|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:22-33 Those are not Christ's followers who cannot enjoy being alone with God and their own hearts. It is good, upon special occasions, and when we find our hearts enlarged, to continue long in secret prayer, and in pouring out our hearts before the Lord. It is no new thing for Christ's disciples to meet with storms in the way of duty, but he thereby shows himself with the more grace to them and for them. He can take what way he pleases to save his people. But even appearances of deliverance sometimes occasion trouble and perplexity to God's people, from mistakes about Christ. Nothing ought to affright those that have Christ near them, and know he is theirs; not death itself. Peter walked upon the water, not for diversion or to boast of it, but to go to Jesus; and in that he was thus wonderfully borne up. Special supports are promised, and are to be expected, but only in spiritual pursuits; nor can we ever come to Jesus, unless we are upheld by his power. Christ bade Peter come, not only that he might walk upon the water, and so know his Lord's power, but that he might know his own weakness. And the Lord often lets his servants have their choice, to humble and prove them, and to show the greatness of his power and grace. When we look off from Christ, and look at the greatness of opposing difficulties, we shall begin to fall; but when we call to him, he will stretch out his arm, and save us. Christ is the great Saviour; those who would be saved, must come to him, and cry to him, for salvation; we are never brought to this, till we find ourselves sinking: the sense of need drives us to him. He rebuked Peter. Could we but believe more, we should suffer less. The weakness of faith, and the prevailing of our doubts, displease our Lord Jesus, for there is no good reason why Christ's disciples should be of a doubtful mind. Even in a stormy day he is to them a very present help. None but the world's Creator could multiply the loaves, none but its Governor could tread upon the waters of the sea: the disciples yield to the evidence, and confess their faith. They were suitably affected, and worshipped Christ. He that comes to God, must believe; and he that believes in God, will come, Heb 11:6.
Verse 23. - And when he had sent the multitudes away. Matthew speaks merely of the dismissal as such (ἀπολύσας τοὺς ὄχλους); Mark refers to his parting words (ἀποταξάμενος αὐτοῖς, i.e. probably to the multitude). He went up into a mountain - the mountain (Revised Version); Matthew 5:1, note - apart. Κατ ἰδίαν is to be joined with the preceding, and not to the following words (cf. ver. 13; Matthew 17:19). And when the evening was come (ver. 15, note), he was there alone. For some eight hours, if it was spring or autumn (ver. 25).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when he had sent the multitudes away,.... Had ordered them at least to go away; for, it seems, according to John 6:22 that they did not in general disperse: there was a large body of them that continued upon the spot all night, expecting his return; in which being disappointed, they took shipping, and came to Capernaum.
He went up into a mountain apart to pray; perhaps the same he went up to before, and from whence he came down, John 6:3. This he chose as a proper place for prayer, where he could be retired, and alone, have his thoughts free, and, as man, pour out his soul to his Father, on his own account, and on the behalf of others; and particularly, he might be concerned about this notion of a temporal kingdom, that his disciples and others were so fond of; and pray that his disciples might be convinced of their mistake, and that the people might be hindered from prosecuting their designs. His going up into a mountain and praying there, were quite contrary to the canons of the Jews; which forbid praying in places ever so little raised.
"Let not a man stand (say they (m)) , "in an high place", and pray, but in a low place and pray; as it is said, "Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord", Psalm 130:1. It is a tradition, that a man may not stand, neither upon a throne, nor upon a footstool, nor in any high place and pray, because there are no high places before God.''
This rule is delivered by Maimonides (n), in this form:
"A man may not stand in a place that is three hands high, or more, and pray, neither upon a bed, nor upon a seat, nor upon a throne.''
But Christ did not look upon himself obliged, by these traditions of the elders; but chose such places, whether high or low, which were most private and retired.
And when evening was come; when it was now dark, John 6:17 when the second evening was come and ended; see Matthew 14:15 and it was properly night,
he was there alone; in the mountain, where he continued the greatest part of the night, even until the fourth watch.
(m) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 10. 2. Piske Tosaph. in ib. art. 52, T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 4. 4. Kotsensis Mitzvot Tora precept. Affirm. 19. Midrash Kohelet, fol. 70. 3.((n) Hilch. Tephillah. c. 5. sect. 7.
Matthew 14:23 Parallel Commentaries
Matthew 14:23 NIV
Matthew 14:23 NLT
Matthew 14:23 ESV
Matthew 14:23 NASB
Matthew 14:23 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible