Tuesday, 7 July 2020 Mark 6:33-56
And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. -Mark 6:34
There is a saying that goes like this: “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” In feeding the five thousand, Jesus demonstrated to the disciples how they must respond with compassion.
We see a contrast of response from Jesus and the disciples to the situation at hand:
Jesus was compassionate to the needs of the people
The disciples wanted to send them away
While the disciples saw the immense responsibility they would have to shoulder to take care of the needs of the people, Jesus saw the opportunity to show that He can provide for people’s needs. Through this event, Jesus points to the disciples and to us that a heart of compassion is a prerequisite for winning the lost for Christ!
Though Jesus and His disciples were headed for a place of rest, the people followed them and ran by foot to reach there ahead of them. Jesus saw them and was moved with compassion as they were like sheep without a shepherd (V.34). Sheep are easily scattered without a shepherd and exposed to grave danger. Jesus was the shepherd who could teach them what they needed to know and keep them from straying from God. Isaiah 40:11 reminds us that He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arm, and carry them in his bosom, [and] will gently lead those that have their young.
Compassion is really the act of going out of your way to help physical, spiritual, or emotional needs of another. There was no one to take care of them. The religious leaders of the people did not have compassion towards them (Matt. 12:9-14; Luke 10:30-32).
How was Compassion demonstrated?
Jesus’ compassion reached out to their spiritual needs Vs.34 says, He began teaching them many things. We see from Mark 1:21,22 that Jesus taught the people in a way they had never heard before. This was quite unlike the religious leaders of their time (Mark 7:6-9). Hence these people had no true spiritual leaders to guide them.
Jesus’ compassion reached out to their physical needs(Vs.35-44) As the Good Shepherd, Jesus not only guided them spiritually, He willingly attended to their then physical need— hunger. In Psalm 23, we see how a good shepherd leads his sheep to green pastures (Psalm 23:2). Jesus taught the disciples to bring what they have and give it to Him so He would bless it. He taught them to bring the impossible (5 loaves and 2 fish for 5000 men) to GOD who would make it become possible!!
Many people in the world today are like lost sheep without a shepherd. Many in vain seek to fill their spiritual needs with wrong and empty philosophies of the new age that can never satisfy the yearning of the soul for his/her Creator. There are yet others who need to be reached out with a helping hand to satisfy their many physical needs. Today, it is for us, the disciples of Christ to show compassion for them, pointing to them the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for the sheep (John 10:11-16). Christ, the Good Shepherd is able to provide for every need of every person- no matter how big or small it maybe. Come to Jesus!
PRAYER: “LORD Jesus, please give me a compassionate heart like You that I may seek to bring others to You and help me understand that You can meet every need of mine. Amen”