Our Daily Bread 2022 Annual Edition

By Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Read: Matthew 14:1–14 | Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 19–20; John 13:21–38

[Jesus] had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14

My friend Ellen calculates payroll for an accounting firm. This may sound like a straightforward job, but there are times when employers submit their information later than requested. Ellen often makes up for this by working long hours so employees can receive their money without delay. She does this out of consideration for the families that depend on those funds to buy groceries, purchase medicine, and pay for housing.

Ellen’s compassionate approach to her job points me to Jesus. On earth, He sometimes ministered to people when it was inconvenient for Him. For instance, Christ wanted some alone time after He heard that John the Baptist had been killed, so He boarded a boat in search of an isolated place (Matthew 14:13). Perhaps He needed to grieve for His relative and pray through His sorrow.

There was just one problem. Crowds of people tagged along behind Him. This group had various physical needs. It would have been much easier to send the people away, but “when Jesus landed and saw [them], he had compassion on them and healed their sick” (v. 14).

Although it was part of Jesus’ calling to teach people and cure their diseases as He ministered on earth, His empathy affected the way in which He carried out His responsibilities. May God help us to recognize His compassion in our lives and give us the strength to pass it on to others.

Read: Matthew 14:1–14

The Death of John the Baptist

14 1At that time Herod, the ruler of Galilee, heard about Jesus. “He is really John the Baptist, who has come back to life,” he told his officials. “That is why he has this power to perform miracles.” 3 For Herod had earlier ordered John’s arrest, and he had him tied up and put in prison. He had done this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. 4 For some time John the Baptist had told Herod, “It isn’t right for you to be married to Herodias!” 5 Herod wanted to kill him, but he was afraid of the Jewish people, because they considered John to be a prophet. On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced in front of the whole group. Herod was so pleased 7 that he promised her, “I swear that I will give you anything you ask for!” At her mother’s suggestion she asked him, “Give me here and now the head of John the Baptist on a plate!” 9 The king was sad, but because of the promise he had made in front of all his guests he gave orders that her wish be granted. 10 So he had John beheaded in prison. 11 The head was brought in on a plate and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. 12 John’s disciples came, carried away his body, and buried it; then they went and told Jesus.

Jesus Feeds Five Thousand

13 When Jesus heard the news about John, he left there in a boat and went to a lonely place by himself. The people heard about it, and so they left their towns and followed him by land. 14 Jesus got out of the boat, and when he saw the large crowd, his heart was filled with pity for them, and he healed their sick.


  1. How have you experienced God’s compassion and care?

  2. What prevents you from showing God’s love when you carry out your daily responsibilities?

In Matthew 14:13, we read, “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.” During key moments or times of great challenge, He would seek solitude from the crowds. This was a regular pattern in His earthly experience (v. 23; Mark 1:356:46Luke 5:166:12). In Matthew 14, the trigger for Jesus’ desire for solitude (“what had happened,” v. 13) was the sordid series of events that resulted in the murder of His forerunner, John the Baptist. Whether He wanted time to grieve John’s death or to seek the comforting presence of the Father, Jesus found value in moments of solitude.


Dear Jesus, thank You for meeting my spiritual and physical needs. Help my thankfulness to overflow in the world so that I can glorify You through caring for other people. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen!!

Read: Matthew 14:1–14 | Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 19–20; John 13:21–38

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