Matthew 14:14
And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
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(14) And Jesus went forth.—The words imply that our Lord, from the height to which He had withdrawn, saw the crowds drawing near, and then, instead of retiring still further, went forward, moved by the touch of pity which the sight of an eager and suffering multitude never failed to rouse in Him (Matthew 9:36), to meet them and relieve their sufferings. St. Mark (Mark 6:34) adds that the source of His compassion was (as in Matthew 9:36) that they were as sheep having no shepherd.

14:13-21 When Christ and his word withdraw, it is best for us to follow, seeking the means of grace for our souls before any worldly advantages. The presence of Christ and his gospel, makes a desert not only tolerable, but desirable. This little supply of bread was increased by Christ's creating power, till the whole multitude were satisfied. In seeking the welfare of men's souls, we should have compassion on their bodies likewise. Let us also remember always to crave a blessing on our meals, and learn to avoid all waste, as frugality is the proper source of liberality. See in this miracle an emblem of the Bread of life, which came down from heaven to sustain our perishing souls. The provisions of Christ's gospel appear mean and scanty to the world, yet they satisfy all that feed on him in their hearts by faith with thanksgiving.Was moved with compassion - That is, pitied them.

Mark 6:34 says he was moved with compassion because they were as sheep having no shepherd. A shepherd is one who takes care of a flock. It was his duty to feed it; to defend it from wolves and other wild beasts; to take care of the young and feeble; to lead it by green pastures and still waters, Psalm 23:1-6. In Eastern countries this was a principal employment of the inhabitants. When Christ says the people were as sheep without a shepherd, he means that they had no teachers and guides who cared for them and took pains to instruct them. The scribes and Pharisees were haughty and proud, and cared little for the common people; and when they did attempt to teach them, they led them astray. They therefore came in great multitudes to him who preached the gospel to the poor Matthew 11:5, and who was thus the good shepherd, John 10:14.

Mt 14:12-21. Hearing of the Baptist's Death, Jesus Crosses the Lake with Twelve, and Miraculously Feeds Five Thousand. ( = Mr 6:30-44; Lu 9:10-17; Joh 6:1-14).

For the exposition of this section—one of the very few where all the four Evangelists run parallel—see on [1302]Mr 6:30-44.

Ver. 13,14. Mark hath the same, Mark 6:32. Our Lord knew that the time for his suffering was not yet come, and possibly consulted also the safety of his disciples. The people follow him on foot; but our Saviour going by sea, how could the people follow him on foot? It is answered, that it was but a creek of the sea which our Saviour passed over, and the people by going three or four miles about might follow him on foot. He seeing a great multitude, had compassion on them, and healed the sick persons that were amongst them.

And Jesus went forth,.... Either from the mountain where he sat with his disciples, John 6:3 or out of the desert, where he had retired for secrecy; or out of the ship, which seems best, the company having got thither before his landing:

and saw a great multitude; for, there were about five thousand men, beside women and children, Matthew 14:21

and was moved with compassion toward them: partly on account of their bodily infirmities, which were very many and great; and partly on account of the bad situation they were in, through want of spiritual pastors to feed them with the bread of life; for Mark gives this as the reason, moving his compassion, "because they were as sheep, not having a shepherd": all which shows the truth of Christ's human nature; proves him to be a merciful high priest, and one truly concerned for both the bodies and souls of men:

and he healed their sick; which they brought along with them, and that without the use of any medicine, by a word speaking: so that as the former phrase gives proof of his humanity, this attests his divinity: but this was not all he did, he not only healed their bodies, but he taught them the doctrines of the Gospel; and spake to them concerning the kingdom of God, for the good of their souls, as the other evangelists relate.

{2} And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

(2) Christ feeds a great multitude with five loaves and two little fish, showing by it that they will lack nothing who lay all things aside and seek the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 14:14. Ἐξελθών] that is to say, from the solitude into which he had retired. In opposition to Matthew 14:13, Maldonatus and Kuinoel, following Mark 6:34, interpret: out of the boat.

ἐσπλαγχ. ἐπʼ αὐτ.] αὐτοῖς refers not merely to the sick (Fritzsche), but, like αὐτῶν below, to the ὄχλος, which, however, became the object of compassion just because of the sick that the people had brought with them. Not so in Mark 6:34.

Matthew 14:14. ἐξελθὼν, in this place, naturally means going forth from His retreat, in Mk. (Mark 6:34) going out of the ship, the crowd having arrived on the spot before Him. To escape from the people always difficult, now apparently more than ever. Evidently a time of special excitement, popularity at its height, though according to Fourth Gospel about to undergo a speedy decline.—ἐσπλαγχνίσθη, deponent passive, pitied; Hellenistic, and based on the Hebrew idea of the bowels as the seat of compassion; used by Symmachus in translation of Deuteronomy 13:9.—ἐθεράπευσε: Mark gives prominence to the element of instruction; healing alone mentioned here.

Matthew 14:14. Ἐξελθὼν, having come forth) sc. from His retreat into public.

Verse 14. - The first half of this verse is found verbally in Mark (Mark 6:34); comp. also Matthew 9:36, note. And Jesus went forth; came forth (Revised Version); i.e. from the more retired place where he had been conversing with his disciples (cf. Mark and Luke). And saw a great multitude. "The multitudes" of ver. 13 have now become one body. And was moved with compassion toward them; and he had compassion on them (Revised Version). The true reading, ἐπ αὐτοῖς (contrast Mark and Matthew 15:32), regards the Lord's pity at, so to say, a later stage than the common reading, ἐπ αὐτούς. It was not only directed towards them, but actually resting on them. And he healed (ἐθεράπευσεν, Matthew 4:23, note) their sick (τοὺς ἀῥῤώστους αὐτῶν). Αῥῤωστος here only in Matthew, elsewhere in the New Testament in Mark 6:5, 13 [16:18]; 1 Corinthians 11:30. As compared with ἀσθενής, it "seems to point to diseases predominantly marked by loss of bodily power ('diuturno languore teneri,' Calvin), while the more common ἀσθενής is simply used to denote sickness generally" (Bishop Ellicott, on 1 Corinthians, loc. cit.). But in our passage it is used without any such limitation (cf. Luke, "And he healed them that had need of healing"). Mark and John do not speak of miracles of healing on this occasion. Matthew 14:14
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