Series: Matthew: We Need a King

Jesus' Modes of Retreat, Pt. 3

October 16, 2022 | Jeff Crotts

Passage: Matthew 14:34-36

 Matthew 14:34-36 – Modes of Retreat (pt. 3.)


Intro: This is a postscript or appendix on Jesus’ modes of retreat.


  • Christ retreated from the masses, in a boat to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.
    • Arrives at a desolate place.
      • Crowds followed, met Him on shore, needed to be fed.
        • Jesus welcomed and fed them.
        • Then forces disciples back onto the sea.
        • Disbands crowds, climbs a mountain to pray.


  • Jesus in all-night prayer vigil, observed disciples in travail, seized opportunity to mentor.


  • Walking out on water proves, Jesus is Son of God.
    • They get into boat.
    • Disciples bow to X’s lordship.


[TRANS] Verse 34 brings an abrupt close of retreat.


  • Time to pour out heart and energy in ministry.
    • Appreciate narrative taking a turn.
    • Jesus is thrust back into pouring out.


[Appl] “You need a vacation, from your vacation!” Discouragement feeling no relief from crush of life.


  • Jesus always operated in two modes; the two ways Jesus finds strength.
    • A change of scenery.
      • In a boat, to desolate place, up a mountain, on top of the water.


  • A focused heart.
    • From outside to inside.


[Point] Where Jesus goes inside is more important than the outside.


  • True Christian rest flows inside/out not outside/in.


[Appl] We are going into 6 months of winter. People who wish they weren’t say, “Oh, it is now going to become cold and dark, for so many months!” “Living elsewhere will cure my spiritual life!” Californians too! Politics, gas, taxes argument. If God leads you to move somewhere great! Still, recognize matter of contentment. Politics will follow. Remember God’s providence. And common sins. 


[KEY] Jesus moving within circumstances, crowds, and weather events, all while X’s heart condition remains steady.


  • Paul lived this way.
    • Most influential, from where?
    • Under house arrest!
      • Darker while locked under Roman cell.
      • Life centered within God’s plan always within circumstances within peace.


ESV  Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phi 4:7 ESV)


[Appl] You can be anywhere under any circumstance, full guarded in mind by the Lord.


  • Jesus stayed on His Father, where Jesus invites us to be.


[Appl] Where we should be as same crush will hit as when X stepped off his boat.


[KEY] It was wise and necessary for Jesus to get away.


  • Stewardship of getting away; X needed to recover.
    • Still, X never disengaged from His Father.
    • Neither should any believer.


[Point] Jesus models the capacity to keep going.

  • Keep pouring out.
    • These verses like retread.
    • More crowds, sick, healing.
      • Read repetition as hope.
      • Monotony teaches that more of the same is met with capacity to face it.
        • When face like as Jesus did.
        • Retreat inside of the heart.


  • Inner sanctum, wherever you happen to be.


[KEY] Soon after this phase, Jesus will be assaulted by Pharisees, that X’s “breaking the tradition of the elders” (cf. 15:2).


  • Pharisees, to lock people under legalism.
    • Jesus’ endless capacity free from legalism.
      • Free from the flesh.
      • Free from Satan’s trap.
    • Not trusting self-capacity but Christ’s sufficiency!


[TRANS] Jesus’ final phase of retreat.


Christ’s reasons for retreat


  1. Pursuing nearness with God (vv. 13-21)


  1. Presenting opportunities to mentor (vv. 22-33)


  1. Pouring out blessing on spontaneous needs (vv. 34-36)


[Prop] Jesus’ capacity proves inexhaustible by three qualities.


  1. Spontaneity (v. 34)


[TRANS] Jesus got inside of the disciple’s boat and it was on the other side. 


  • Jesus came walking on water, got inside and they were there.
    • “…at Gennesaret” (v. 34).
      • West/northwest side just south of underneath Capernaum.
      • Gennesaret, likewise a fishing town.


  • Word out that the Healer was there.


  • Gennesaret was part the Father’s plan.
    • Jesus mentored disciples to see Him as Son of God.
    • Now on the work in Gennesaret.


[Appl] By the way, Jesus had no plan coming into this moment. Much of Christian ministry comes to us this way. Unplanned. Spontaneous. It is God’s plan, but unplanned.


[Illus] A woman from our church diagnosed with stage 4 cancer: “I have learned to see that I am not in control, now as this stage in life, I have come to realize I was never in control.”


  1. Availability (v. 35)


Verse 35 says, “…the men of that pace recognized him” (v. 35), meaning people saying, “Jesus is here!” our opportunity is now!

  • Jesus known by word-of-mouth.
    • No media beyond eye-witness accounts.
    • Still, knew this was Him.
      • So, “…they sent around to all that region and brought to him all who were sick” (v. 35).
      • Passion for relief from the pain of fallen condition.


  • No mention of preaching or teaching from Jesus.
    • Not now, open air preaching has passed.


  • Still mercy, still inexhaustible grace.
    • Pouring himself out to everyone.
    • “…all who were sick” (v. 35).


  • No prerequisite for Jesus’ healing.
    • Everyone, come.
    • Be helped, be healed.


[TRANS] The Gospel of Jesus goes for everyone, all-comers, all who are hurt by their fallen condition. Openness to all, comes from capacity for all. Sufficiency. 


  1. Sufficiency (v. 36)


Verse 36 offers a small detail not to overlook. One single request!


  • All they ask of Jesus.
    • Single sentiment, they, “…implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment” (v. 36).


  • “only” [movov] saying, “All I need to do is touch the tassel of your garment” (v. 36).


  • Treating Jesus like a magic trick or superstition?
    • Not want Person, just Power to help.


  • Magic cloak to make me well.
    • Not motivation for this request.
      • Opposite of the least of Christ.
      • Have all of Christ.
        • Not need any more than a touch for healing.
        • Know who you are, recognize your power, know all need is the least touch to be healed.


[Illus] Like the Centurion, concerned for dying servant, Jesus, just speak the word and my servant will be healed. Jesus recognized that man’s faith to be greater than anyone else in Israel.


“Jesus…marveled and said…Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith” (cf. Matt. 8:10).


  • Evidence of the woman healed of her 12-year discharge of blood had spread around Gennesaret.
    • For that woman to touch a Rabi’s garment was scandalous.
      • This was the Son of God.
        • Jesus is the point of the Law.
        • Jesus is Holiness!


  • Her action, instead of contaminating, was for her, purifying!
    • Opposite effect.
    • Made holy!


ESV  Matthew 9:20-21 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment,

21 for she said to herself, "If I only touch his garment, I will be made well."

22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well. (Mat 9:20-22 ESV)


  • Lady’s faith summarized by one thought:
    • “If I only touched the fringe of his garment” (cf. 9:20).
    • Gennesaret thought, “If it worked for her, then it must work for me.”


[Question] Did this work for entire region of Gennesaret?


“…And as many as touched it were made well” (v. 36).


  • Yes, everyone.
  • Jesus is Sufficient Savior.


[TRANS] I want to apply this brief passage.


“What Jesus’ sufficiency means for daily life.”


  • Jesus poured himself out to everyone in the region, inexhaustibly.


  • “How can you live this way?”


[KEY] Christ lives inside you, inside of your daily life, strengthening your inner man.


ESV  Colossians 1:27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col 1:27 ESV)


ESV  1 Corinthians 1:30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, (1Co 1:30 ESV)


You are called the temple of the Holy Spirit.


ESV  1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, (1Co 6:19 ESV)


ESV  Ephesians 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, (Eph 5:18 ESV)


We have access to His sufficiency.


ESV  2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, (2Pe 1:3 ESV)


ESV  Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phi 4:13 ESV)


[Illus] In fifty-seven years, Charles Spurgeon accomplished three lifetimes of work. Every week he preached four to ten times, read six meaty books, revised sermons for publication, lectured, edited a monthly magazine. In his spare time, he wrote about 150 books.

Spurgeon shepherded the largest Protestant megachurch in the world (he knew all 6,000 members by name), directed a theological college, ran an orphanage, and oversaw sixty-six Christian charities.   

"I wish it could be said of us that we wasted neither an hour of our time, nor an hour of other people’s time."

Spurgeon was also a father and husband. He never sacrificed his family on the altar of ministry.

David Livingstone, the missionary to Africa, once asked Spurgeon, “How can you accomplish so much in one day?”

“You forget, Mr. Livingstone,” Spurgeon replied, “there are two of us working.”

[Appl] Bible affirms Christ’s sufficiency, promised as the reservoir to pour from. .


          “We have the mind of Christ”


The Scripture is your mindset:  


  1. To endure


ESV  Matthew 24:13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Mat 24:13 ESV)


ESV  Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:1-2 ESV)


ESV  Revelation 3:21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Rev 3:21 ESV)


  1. To rejoice, pray, give thanks


ESV  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always,

17 pray without ceasing,

8 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1Th 5:16-18 ESV)


ESV  Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;

6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phi 4:4-7 ESV)


  1. To grow


ESV  2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2Co 3:18 ESV)


ESV  Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Phi 1:6 ESV)


ESV  1 Peter 2:1-2 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.

2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation--

(1Pe 2:1-2 ESV)


ESV  2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2Pe 3:18 ESV)


  1. To serve


ESV  1 Peter 4:11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies--in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1Pe 4:11 ESV)


  1. To fight, run, box, wrestle, contend


ESV  1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.

27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1Co 9:24-27 ESV)


ESV  1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1Ti 6:12 ESV)


ESV  Jude 1:3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

(Jud 1:3 ESV)


  1. To suffer


ESV  James 1:1-3 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.

2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (Jam 1:1-3 ESV)


ESV  1 Peter 2:21-23 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.

23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. (1Pe 2:21-23 ESV)


  1. To obey


ESV  Romans 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, (Rom 1:5 ESV)


ESV  Hebrews 12:6-8 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. (Heb 12:6-8 ESV)


  1. To love


ESV  Romans 5:5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Rom 5:5 ESV)


ESV  1 Corinthians 13:1-8 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant

5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. (1Co 13:1-8 ESV)


  1. To study


ESV  Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (Psa 1:1-3 ESV)


ESV  Psalm 119:97 Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. (Psa 119:97 ESV)


ESV  2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2Ti 2:15 ESV)


  1. To teach


ESV  1 Peter 4:11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies--in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1Pe 4:11 ESV)


  1. To preach


ESV  2 Timothy 4:1-2 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:

2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. (2Ti 4:1-2 ESV)


  1. To bear fruit


ESV  Galatians 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Gal 5:22-26 ESV)


  1. To give


ESV  Ephesians 3:14-19 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,

15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,

16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph 3:14-19 ESV)


ESV  Philippians 4:15-20 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.

16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.

17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.

18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.

19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Phi 4:15-20 ESV)


  1. To glorify


ESV  1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1Co 10:31 ESV)


  1. To sing


ESV  Ephesians 5:18-21 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,

20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph 5:19-21 ESV)


  1. To be holy


ESV  Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, (Phi 2:12 ESV)


ESV  1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,

15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,

16 since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." (1Pe 1:13-16 ESV)


  1. To restore, bear


ESV  Galatians 6:1-2 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Gal 6:1-2 ESV)


  1. To witness and defend


ESV  Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Mat 28:18-20 ESV)


ESV  Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Col 4:6 ESV)


ESV  1 Peter 3:14-15 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,

15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, (1Pe 3:14-15 ESV)


  1. To gather for church


ESV  Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,

25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Heb 10:24-25 ESV)


[Conclusion] Passages prove how we are to live as Christ.


  • Christ-like in our Capacities.


  • We have the mind of Christ because we have these passages.
  • We can live within spontaneity, availability, sufficiency.


  • What does this mean in terms of day to day.


“We are not superhuman!”


  • Danger is Satan’s temptation trusting Self-capacity vs. trusting, Christ’s Sufficiency.


  • Legalism says: “I need to Do-More!”


  • Equally dangerous, to say, “I need to Do-Less!”


  • Both commitments are commitments to self.
  • Hope found in relying on Christ in yielded submission.


Goal not to be busy as Spurgeon, goal to take another step.


[Illus] Man told me this week that after church last week, he went on an elevated hike to ruminate on the sermon.









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