|The Good Shepherd|
by Christina Farris
|Mark 6:31-45 KJV
31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
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.
|What makes Jesus a good shepherd? His journey on earth in the physical body was one to remember for centuries. Jesus was a teacher and a healer. He seen a need of a people to be taught. Most of us enjoy a good teacher. Most of us enjoy learning. I not sure there anyone that really does not like learning. Jesus was a special teacher, he seen the hearts of those he taught and had compassion on them because of who he was. They did not have God in their life. If you ever meet a curious child that had plenty of energy but lacked someone to just spend time with them and teach them things they can not learn on their own, you know how Jesus as a superior being why he had compassion on these people. Take that child and teach them anything, that they can go and share with someone else, they will. Teach a child how to draw and they will find a child to teach how to draw that same thing you taught them. We pass things down. You sit and tell a child a story, he will remember and retell to a friend or parent. Teach a child how to eat with chop sticks, he will want to show off his skills the next time he eats even if it a sandwich. True a sandwich is not to be eaten with chop sticks, but the point is the child wants to pass on what he is learning.
Jesus seen a crowd that need a shepherd, someone to teach them the ways of His Father in heaven. He let them follow into the desert away from villages. And then after teaching them, his disciples thought it best to send them away to get food, but Jesus said how many loaves of bread. Jesus taught people from all tribes and nations in the area he travel. He was no respecter of person. He called to them and they followed. Now they are hungry and need food. The crowd is five thousand men. He had them set down and he took the five loaves and two fish the disciples had and began to break and distribute it to the men. When they were finished they picked up twelve basket full of fragments of bread and fish. They ate and were satisfied. Now this was a miracle to a group of people that were in need of shepherd. No doubt what Christ taught would be carried far and wide. Yet there is something more, because of the feeding of the crowd they would want to follow. Moses found people still following him when God provide manna from heaven. Food among the hungry is a plus for Christ ministry, but it was not what originally encouraged the crowd. Moses people had responsed to the shepherd hook and rod, and the miracles. Those following Jesus followed because of his teaching. Those hungry for the word are in need of a Savior. They longing and searching for truth about God. Those of us that know the Gospel are always satisfied about always learning knowledge and truth as we study God's word.
To be a shepherd you need to be able to teach, Jesus definitely qualified with the number of people. He would be called the good Shepherd. In Psalms 23 it starts with the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Christ sees our needs and even our hunger, yet does hunger pains exist, if so why? Are we looking only for physical food that God might provide or are we looking for spiritual food to satisfy. Why do I say might provide. I think it take faith to believe one won't starve when one has no money. People on street with no home, no job, no car, and only shirt on their backs, hope for food, a place to sleep. Yet God is willing to provide for those through the aid of those around them. There always will be people that are not caring about those in need. Not one person alone can feed all the starving, it takes many people to care. To hear of a individual feeding a few dozen people. and then hearing more want to help, is a blessing, but these people often need to be able to share Christ message of hope. If the hungry know God then they need to know He has not forsaken them. Jesus compassion to feed a people who probably were not in the situation of the street people, but were people, who if they had gone to surrounding village might not of found enough to eat. Jesus feed first the food of spiritual life and then the food of physical life.
What are feeding those around us, physical food, the food of gossip or the physical food first. As long as you passing out ham, turkey, and any other kind of produce, can goods and so forth the crowd of people will come. What happens if you only pass out spiritual food, will they continue to come too. I been running the website for fifteen years. I have been surprised how far reaching across the globe it has gone. It actually unnerves me a little at time, and makes my heart soar too. Yet my goaled is not how many read, but whether I doing what I believe God wants me to do. What bother me the most is those that I thought would support did not and those that did and even encouraged me. Thank you to both. Spiritual food is still more powerful then anything else we can share with someone. Yet there are times physical body has needs too. I give God's word freely to all. That why I still running this site. Yet there are better writer, educators and leaders in the world of Christian faith. Some do give it has freely as I have and others do not. A true minister wants you just to pass the Gospel of Jesus on. Others want you to try and enslave you to earn money for their own profit and gain. Jesus gave to the crowd both spiritual and meet physical needs of the crowd by healing and physical food. He did have a money bag for Judas kept it, but we know Jesus probably never asked for money. After all he had Peter pull a fish from the water and open his mouth to reveal a coin, to pay his tax with. Point being, Jesus came to take care of the needs of the people, not to extort them. He had true compassion.
Dear Heavenly Father help us to be more like Jesus to be teachers and ministers of your word sharing what we do understand about who you are and your love for us. In Jesus preicous name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study for Devotion:
Psalms 23:1 KJV A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.