14:1 1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,
(1) Here is in John, an example of an invincible courage, which all faithful ministers of Gods word ought to follow: in Herod, an example of tyrannous vanity, pride, and cruelty, and in short, of a refined conscience, and of their miserable slavery, who have given themselves over to pleasure: in Herodias and her daughter, an example of whore-like licentious women, and womanly cruelty. 14:2 And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty a works do shew forth themselves in him.
(a) By works he means that force and power by which works are performed, and not the works which are often seen before. 14:6 But when Herods birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased b Herod.
(b) There were three Herods: the first of them was Antipaters son, who is also called Ascalonius, in whose reign Christ was born, and it was he that caused the children to be slain. The second was called Antipas, Magnus his son, whose mothers name was Malthaca or Martaca, and he was called Tetrarch, because he enlarged his dominion, when Archelaus was banished to Vienna in France. The third was Agrippa, Magnus his nephew by Aristobulus, and it was he that slew James. 14:14 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. 14:24 3 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
(3) We must sail even through mighty tempests, and Christ will never forsake us, so that we can go wherever he has commanded us to go. 14:25 And in the c fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
(c) By the fourth watch is meant the time nearer to day break: for in ancient times they divided the night into four watches in which they posted watches. 14:26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a d spirit; and they cried out for fear.
(d) A spirit, as it is taken here, is that which a man imagines to himself vainly in his mind, persuading himself that he sees something when he sees nothing. 14:28 4 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
(4) By faith we tread under our feet even the tempests themselves, but only by the power of Christ, which helps that faith, which he by his mercy has given. 14:34 And when they were gone over, they came into the land of e Gennesaret.
(e) This Gennesaret was a lake near Capernaum, which is also called the Sea of Galilee or Tiberias; so the country itself grew to be called Gennesaret. 14:35 5 And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased;
(5) In that act where Christ heals the sick, we are shown that we must seek remedy for spiritual diseases at his hands: and that we ourselves are bound to not only run to him, but also to bring others unto him.