Episode #95: Compassionate Teaching
“So as He stepped ashore, He saw a huge crowd and had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then He began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34)
Let’s set the scene. The disciples had just returned from a third preaching tour in Galilee and were telling Jesus all they had experienced. He suggested they get some rest so they got in a boat to sail to an isolated place. The problem was the crowds saw them leaving and ran ahead of them to meet them when they got off the boat. When they get out of the boat, literally thousands are waiting there to greet them. So much for getting some rest. But Jesus, when He saw the crowd, had compassion on them.
His first response, His first priority was to begin teaching. Yes, these people were hungry and needed food but the first priority of Jesus was to teach. He knew that their spiritual hunger and thirst was more important than their immediate fleshly desire. The same crowds are wondering around today with the same spiritual hunger and thirst, but we tend to see the fleshly needs as a top priority. If we deliver someone from poverty, hunger, slavery or any other oppression but we do not present them with the gospel of Jesus, we have not truly delivered them. We have only removed temporary earthly suffering but not delivered them from the eternal suffering they will face without Jesus.
We need to remember that any ministry or outreach we do must have the word of God as the first priority. Jesus said, “What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” By the same token, what good does it to provide someone everything but never minister to their spiritual need? Let us be a people who are not only seekers of the Kingdom of God but providers of it as well.
Love Y’all! Be Blessed!