Gospel of Mark | Compassion | Mark 6.32-34 | movementministriesblog.com

by | Jan 13, 2024

“So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” Mark 6.32-34

My previous entry in Mark spoke about solitude. When Jesus and his disciples were overwhelmed by the crowds and went to find a time away.

But as we will see, they were not alone for long. The crowds saw them, knew where they were going on the boat, and arrived before they did. So that when Jesus and his disciples landed there was a very large crowd.

When I reflect on this story I am reminded of images of Beatle-mania back in the sixty’s. When the Beatles hit the USA shore from England and began their touring — people went wild. They were chased everywhere they went by the mobs of people just wanting to be near them.

Jesus and his disciples faced the same type of fandom. And even though Jesus had only moments of separation from the crowds, and most likely weary himself, he had compassion on the people because “they were like sheep without a shepherd.”

To be honest, I might not have been so compassionate. When my “people meter” is on zero it takes a bit to be recharged. But Jesus had a strength and calling that way surpasses mine. He saw the crowds and rather than escaping he stopped to minister. He cared for them, as people created by God with real needs and issues. Jesus paused and “began teaching them many things.” (He also fed them as we will read in the next passage.)

This is a lesson in compassion. To slow down, see people as created in God’s image in need of love and grace. Although pacing myself is important, I must not rush through the day and ignore those God puts in front of me. I pray that like Jesus I might have compassion for others just as he has compassion for me.

Whom does God prompt you to show compassion? Recognize those in your journey whom God has placed for you to love. Find strength in His power, letting the Spirit of Christ flow through you, shaping you into the person destined for His glory.

“O Lord God, you are good. Even in the fullness of the week, you ask me to pause, to reflect and to wait upon you. Your Spirit is among us — you are in the room. Come now, Holy Spirit, renew our strength. Remind us who we are so that the world might see your glory. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen