- Sermon Notes
No Matter Where You Are
In Matthew 15:29-38, a great crowd draws near to Jesus, bring those in need of healing. Large crowds drawing near to Him is quite similar to what we have seen happening in Jesus’ ministry thus far, however, the people coming and the place He is in are quite different.
It would be an opportunity for His disciples and all throughout history to see that Jesus’ ministry would be unto all, those near and far, and an opportunity for you this morning to know that Jesus can work in your life, no matter where you are!
Read: Matthew 15:29-38
We saw last week that upon entering the region, a woman whose daughter was demon possessed came to Jesus in order to ask for healing for her daughter and mercy in her situation. There were dividing lines in place, but Jesus brought about healing for her daughter and commended her faith as she stopped at nothing, recognizing her place in society, but trusting Him alone for His grace and mercy, knowing that it was not about her own piety.
As He continues from there, Jesus continues into another Gentile region, filled with those in need of healing, but also those with whom the Jews had no dealings, feelings, or concern for…Even so, they knew Jesus had come to their region and then begin coming to Him in large crowds.
A question all would wonder, including His disciples was in the Gentiles pursuit of Him, what would they find? Would those before Him in this Gentile region find hope and healing, or be hurt and end up leaving without receiving from Him?
Many questions may have been in place, but those questions were answered in the light of His compassion and grace. And if you are in that place this morning, wondering how Jesus might respond to the need of someone like you, in light of the things you do or have done, or the place you have come from; I again have good news.
I. There is Room at the Feet of Jesus
Matthew 15:30-31, Large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them. So, the crowd marveled as they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.
- After going up on a mountain in the region of Decapolis, Jesus sat down and large crowds came to Him.
- Decapolis was a confederation of ten Gentile cities, and was quite different from the place Jesus ministry predominantly took place.
- Galilee was where His teachings had happened, where His healings had almost exclusively taken place up to this point, and where His disciples were developed.
- But now, after responding to, and bringing healing and restoration in response to the faith of a Gentile woman, the crowds become coming to Jesus, laying those in need down at His feet.
- There were social, political, racial, and positional tensions in place, they would be well aware of those.
- But they were also well aware of Jesus and His ministry.
John 7:37, If anyone is thirsty let him come to me and drink.
Matthew 11:28, Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
John 6:33, 35, “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”
- There is room at Jesus’ feet for Jews, Gentiles, and for all who would come to Him throughout history.
- Perhaps you are wondering this today, can I come to Jesus, am I too far away, is the location of my life going to limit me from leaning on Him, is their room for me.
Hebrews 13:8, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Jesus gives the invitation to come, and He makes good on that invitation when you do…There is room for you.
Illus. I want you to.
John 3:16-17, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
- Remember what He has done
- God’s heart for us is revealed through His Word and His Son. God healed as a sign, a witness, a testimony of His strength and power.
- As the crowd saw Jesus healing all who were brought to Him, they glorified the God of Israel.
- At this point the crowd had been with Jesus for three days, bringing many to Him, so many that the crowd had grown to 4,000 men plus women and children.
Matthew 15:32-33, And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, “I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” The disciples said to Him, “Where would we get so many loaves in this desolate place to satisfy such a large crowd?”
- Seeing the elements associated with this situation: a large crowd, Jesus compassion for them, no food, their being in a desolate place, our minds are immediately drawn to one chapter earlier (Mt. 14:13-21), when Jesus fed a crowd of well over 5,000 with one boy’s lunch consisting of five loaves of bread and two fish.
- While our minds are immediately drawn there, it seems that the disciple’s minds weren’t, in response to Jesus’ question, they respond somewhat similarly to the way they had before.
Mark 8:4, But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?
- I would like to think if I were in their shoes, I would have begun looking for the nearest little boys’ lunch, gathering together all I could find, in order to place into His hands to see again His miraculous provision in light of the overwhelming need.
- But here I stand in my own shoes, and how easy it is for me to do just as the disciples were doing.
- Jesus was with the disciples in Decapolis; a mostly Gentile crowd, a heathen territory, it was a different story this time and the disciples were unsure.
Lamentations 3:21-22, This I recall to my mind; therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
- To “feel compassion” for them; is a picture of a person who is stirred with love and sympathy to their deepest depth.
- Compassion, means literally to be moved in one’s bowels, this is where people in Bible times considered emotions and feelings to reside…Jesus cares.
- Jeremiah said that he called to mind the Lord’s lovingkindness and unfailing compassions, and when he did so…He had hope!
- So too, it is important that we call to mind the compassions of the Lord, which are new every morning, not dependent upon your past, or the vast sum of all the good works you have amassed, rather, it is according to His compassion.
- Jesus compassion was not going to come upon that place because of what they had done, but because of the place they had come…They were with Jesus.
Jonah 2:7, “While I was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to You, into Your holy temple.
Psalm 51:1, Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
- As Jesus proposes that He wants to feed the crowd, their response centers on where they could get enough loaves in a desolate place for a crowd that size.
- In asking this question, it seems they had forgotten, or chosen not to apply His compassion and power to their present situation.
Psalm 103:2, Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me. (NLT)
- In remembrance I am mindful of all the good He has done, and I praise Him because in my situation presently I can look to Him.
- Trust that He can do it again
- For three days the crowd continued coming to Jesus and He was healing them physically, yet, when faced with the need to feed the crowd, the disciples seem to avoid trusting that He could do it again, thinking the chances of that were too thin.
- The mute were speaking, the crippled restored, the lame walking, the blind seeing (Vs. 31), but now they need food and the disciples seem without an answer.
Illus. Where would we get so many loaves in this desolate place to satisfy such a large crowd?
Illus. Water Leak.
- In response to their question, Jesus asks again asks the disciples to give Him what they have…
Matthew 15:34-37, And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” And He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full.
- Jesus came to save not just a particular people, in a particular place, with a particular problem, as a particular time.
- Just as He did with those in Galilee, Jesus had them sit down, He took the bread and the fish, broke them, gave thanks, gave them to the disciples and the disciples to the people.
- And they all ate and were satisfied.
- Just as He had done before, He provided for the need of the multitude, with food to spare.
Illus. 12 baskets versus 7.
- This was an important picture for the people to see, but also for the disciples to be reminded of. That no matter where they were, His hands were hands to draw from.
- And that just as He had done before, He would do it again.
Hebrews 4:16, Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Departing from there, Jesus went along by the Sea of Galilee, and having gone up on the mountain, He was sitting there. And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them. So the crowd marveled as they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel. And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, “I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” The disciples said to Him, “Where would we get so many loaves in this desolate place to satisfy such a large crowd?” And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” And He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full. And those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.