Matt 14: Jesus takes great attention to what we need

Matt 14: Jesus takes great attention to what we need

Biao Chen


As many of you knew that Xuguang and I visited our daughter to experience along with her Christian college learning and life growth experience that I may share with you in other time. On Sunday morning, Xuguang & I went our daughter’s church, to worship at 8:30 service in order to allow me to preach at a local Chinese church at Chattanooga.  The church Jessica attends is called “New City Fellowship”, a PCA congregation at downtown Chattanooga, TN.  The well mixed congregation from white, black and Hispanic in the deeper south has already told any visitors the power of Gospel and profound manifestation of presence of Christ’s Kingdom.  God used the worship songs, baptismal sacraments and sermon teaching & touching me greatly.


No one would be exempted from current economic downtime.  Many needs in our congregation and Chinese community at great Orlando have been and will be surfaced. How should we prepare and response to various unexpected waves and storms in life of uncertainty? Should we simply be defined or confined by that? Absolutely not be, because we are the children of God and heirs of Eternal Kingdom.  Let me share what I heard the sermon from Pastor Randy Nabors based on Matthew 14, so that you too can be encouraged and rejoiced with all saints.


There are so much more we can talk about on Matthew 14, even you can tell that several sermons can preach from this chapter.  Pastor Nabors preached out the great message in titled “Take Heed to What You Need” 主关注你的需要 with 7 points.  In light of our current church lives, please allow me share four aspects from his sermon out of Matt 14 with my own perspectives.


1.      Even Jesus needs to have grief time.  From verse 1-12, we were told that John Baptist was headed by the king Herod.  As Jesus heard this tragedy from the disciples of John about the death of his cousin, “he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. (v. 13)”   This is a devastate moment for our Lord to face human misery in the greatest evil: death to his relatives. If our Lord, incarnate God, need a solitary for grief, how about us?  I still remember how Xuguang had coped with lost of her father who died in cancer, as well as similar situation from our brothers and sisters recently.  We all knew that Craig just lost his sister unexpectedly who later has been diagnosed in lung cancer in hospital.  She, Angela Croom, left in this world with two children, one of them is still in the college as freshman.  Craig’s family needs to have a grief more than Jesus needed then, for they are barely fragile humans as we are.  With certain hope and grace of Christ and love of Father (by the way Angela Croom is a believer in Christ), her family would be out of shadow land for sure and easier.  May we remember “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecc 3:4), and be wept with weepers by prayers and condolence.


2.      Jesus always first takes care the needs of His people. As crowd heard the tragic news, they followed Jesus to ashore.  Matthew said, “He [Jesus] saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick” (v. 14).   This is not the first place in the gospels to describe the compassion of Jesus toward suffering people.  Maybe some of people need comforts as they also lost the prophet of John Baptist, yet I believed that there are a lot more who have had various physical and spiritual sickness. Out of his infinite mercy and compassion, he heals many who trust him by faith.  In our church and community, many people have suffered various illness (some are terminal while others are chronicle), and many of our children and adults recently had been gone through the flue and sickness. Some of us may be overwhelmed by worries of economy and whether you can provide essential needs for your family, or may be bonded by the sins and bad habits.  Have you noticed in the very end of chapter (v. 36), all the people who touch the fringe of his garment, and Jesus were made them well.  Do we trust our great healer Jesus would have compassion on us and delivered us from the evils, either by ordinary means or supernatural miracles?     


3.      Bring people’s needs to Jesus through His followers. Feeding 5000 people are only miracle recorded in all four gospels.  In this familiar story, we know that it is Jesus ultimate providing the foods for hungry crowds, not by disciples.  Yet Jesus first response to his disciples who were reluctant to ministry the crowds is that “you give them something to eat. (v. 17)”  I remembered Pastor Nabors said something with great wisdom, “if it is your needs, you need to trust Lord’s provision. Yet if it is others needs brought to your slight, your primary response is not merely to encourage them to trust Lord, but to help them in what you have.”   Have you noticed the people’s needs where God have placed in your lives? What are your attitudes and actions toward needy? Last Wednesday’s prayer meeting, I was informed that Shaolei Fu plans back to China to live with his parent in Henan.  This is astonishing to me because he used to be so afraid to mention his parents, now by trusting Christ our little brother Shaolei has courage to face tomorrow’s reality. One of nurse here and a doctor, a friend of Yi Yuanyuan, voluntarily will be his companionship for the trip to China.  Now we are calling Chinese community in Orlando to make a loving donation toward Xiaolei recovery needs in China through US Chinese news paper.  Just on this Monday, we also heard Pastor Craig’s sister passed away by unnoticed lung cancer.  Have Lord brought our attention to the need of their freshman boy Sherrod Croom who has lost both parents while he is in his first year of college? Are we called to love one another in tangible way, just like disciples who gave out their limited 5 loaves and 2 fish?  You might ask yourselves that needs are huge, how can we meet that demands? You are right, we just can’t.  However, the hope or the turning point is in Jesus second commend, “bring them here to me (v. 18)”  Do you trust Jesus as living God, who have used tiny  5 loaves and 2 fish to feed 5000 multitudes, and he can do the same things again in the front of our sights?  Can we bring our lack of faith and love, and self-sufficient into the presence of God?  If you felt to be exhausted in work and service to others, where do your turn? In verse 23, we have observed that after his ministry to multitudes “he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.”  Please don’t just point others to Jesus, also bring your needs to Jesus, as you see that even Jesus need a time alone to commune with God.


4.      We need both courage and faith to live in this world as followers of Christ.  The last point, I want to you review is the interaction between the Peter and Jesus as they walked on the storming water.  What? Pastor, are you out of your mind to ask us to take risks in faith in this huge storming season of economic downtime? You are absolute right!  Our treasurer brought my attention to our decreasing Tithing and offerings recently.  I think it is something to do with bad economic and lack of faith on our sides.  Please don’t laugh Peter’s little faith, as least he have courage to walk on the water, do we?  Have you noticed why he sank in water? Not by storm, but by watch too much on the waves and getting afraid of them.  Faith without courage of action is the dead one, the courage without faith in Christ is blind to fail.


Yesterday, I heard news about Intel’s announcement to invest 7 billion dollars on to upgrade 4 factories to produce new type of smaller chips in the mids of much cloudy bailout bills and other bad news on economy. As NPR interviewed Intel CEO Paul Otellini why Intel doing so despite of last quarter’s 24% lost and seems worsen economy, Mr. Otellini responded in two reasons: First, this investment will lower the long time cost in of production, and second, we needs to have long term investment in U.S. manufacturing to get ready for next opportunity and to bring US economy out of the recession. Myself at least was amazed and encouraged by Intel’s move at this difficult time.  From this perspective, should we learn even from Intel’s investment which apparently has a long term view (with faith) on the market’s need and take a risk now in order to capture the future opportunities? We surely have definite sure future and eternal hope in Christ as God promises us in His Words and Acts.  Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, do “we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven”? (Hebrew 8.1, which is in our today’s scripture readings), does he know our deepest needs and fear? Of course, he does. But do you trust Him enough to believe that he will meet our needs in his infinite mercy as High Priest in heavenly realm even now?


Let us all encourage one another to lean on Christ, our anchor, our rock of salvation, and our hiding place, as Psa 18:2 prescribe for us, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”  Surely Jesus is taking great attention to what we need.


对于“Matt 14: Jesus takes great attention to what we need”目前有3条留言

  1. biaochen Says:

    Thank you, I am glad that you are refreshed.nn1

  2. biaochen Says:

    “Min Tong”

    Thank you for the wonderful “virtual sermon”, Pastor Biao!

  3. Jessica Says:

    This is great daddy! And it was a good reminder for me about what I heard last week :) nn1


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