Tag: crowds like sheep
Scripture reading for October 16th: Mark 4-7
Ministry is hard work. People draw energy from those who minister. After a season of intense ministry, I often have to go away for a while and be alone to re-charge my soul. Jesus also experienced this, as did His disciples. “The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not have a chance to eat, He said to them, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:30-31)
This simple statement of Jesus brings encouragement to our hearts. Jesus is compassionate and understands the demands of ministry! He took good care of His workers! However, when Jesus and His disciples arrived at what they thought would be a quiet place of rest, a crowd of needy people greeted them! “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So He began teaching them many things.” (Mark 6:34) Even when tired, Jesus still had compassion! He had the heart of a shepherd and always put the needs of the sheep ahead of His own needs! He taught His disciples through this process what kind of a heart must be in those who follow the Lord.
In fact, Jesus taught them all day and then had the disciples prepare a meal to feed that multitude! All they could find was five loaves of bread and two fish in that lonely place, but when given to the Lord of compassion, they fed the multitude with twelve baskets full left over! (Mark 6:37-44) He sent the disciples away to row across the lake and He went up on the mountain to pray. He came to them in the night, walking on the lake and terrifying the disciples. They have not slept for quite a long time! Upon arrival on the other side of the lake, a multitude then gathers and they minister to many sick and afflicted again!
As we reflect on the heart of Jesus for the sick and afflicted, we are amazed by His compassion! Even when tired, He reached out and ministered! We must remember His example and ask for strength in secret prayer! Our energy is from the Spirit, not just our bodies!