by Christina Farris
32 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.
33 And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.
34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.
35 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:
36 Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.
37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?
38 He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.
39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.
40 And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.
41 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.
42 And they did all eat, and were filled.
43 And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.
44 And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.
45 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.
46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. The Lord is my shepherd is verse from Psalms 23 but so fitting for Mark 6:34 in regards to the people needing a shepherd went an followed Jesus into the desert, despite he went by ship across the desert. What type of ship at sea in the middle of desert land, a place not being necessarily an oasis of water to drink, but a place where water was plenty to put a space between Jesus and a crowd. When I think of a desert I do not think of a body of water being in the mist of it, but in the land there was seas in the desert, at first i thought perhaps Jesus had ridden a camel caravan only to find that his disciple were encourage to depart by ship once more. I pretty much always lived in area where there were trees, fields or plenty of river mountains or valleys. My idea of desert beyond the picture of seen in a Sunday School book, or movies only makes me wonder about a ship in the desert until one examines the Bibical maps of the day and time of Christ found in the back of most hand held Bibles. The maps in Bible help in stories we read, but it only gives a map or general lay out of what we perhaps would see as far as terraine. The distance place between Jesus and the people clearly seen, did he not want to shepherd them, No it was not that. Jesus need time to himself and the disciples need to go forth in solitude and so the people thinking everone on board the ship, would give Jesus escape to the hills to pray and for his disciples they were safe out to sea from the crowd.
Jesus sees the people as people being like sheep in need of a shepherd to follow. It matters not in society, there is always some type of leader, one either respected or one not, but they general have a respect as being a commander of a group of people to a degree. As new leadership takes office in Washington, the idea of leadership role changes in regards to ideas and direction our nation should go in even during this international pandemic. The people that needed a shepherd was first John disciples and the crowd that follow John in desert as well as followed Jesus. Why was Jesus being followed by John the Baptist people because he had been beheaded for what he preached. Leaders are often cut down, or built up to grow a crowd of others in need of leadership. Herod did Jesus a favor in one regard, John the Baptist was no long in competition in the role of shepherd in desert. There was no competition, but if we look at the situation with blinders on, it clear the crowd that followed first John and now Jesus was looking for a leader in the religious movement of the kingdom of Heaven.
As our Republicans begin to begin to be stragetic in their plans to have a new Republican in office in 2024 election, they looking as any crowd would for the best leader. Jesus happened to be the best teacher leader in the desert at the time of John the Baptist death. He was a worker of miracles, casted out demons and taught on the kingdom of heaven. Then he would do one more miracle in the desert that would wow the crowd. He would take five loaves and two fish and feed a crowd of five thousand. Now the impossible of feeding that many with so few was impossible for a normal man but not for the only gotten Son of God. The disciples had wanted to send the crowd away to go in search of food in surrounding villages and towns. I can not imagine with that large a crowd there would been enough food to supply the need. My town lost our small ice cream shop that sold hamburgers and other things as well due to this pandemic, but for a long time it was one of the main places to eat for our small community. Yet it feed quite a few folks on a regular bases. Now with more then two places to eat on our side of the state line, there is not a equal shared dispersement of food, but some places are still quite crowd based on what they serve. Yet if five thousand extra people came through our town, Many restaurants would be sold out or out of stock before the crowd was finished being served. It like our grocery stores people coming out of town to shop because they think our stores might be safer but that further from the truth in someways, it because corona is a virus. There is point to my commentary, imagine unleashing crowd of people some of surrounding villages and others not, some following Jesus because of miracles, wonders and teachings. The compassion of Jesus was enough to draw a crowd, but it was because of Jesus compassion that kept people coming back. Most of us lack the compassion of Jesus. The crowd fine for a short bit but long period it got to go. Jesus wanted to be with sheep as much as the sheep wanted to be with him. Jesus only separated from the crowd for break, for time away to meditate and talk to his Heavenly Father. That something leaders need to do is break away to pray. Break away from the crowd and relax on boat maybe and fish awhile like disciples. Yet I do not doubt hours of rowing was not easy either.
Point I driving at the crowd was in need of the Lord, and Jesus was willing to provide for the needs of the people but not their wants. He could of been king by the crowd, but He had to go to the cross for all of us, not just the crowd. He would pay the price for wants and not for our needs. What I mean sin is desire and want. Crowd when they could not get what they wanted would shout crucified him. Today they were willing to follow, but probably about a year or maybe a little longer they be shouting crucify. How many of shout Jesus is my shepherd, only tomorrow looking for a leader or another source of desires not of God. Eve choose the snake to follow concerning the temptation in the garden to eat the forbidden fruit. It so with words of Lord I follow you and receive you as Savior, only to see something we desire and want being greater then our desire to follow Jesus. We go our own way, not willing to take what Jesus offers in form of freedom from sin, taking care of needs. Jesus did not tell the disciples not to fish. Through out the Gospel the disciples still worked for their food by catching fish. Nothing wrong with labor, but anytime Jesus said come, or beckon to them he either provided the catch of the day, before taking them away from their work, or beckon them to come follow. The crowd understood not that Jesus was not going to be like the provision of Manna on a daily weekly supply until other food could be found supply in his ministry. Yet the crowd sought him to be their meal ticket, their entertainment ticket.
Go to party every night and pay not a dime, is only like having a free meal and ticket of entertainment. Yet life is not party, it is journey of supply for our needs and hope for our wants. it is saying no to our desire for God to supply also our desires at times. We seek new leadership when leaders are not suppling our wants, only the needed food for the soul. The church world for decades now have provided for the people in many communities, and their hand always reaching out with supplies of some kind. Yet when they have not would they sill supply the word of God. There organizations that are not of Christ supplying every desire of the heart, including money. It makes the church world look bad, but the church is still giving what they can.
What I saying is missionary went without extra clothes, food and money, but taught the word of God without luxuries, only to be supplied by the church when the work of God was seen on the mission fields. Even our own country aids many lands around us, only to say that what we suppose to do to help others worse off then ourselves, to the poiint middle class American and rich say what did you do for me. What happening rich have no need of clothing, or food from the poor. They have no need of hand up from the poor, but often the poor is used in order for them to prove that they helping others. The rich give to rich gifts of gold and the poor a sweater to keep warm. The difference is the want, or the need. If you desire you can have gold but at what price. You can have Jesus as a shepherd by just allowing him to be Lord of your life. Allowing him to captain your soul and protect you from the wolves of this world. All you gain in this life you can not take with you. Yet you can choose who you spend eternity with, the devil and his dominions in a fiery pit or God of all creation, by receiving Christ as Lord. You can be part of the pyramid of the work force from rich being the top and poor man at the bottom and or the middle class in the middle. Whatever station is not the same as being a sheep of God's church. We are all the same in the body of Christ with different gifts and abilities. Church needs to be run as if it equal and not lords over God's heritage.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that your Son is amazing shepherd who knows are needs for the journey and supplies, but also sees our need to provide for ourselves and sends us away when we are satisfied, despite our hunger for more. Lord we can be a crowd never giving back, but your desire is for us to share what you give us, and so Lord help us give back from the supply we receive in the desert of faith. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study:Psalm 23:1-3 KJV
1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.