Mark 6:36 (ESV) — When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.
Jesus loved people. This shouldn’t surprise us; after all, He was God in the flesh. Jesus is the author of creation, including people. Jesus’ times of getting away to be alone were not because He needed time to decompress from people, but because He needed time to recharge and commune with His Father in Heaven.
Our passage today shows us how Jesus’ compassion and love for people translated into actions of teaching them. There is a connection there that is really important. Notice how Mark 6:36 says, “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.” Jesus’ sight of the great crowds appealed to His compassion. His heart welled up with love and desire to do good for them.
Why is that? Because He saw them as sheep without a shepherd. What does that mean? They were helpless and in need of help. They had no direction. They were not well fed or well led, and wandered as a result. So how did Jesus help them? What was His remedy for these lost sheep?
He taught them. Jesus’ teaching served as a way of helping them grow in godliness and seeking the kingdom. Mark says He began to teach them many things. He taught them about the character of God, sin, the ways of the kingdom, and future promises of glory. Jesus’ teaching, both then and now, comes with authority because He is God in the flesh. But all of His teaching is rooted in His love and compassion for us. He wants us to know Him and find our joy in Him. Let the compassionate love of Christ for you draw you in to hear His Word today.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why does the New Testament so often refer to us as sheep? What does that mean?
- What does Jesus’ motivation to teach the people reveal about His character to us?
- What are some ways you can grow and learn from Jesus’ teaching in your life?
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