Estimated Reading Time: 4 min, 49 sec
But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities.
Mark 6:33-34 (NKJV)
A picture is formed in our minds. A picture that modern people are certainly conversant with. We are ever running. You and I are running from or running towards something. We are ever in continuous motion. Always in a dash, going here and there. We run from our own failures, guilt, condemnation, enemies, voices in our heads, the police, the landlord, the bank, etc. We run to the next deal, property, career position, conference, investment opportunity, network, contract, tenders, party, etc. Like Satan, we go to and from the earth, and from walking back and forth on it (Job 1:7 NKJV)
And most pointedly, we run because we seek for something spiritual. We may not be conscious or able to articulate what we are seeking for, but because we are spiritual beings first, our running back and forth is a search for something that will satisfy our deepest spiritual need.
The rest of this text reveals the three things Jesus offers us.
Moved with compassion for them
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.
The Greek word used for compassion is splagchnizomai, which means to have the bowels yearn. Its root word is splagxnon, which means gut-level compassion”(visceral feelings); the capacity to feel deep emotions. This is heart-wrenching, stomach-churning deep emotions that Jesus feels for us.
Have you ever been around a family member who is in a coma or bedridden? The pains you have concerning that individual is a blend of deep compassion and powerlessness. This is what Jesus feels for us who are hurried and hungry. Jesus is moved with deep compassion for us.
Jesus sees us as sheep without a shepherd
Not without a leader, visionary, motivational speaker, Instagram influencer, entrepreneur, celebrity, etc but sheep without a shepherd.
A shepherd? You’d assume that we need a leader, someone who can direct us – someone who could focus our attention on a big vision – someone who could communicate and inspire us – someone who could post a vlog on Facebook live or Instagram TV giving us advice, tips, how to’s.
Jesus is counterintuitive. We need a shepherd. A shepherd takes care of the sheep. He feeds, baths, shaves, protects, treats with medicine, guides, comforts, leads, and rescues the sheep. He does everything for the sheep. All the sheep have to do is receive from the shepherd.
It is painful for modern people to admit this. We prefer contributing to our own happiness and accept no responsibility for our own missteps. We prefer doing everything for ourselves because as we all know, God helps those who help themselves.
Jesus offers us more than tips and advice. Jesus the great shepherd takes care of us. He feeds, baths, heals, protects, comforts, leads and rescue us.
He began to teach them many things
Matthew gives us a clearer picture of what Jesus taught and preached.
Jesus travelled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom.
Matthew 9:35 (NLT)
Hurried people need to listen to the good news about the kingdom. Again, this is so counterintuitive. The world says, “Do more, run faster, acquire, invest, buy, plan ahead, save, think on your feet, no pain, no gain, grit your teeth, clench your fist, fight, move from good to great, leverage your relationships etc.” Basically, the world says do, do and do more.
Jesus announces to us, “Rest. Take it easy. Relax. I can give you more with less effort on your part. I will do the providing, leading, guiding, rescuing, saving, healing, feeding, and everything you need and much more. Just sit back and receive from me!” This is the good news of the kingdom.
Anything else other than the good news of who Jesus is, and what he has accomplished for us will drive us to the edge. What the gospel does is slow us down, take our foot off the gas pedal, take the wheel of our lives, and drive us to our destination. All we need to “do” is sit back and relish the scenery.
The good news of the kingdom is what Jesus gives to us. The good news that whatever we are looking for – running to and fro – is found in Jesus and what he has done for us. We need to sit back and receive. Simply put!
And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all. So they all ate and were filled.
Mark 6:41-42 (NKJV)
Because we are always in a rush, one of the things we forget to do is eat. And when we eat, because we are so hungry, we devour whatever is in front of us. It is no surprise that junk food is our regular diet. It is cheap and accessible.
Let’s turn this inward. Because we are racing back and forth, we become spiritually, emotionally, financially and relationally hungry. We then resort to junk food. Quick rich quick schemes, fraud, harmful relationships, drug and sexual addictions, outlandish spiritual beliefs, dieting programs, are forms of junk food that we indulge in because we are in a hurry.
Jesus provides us with real food, and so much food to eat as much as we need with leftovers. In other words, Jesus over exceeds our expectations. His offer is not just to satisfy our hungry stomachs but to gratify our greatest aspirations and desires. But here’s more good news. The meal Jesus gives is himself. In John 6:55, Jesus says he is the real food and the real drink.
He is much more than five loaves and two fishes. Who Jesus is and what he did for us is our food. With Jesus, we get all we need to satisfy our greatest aspirations and desires. In him is all we need and will ever need for this life.
If I were you, I’d take Jesus’ offer.
You and I know very well the world does not have space and time for us. When we are hurrying and hungry, the world tells us to do more. The world will never ever have compassion on us. It is the fittest, smartest, quickest, and sharpest that make it. The world has no time for sissies. The world has no good news for us. Actually, bad news sells. And when we are hungry, the world tells us, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” You are on your own.
Not with Jesus. Jesus has compassion on us. He is our shepherd. By his spirit he teaches us and lastly, he feeds us himself – true food and true drink with leftovers. He always over exceeds our expectations.
That’s what grace looks like