Watch this video overview of the second half of Matthew
SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES: Jesus is under immense pressure in chapter 14. First, his cousin John the Baptist has just been beheaded by the local despot. Word has escaped about Him and His miraculous powers, so now all of Israel's healthcare problems are being brought to Him to fix. He has to figure out how to feed a massive crowd, and then to top it all off, His disciples get stuck out on the lake in the middle of the night. And you thought you had a bad day.
It would be easy to think that since Jesus is fully God, these problems didn't amount to much for Him, and that He could easily deal with them. That's true. But Jesus is also fully man, and we see several times in His life where stress pushes Him to the brink. But look at how Jesus deals with this very real stress: He falls back on Spiritual Disciplines: He dropped what He was doing and found a spot to sit in silence & solitude (v13), and He made time to withdraw to a quiet place for prayer (v23).
FAITH IS NOT A MOMENTARY DECISION: When Peter falls through the water gasping for Jesus to help him, Jesus responds in an odd way: "You of little faith..." (v31). It seems odd because Peter had just exhibited a massive amount of faith a moment earlier as he jumped onto the stormy lake without an ounce of doubt or hesitation. But Jesus is teaching Peter and us here that while momentary decisions to follow Christ are important, real faith involves sticking to that decision for the long haul.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Along with the disciples in the boat, worship Jesus for who He is: "Truly you are the Son of God!" (v33).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Realize it is Jesus calling you to follow and serve Him for the long haul, but also realize the peace He offers: "Take courage, it is I. Don't be afraid." (v27)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: