new humanity in the new creation that Jesus is bringing in to being through his life, death, resurrection, and ascension. This ability is dependent on Peter faithfully looking to Jesus. When he looked instead to his circumstances his faith wavered and he began to sink (Matt. 14:30). Jesus then calls his disciples to believe in him wholly by calling them "little faith" (Matt. 14:31; cf. 6:30; 8:26; 16:8; 17:20).

Son of God – Matthew 14:33

Truly you are the Son of God. This response, along with worship, is the proper faith-filled reaction to seeing Jesus' power. Matthew describes Jesus as the Son of God eight times at very important places in the story (4:3,6; 8:29; 14:33; 26:63; 27:40,43,54).

Healing – Matthew 14:36

touch the edge of his garmenthealed. This may be a reference to Malachi 4:2 where those who revere God experience healing from as the sun of righteousness rises "with healing in its wings" (or "edge of garments"). In Acts 5:15 this healing power is transferred to Peter whose shadow brings healing to those who believe.

Unwashed hands - Matthew 15:2

They do not wash their hands when they eat. The Jewish people of this time period had developed many traditions about purity that were rooted in God's law but often added other requirements and prohibitions (Matt. 23:25-28). Some of these concerned what foods to eat and the importance of washing one's hands for ritual purity. This statement from the Pharisees stands in sharp contrast to Jesus's compassionate feeding of the multitudes in need (Matt. 14:13-21) – Jesus cares for people out of compassion; the Pharisees and scribes were only concerned about following the traditions about hand washing. See further on 15:11.

Dedicated to God – Matthew 15:5

"Whatever help you would have received from me is now a gift given to God." The Jewish rabbis developed specific traditions about declaring property or money as "dedicated to God," which meant they could not be used for any other purpose. Jesus pointed out that this tradition should not be used to prevent people from doing what God himself has clearly commanded — that everyone should honor their parents by taking care of them.

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