“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
Jesus and his disciples have decided to sail across the Sea of Galilee and take a much need rest. The disciples had only recently returned from the first of their missionary expeditions and were understandably tired. It appears that while they were gone Jesus had been active as well. So much so that they were surrounded by a multitude pressing in for a chance to see and hear Jesus or perhaps to be healed.
Perhaps you’ve heard the expression, “Life happens when you’re making plans.”
Well, in a middle of their planning to take a bit of time off for a long overdue break the people make plans as well and run ahead, around the lake, and get to their destination ahead of them. They’re desperate to hear what Jesus has to say.
And Jesus heart was filled with compassion for them. Not because he saw how much they loved him. This love was merely popularity and popularity is a fickle friend. Jesus was filled with compassion because he saw their need; “they were like sheep without a shepherd.”
It’s easy to become impatient with people when their need motivates them to interrupt the plans we’ve made. In times like this it’s so simple for us, with an excuse and the shake of a head, to dismiss the needy and go on with what we’ve previously decided to do.
We’re tired. We’re hungry. We’re thirsty. We deserve a rest.
Jesus knew that he was here, on earth, to seek and save the lost and here were some lost sleep. He couldn’t just leave them unshepherded. And neither can we when we’re confronted with need we can do something about today. You never know. Your simple act of compassion may be setting up one of the most incredible events of your entire life. One that makes it possible for thousands to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God sees, God cares, and God provides.
It’s time to be content when our plans change.