What Jesus Did! 'Compassionate Teaching' — Mark 6:33-34

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But many people saw them leave. The people knew it was Jesus. So people from all the towns ran to the place where Jesus was going. The people were there before Jesus arrived. When Jesus arrived there, he saw many people waiting. Jesus felt sorry for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd {to care for them}. So Jesus taught the people many things.
— Mark 6:33-34
Illustration of Mark 6:33-34 —  So Jesus taught the people many things.

Key Thought

Jesus was tired and the people were spiritually lost and in danger—"sheep without a shepherd." So Jesus gave them what they needed most: "He taught them many things." A "shepherd and teacher" from a Christian point of view is redundant. A shepherd teaches by guiding, leading, protecting, correcting, and caring. Let's call our modern Christian teachers to that high standard! They must do more and be more than a classroom lecturer. They must live the message they teach and love the people with whom they share it.

Today's Prayer

O dear Father, please give your people, your Church, more genuine "shepherds and teachers." So often, your people are like sheep without a shepherd. Please raise up more shepherds among us! In Jesus' name we fervently ask this. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The apostles {that Jesus sent out} came back to Jesus. They gathered around Jesus and told him about all the things they did and taught. Jesus and his followers were in a very busy place. There were many, many people. Jesus and his followers did not even have time to eat. Jesus said to his followers, "Come with me. We will go to a quiet place to be alone. There we will get some rest." So Jesus and his followers went away alone. They went in a boat to a place where there were no people. But many people saw them leave. The people knew it was Jesus. So people from all the towns ran to the place where Jesus was going. The people were there before Jesus arrived. When Jesus arrived there, he saw many people waiting. Jesus felt sorry for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd {to care for them}. So Jesus taught the people many things. It was now late in the day. So Jesus' followers came to him. They said, "No people live in this place. And it is already very late. So send the people away. They need to go to the farms and towns around here to buy some food to eat." But Jesus answered, "You give them some food to eat." The followers said to Jesus, "We can't buy enough bread to feed all these people! We would all have to work a month to earn enough money to buy that much bread!" Jesus asked the followers, "How many loaves of bread do you have now? Go and see." The followers counted their loaves of bread. They came to Jesus and said, "We have five loaves of bread and two fish." Then Jesus said to the followers, "Tell all the people to sit in groups on the green grass." So all the people sat in groups. There were about 50 or 100 people in each group. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish. He looked up to the sky and thanked God for the bread. Then Jesus divided the bread and gave it to his followers. Jesus told his followers to give the bread to the people. Then Jesus divided the two fish and gave the fish to the people. All the people ate and were full. Afterthe people finished eating, the followers filled twelve baskets with the pieces of bread and fish that were not eaten. There were about 5,000 men there that ate.

Mark 6:30-44

Related Scripture Readings

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. The worker that is paid to keep the sheep is different from the shepherd. The paid worker does not own the sheep. So when the worker sees a wolf coming, he runs away and leaves the sheep alone. Then the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. The man runs away because he is only a paid worker. He does not really care for the sheep. "I am the shepherd that cares for the sheep (people). I know my sheep like the Father knows me. And my sheep know me like I know the Father. I give my life for these sheep.

John 10:11-15

Be careful for yourselves and for all the people that God has given you. The Holy Spirit gave you the work of caring for this flock. You must be like shepherds to the church (people) of God. This is the church that God bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, some men will come into your group. They will be like wild wolves. They will try to destroy the flock.

Acts 20:28-29

And that same Christ gave gifts to people—he made some people to be apostles, some people to be prophets, some people to go and tell the Good News, and some people to have the work of caring for and teaching God's people. Christ gave those gifts to prepare God's holy people for the work of serving. He gave those gifts to make the body of Christ stronger. {This work must continue} until we are all joined together in the same faith and in the same knowledge about the Son of God. We must become like a mature (perfect) person—we must grow until we become like Christ and have all his perfection.

Ephesians 4:11-13

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.