What does it say?
Herod hearing the news about Jesus believed that he might be John the Baptist risen from the dead. Herod imprisoned John the Baptist for saying that it was unlawful for Herod to marry his brother’s wife Herodias. Herod made a hasty promise to the daughter of Herodias, before his birthday guest, to give her whatever she desired; she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter, having been prompted by her mother, his head was severed from his body and brought to the young woman on a platter. Having heard the news about John, Jesus withdrew to a secluded place across the sea to pray. Jesus feed five thousand men with five loaves and two fish, and there was enough leftovers to fill twelve baskets. Jesus withdrew to the mountain by himself to pray but that night he came to the disciples walking on the sea and they were frightened. Peter got out of the boat (at Jesus command) and began walking to him but he doubted and began to sink; therefore, he called out to the Lord who saved him. They landed on a fertile plane on the westside of the sea and many sick were brought to Jesus and he healed them all; even those who just touched his cloak were healed.
What does it mean?
It means that Jesus is not an Old Testament prophet like John the Baptist. Jesus is the Son of God. Hearing the news about Jesus’ teaching and miraculous signs, Herod thought that he might be John the Baptist risen because Herod knew that he was guilty of breaking the law of God. It was guilt that caused him to think this way. But Jesus is greater than all of the prophets, including John the Baptist. John was a prophet sent before the Messiah. There has not been an Old Testament prophet like John since Jesus was declared the Son of God with power by his resurrection from the dead. There are three miracles (which Jesus did) given in this text: Satisfactorily feeding five thousand men, along with their wives and children, from very little food. Walking on water across the sea. Healing as many as came to him of their sicknesses. These signs testify to anyone who is willing to read them that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and not another Old Testament prophet like John the Baptist.
What shall I do?
The purpose for the prophets has been fulfilled with the coming of the Son of God. There is no longer a need for the prophets because God has come in human flesh and spoken to us in Jesus Christ. Therefore, I shall listen to what Jesus has to say and observe all that Jesus commanded. Jesus is the heir of heaven and earth. Jesus is the King enthroned in heaven who will return to sit down on his glorious throne on the earth. He is the King and his word is binding. I shall learn to observe all that Jesus commanded.