Thursday, June 30, 2011

Feeding More Than Fish

Vacation for the popular preacher just wasn't going to happen. Here he was, escaping the crowds, only to have the crowds find him at his destination. The people were worn and disheveled.

They had quite literally run from their towns to the little beachfront, hoping for a chance to see him, hear him.

He was exhausted. He hadn't rested, not before the boat ride, and not during the boat ride.

Jesus wasn't afforded many breaks.

The crowds were there, looking at their Messiah, though nobody was really sure what that meant. They knew though, there was something different about him.

So they ran, straight to him, no thought of themselves. They packed no spare clothing, no food, no necessities of any kind. He was their necessity.

"He felt compassion for them." This little phrase does not lead us into the feeding of the 5000, at least not immediately. Jesus, it seems, had compassion that went a little beyond ours. Yes, he cared for the physical needs, and he would certainly meet them soon.

A more important matter was at hand..."he felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd."

They had nobody to show them the better way of life. All their life they walked without the necessities, the love, faith, and knowledge of God. All their life they wondered aimlessly because they had no hope, no foundation for why they were alive.

And so he taught them, and fed them, but taught them all the more. He taught them the truth, His truth, God's plan for the world, God's true plan of redemption, and how they were to live as part of it. He taught them to rely on God, and then showed them their reliance as he fed them the miracle bread.

Let us have compassion that meets reaches all the persons needs, not only the most obvious.

This is my first look at a passage in Mark. I will continue to share thoughts on Mark as I study and see the odd and beautiful ways in which Jesus acts. Perhaps we can learn together how we might work and live and be in his kingdom.

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