“Sending the Multitude Away”
Matthew 14:13-36

“Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.” [Matthew 14:22]

This verse comes between two great works: Jesus feeding the multitude and Jesus walking on water. These are arguably the most well-known miracles in the Gospels. The former is recorded in all four Gospels, revealing it’s significance, the latter remembered because Peter walked on water as well, thus giving us great insight into the walk of faith in this life.

Remember that the spiritual precedes the physical and even though the Physical Kingdom will not come until Jesus returns, He has given us a spiritual authority in this life of faith that can render physical results. What is interesting to note, however, is that in this miracle there was no physical healing. Rather it taught a valuable lesson on faith.

What is oftentimes overlooked in these two miracles is v.14 in between: “Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.”

Notice the urgency, “Immediately.” Notice, too, that “when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.” [v.14:23]. Jesus physically left His disciples and directed them away from the crowds and into a storm. And then He went up on the mountain to pray for them.

Is this not the walk of faith today? Is not Jesus at this very moment praying for us from the Mount of God?

This is where leaving the multitude is critical! The majority [the world] walks sight. They are sight-seers. Everything has to be seen, touched, and felt because they are governed by their physical senses. But followers of Christ walk by faith. Because “Without faith it is impossible to please God” [Heb 11:6], and because “the just shall live by faith” [Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38].

That is the mature believer. Disciples go on from believing to walking; and the walking is by faith.

Being a part of a multitude exercises little faith. Why? Because they walk by sight; they live by what they see, touch, and feel physically and emotionally. But to grow in faith, we need to be rubbing shoulders with ones that are exercising faith, and that starts by deciding to send the multitudes away, being set apart, and establishing a personal life of prayer and fellowship with Jesus.

Minister to the world but be careful not to fellowship with them!