Jesus, Justice And Political Rallies

By Pr Zeny Vidacak, July 04, 2050

Matthew 14:1-21

14 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus, 2 and he said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.” 3 For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife,[a] 4 because John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet. 6 But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod, 7 so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” 9 And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given. 10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison, 11 and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 12 And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand 13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Bad Kings and Bad Politicians

What often causes people to treat others unjustly? John the Baptist was the casualty of unjust king. Why? John caused a offence

Who was offended by John's speech? , ,

The speeches of the prophets of old offended many. The names of some of the prophets: , ,

Two important principles to stick by:

What are the two extremes we typically fall into

  1. Truth without
  2. Love (emotionalism) without

What Was Jesus Reaction To the Killing (Injustice) Done by Herod the King?

  1. Sadness
  2. Withdrawal
  3. Helping Those in Need
  4. Sending A Strong Message to All Involved

1. Sadness

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. (Matthew 14:13)

There is another occasion where the reaction to the injustice is identical

Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. (Acst 8:2)

In the face of injustice there are two prevailing emotions present.

  1. But which one of these two should dominate?
Martin Luther King:

“That Monday I went home with a heavy heart,” he wrote in his autobiography. "I was weighed down by a terrible sense of guilt, remembering that on two or three occasions I had allowed myself to become angry and indignant. I had spoken hastily and resentfully. Yet I knew that this was no way to solve a problem. ‘You must not harbor anger,’ I admonished myself. 'You must be willing to suffer the anger of the opponent, and yet not return anger. You must not become bitter. No matter how emotional your opponents are, you must be calm."

In his autobiography he wrote:

“While I lay in that quiet front bedroom, I began to think of the viciousness of people who would bomb my home. I could feel the anger rising when I realized that my wife and baby could have been killed. I was once more on the verge of corroding hatred. And once more I caught myself and said: 'You must not allow yourself to become bitter”

Non-violent Christian Church changed the unjust system of Roman slavery from

2. Withdrawal

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot

  1. What did Jesus hear? He heard that John the baptist was .
  2. What did crowd hear?
  1. That John the baptist was
  2. That Jesus is in the .
  1. Why did crowd come?

But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. (14:13)

  1. They came to make a
  2. They came to make Jesus a .

14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”

15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

A Perfect Political Storm:

  1. The killing of the popular preacher and prophet.

  2. The protest against the unjust and uncaring king .

  3. The rising popularity of Jesus who was being regarded as the

This protest rally was going to turn violent if the crowd was going to make Jesus the king as there was no chance that king Herod was going to abdicate his throne.

Why does Jesus withdraw?

  1. To privately mourn the death of John.
  2. To make a statement in relation to Himself
If Jesus was a Social staying in the capital Jerusalem would be a perfect place to be in. If He was after the 'seat of David' this was the perfect opportunity.
  1. What do we learn from what Jesus does next? Jesus feeds 5000 men.

And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. (14:21)

The feeding of 10,000 people seems to further fuel crowd's aspiration to make Him a king.

There are number of messages going out to three groups of people invovled:

  1. There is a message going to Herod.
  2. There are number of messages going to
  3. There is a message going to His

1. There is a Political Message Going to Herod

  1. First, it's the message of Jesus seems to be saying to self-indulging, immoral and ‘butcher’ king, 'It's your job to care for people, to provide for them and protect them. It's your job to ‘feed’ them.
b) Secondly, He seems to be saying to the king, 'Follow my

2. There are Messages Going out to the Crowd

  1. It's ok for you to gather and peacfully Jesus provided a space for them.
b) God is your ultimate physical provider and protector

I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. (Ps. 37:25)

  1. God is your spiritual provider

“I am the bread of life.”

3. Two Messages Going Out to His Disciples

  1. Care for people
b) Care for people
  1. Your will not be preocupied with

“Immediately Jesus the made disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side while He dismissed the crowd.”