In The Company Of Jesus
“. . . they were like sheep without a shepherd; . . .” Mark 6:34
People get peopled-out with people. Someone once said, “ministry would be a whole lot easier, if it weren’t for people,” and that’s true, but is not reality. There will always be people and there will always be needs. Resentment of people must be resisted.
Even though Jesus had planned a time of rest for Himself and His disciples, the crowd learned where He could be found, and they ran to Him. Jesus was not irritated or annoyed by their intrusion. Their hunger for guidance and spiritual truth stirred compassion in the heart of Jesus. He saw them as sheep without a shepherd.
To say they were like sheep without a shepherd was a challenge to Israel’s religious leadership. The problem was the priests were not shepherding the people. Jesus didn’t care about their big synagogues, budgets or how many showed up for prayers – what He saw were spiritually hungry people, wrapped up in religious, ritual red tape. They were spirituality starved and nobody seemed to care.
He sees the same need in us. We are in need of a shepherd. Disciples of today are not familiar with the job of a shepherd. A shepherd:
PROVIDES DIRECTION. Left to our own ways we will wander off and get lost. Sometimes we find ourselves at a crossroads, unsure which way to go. It is only when Jesus leads us, that we can find our way.
PREPARES DAILY NEEDS. To maintain our spiritual health and faithfulness, we need nourishment and the strength to keep going. Sometimes, we need times of encouragement and inspiration. We, like sheep, stray away to seek sustenance on our own, only to find our spirit is unsatisfied, our heart restless, and our soul unfed. We can only gain strength from our Shepherd, the bread of life.
PROTECTS FROM DANGER. A sheep can’t defend itself from robbers or beasts. We cannot live life alone. We need the Good Shepherd to protect us in times of temptation and attacks of the enemy. Only in the company of Jesus can we walk through this world.
PERSONALLY DEVOTED. Jesus, as our Shepherd, is not only the way He treats us, it also describes what it is like to be in His presence. Today, He is our Shepherd. Being in His presence, we experience His care for us and His tender mercy toward us.
Admit your need for His leadership in your life. Sit quietly for a moment and focus on His ministry of shepherding you.