“And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. 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. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. 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. 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.” (Mark 6:30-34)
Jesus and His disciples had been busy ministering; so busy, in fact, that they didn’t have time to eat. The Lord saw the disciples could use a rest and told them to go to a desert place. People saw them leaving and wanted to see Jesus and hear what He had to say. Somehow they learned where His ship would land.
As the people went to the place where Jesus would land, others may have seen them and asked where they were headed. Word got around that they were going to see Jesus. The crowd apparently grew larger and larger: men and women, old and young. When the ship finally landed, the Lord didn’t see a quiet place to rest, but a big crowd. He may have been tired and hungry Himself, but He put the break on hold.
The Lord didn’t get angry because these people showed up. He “was moved with compassion toward them.” It’s also interesting to note why He had compassion toward them. The Scripture doesn’t mention that any of them were ill, had lost a loved one, were hungry, troubled by demon possession, or any other problems. Jesus had dealt with these and many other problems. However, we have no reason to think these people weren’t healthy and functional.
So why did they need compassion and why did Jesus have compassion on them? It is “because they were as sheep not having a shepherd.” It was because they had no one to tell them the truth about a God who loved them. No one to care about their souls. No one to guide them. No one to give them words of hope for eternity. But now Jesus was there, “and he began to teach them many things.”
The passage doesn’t say exactly what Jesus told them. But we can look elsewhere in Scripture and see things Jesus said. Jesus’ words were words of compassion, love, hope, and most importantly, truth. Jesus even said, “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life” (John 14:6, capitals added). Jesus spoke words of compassion and hope, of sins being forgiven and an eternal home in heaven. He also spoke words of purpose, of sharing His truth and His love with others. People could trust Jesus’ words because they came from God in the flesh, and God cannot lie.
Nice story, but what does it have to do with you, right? It has everything to do with you. Jesus loves you as much as He loved those people. You can’t see, hear, or touch Him like they did, but He died for your sins, was buried, rose again, and is alive! “I am he that LIVETH, and WAS dead; and, behold, I AM ALIVE FOR EVERMORE, Amen” (Revelation 1:18, boldfaces and capitals added). He still forgives sins, saves souls, and changes lives. His Word, the Bible, speaks to hearts today as powerfully as ever.
As a cop, you have an important purpose: mainly to help decent people against predators. But where is your hope beyond that? What do you hope for, besides to make it to retirement? The Lord Jesus wants to give you a sure hope for eternity and a purpose to live that lasts beyond the grave. If you’ve never seen in the Bible how to have your sins forgiven and an eternal home in heaven, please click “Helpful Links” and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the main menu.
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822