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A Compassionate Shepherd - Mark 6:30-44

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Mark 6:30-44 A Compassionate Shepherd 2019-11-03 Jesus is a compassionate shepherd; come under his care There’s perhaps no one better known for dependence on the Lord than George Müller. He was a man who cared for England’s orphans and displayed great faith in God’s ability to provide. If you’ve read his autobiography you’re familiar with the stories of miraculous provision, like the morning there was no food and no money for breakfast. Despite this, George Müller prayed and thanked God for his provision. Just then the baker knocked on the door with bread for the orphans, stating that God wanted him to bake bread for them that morning. Soon after there was a knock at the door, and there was the milkman. His cart had broken down right outside the orphanage, and he was hoping he could give his milk cans to the orphanage so he could make repairs on his cart. Men like Müller, and examples from our own lives, serve to remind us that we are dependent on the Lord for his provision; that all we have comes from him. Scripture Passage: Mark 6:30-44 In our passage this morning we see a variety of needs, and we see Jesus meet them in a variety of ways. Jesus is a compassionate shepherd; come under his care. Jesus Calls to Solitude (vv.30-33) 1. v.30 “The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught.” - Remember back to v.7 of this chapter, that Jesus sent them out in pairs. They went out preaching repentance, casting out demons, and healing the sick. They were doing the work they were commissioned by Jesus to do, carrying out their calling and fulfilling their ministry. 2. v.31 “And he said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’” - After pouring themselves out, Jesus knows it’s time for a refresh and recharge. 1. Mark tells us that they were so busy, that Jesus was so popular and there were always so many things to be done, that they didn’t even have the bandwidth, the capacity, the time, to eat. Jesus sees this and knows this means rest is needed. 3. v.32 “And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.” - This was their only means of getting time away from the crowds. Trying to travel by land would mean crowds would be right along with them, so getting into a boat meant a little time for respite. 4. v.33 “Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.” - Their plan for rest appears to be foiled. But not entirely. As they landed the boat they were again among the crowds of people, but their time in the boat offered them a place of solitude with Jesus and rest from pouring out to others. 1. Our Creator knows our makeup, and knows that we need this rhythm of work and rest. He set the pattern for us in his six days of work and one day of rest. And here we see not only rest, but also the need for solitude. Jesus calls his disciples out to a desolate place, a place uninhabited and undeveloped, where the regular demands for their attention wouldn’t be present. This has nothing to do with introvert or extrovert, and everything to do with getting away from crowds and noise and distraction to spend time with Jesus. 2. For the disciples, the boat was their vehicle for solitude. The time in the boat ended up being the only solitude they got. Solitude is the deliberate act of putting yourself in a place, I’d say both physically and mentally, where you are free from distractions so as to focus on fellowship with your heavenly Father. What’s your vehicle for solitude and your place of rest? It could be a boat. It might be your car and making the best of your commute. Solitude would mean shutting off the radio and setting your mind on fellowship with the Father. Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley, found that her place of solitude was under the cover of her apron, which she would lift up over her head while she read Scripture or prayed, and her many children knew that was the signal to not bother her. AW Tozer found the furnace room to be the best place for a season. Maybe yours is on a wilderness trail, or a walk during a lunch break at work, or your commute, or the desk or dining room table while the rest of your family is sleeping. The place isn’t as significant as the practice. Jesus Cares for the Sheep (v.34) 1. v.34 “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.” - They land on shore, and the hopes of any more solitude are gone. A great crowd is there waiting. But Jesus isn’t upset. Rather he is compassionate. 1. Compassion. GK splanchnizomai. This means to be deeply moved. It involves the heart. 1. Luke 10:33 “But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.” 2. Luke 15:20 “And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” 3. 1 John 3:17 “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart (inward parts) against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” 2. Why was Jesus compassionate toward them? Because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Lost, wandering, in danger from predators, needing protection and care and provision. Throughout Scripture the Lord looks upon his people as his sheep. 1. In Ezekiel 34:1-16 God speaks against the leaders of Israel as those who were to be shepherds but were not. The sheep are scattered and sick and injured, and they actually need to be rescued from these false shepherds. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” 3. Jesus’ compassion moves him to action. What was that action? He teaches them many things. Mark doesn’t record for us what it is that Jesus taught. But the fact that he taught this crowd he had compassion on is significant and instructive for us. I think we can know the essence of Jesus’ instruction, as he prays in John 17:6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world.” His teaching the people involved revealing the nature of God to them. Jesus Challenges Scarcity (vv.35-40) 1. v.35 “And when it grew late, his disciples came to him…” - We really don’t know if this is a sincere concern for the people, or a selfish concern of the disciples for more solitude with Jesus. But either way, the compassion of Jesus was genuine, and he moves to further action. 2. v.37 “But he answered them, ‘You give them something to eat.’” - Jesus is testing their faith. There was nothing they could do in and of themselves to feed this crowd. But that didn’t keep them from trying to think up a solution. 1. What was the solution the disciples came up with? Jesus didn’t say anything about going and buying them bread, but that was their solution. “Money could solve this problem.” But some quick figuring and they realized it would take 6-8 months worth of wages to buy enough, and that was far too costly. Even if they had enough money, would a nearby village have enough bread on hand to feed 5000 men, plus women and children? Is it just me, or has the Lord been trying your faith recently as well with passages like this? Are the solutions we come up with only considering our limited resources, or also considering the vast storehouses of heaven waiting to be poured out for you? I’m not preaching a prosperity gospel, but preaching that Jesus isn’t limited to what you bring to the table as he carries out his mission through you. 3. v.38 “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” - After searching they could only come up with five loaves and two fish. John 6 tells us they belonged to a boy who was there. 1. They bring what they have to the table, and it’s nowhere near enough. There’s no way you can feed 5000 men, plus women and children, from five small barley loaves and two fish. But this is often the way Jesus works, getting us to recognize our scarce resources and then challenging that scarcity. Jesus Creates Satisfaction (vv.41-44) 1. v.41 “And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people.” - Jesus takes what they had and multiplies it. He offers a prayer, blessing God for the provision, and begins distributing the food. 2. vv.42-43 “And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish.” - This is a work of creation. Jesus doesn’t setup an outdoor kitchen and start baking, but simply breaks the bread and divides up the fish and creates more and more as he goes along. So much so that everyone eats and is satisfied. So much so that everyone is full and there are more in leftovers than what they originally started with. 1. Jesus challenges the scarcity the disciples see and creates satisfaction. Their part in it was obedience. Faith. To offer what little they had and to trust that Jesus could fulfill. Conclusion: Where is Jesus calling you to be more under his care? Where is he stretching you? Maybe to trust him enough that you can seek rest and solitude, not depending on your ability to get more done in a week. Perhaps there’s a need you’re aware of, and Jesus is calling you to meet that need, but you’re not sure how. Jesus is a compassionate shepherd; come under his care y l i m Fa Table Talk November 3, 2019 GOD’S TRUTH Jesus is a compassionate shepherd; come under His care! Family Discussion & Bible Searching 1. Jesus disciples were always learning from Him. And Jesus was so patient with them. Again and again they witnessed His power, yet they somehow seemed to wonder at how their dilemmas and problems might be solved. The impossible became possible right before their eyes, yet they still asked Jesus ,”How?” when new challenges arose. Do you ever feel this way? 2. What miracle did Jesus perform in Mark 6:30-44? What do you think was the reason Jesus carried out this miracle? How abundantly was the problem of the disciples provided for? 3. Read the following Scriptures. Consider the greatness and the compassion of our Lord! John 10:10-11; John 17:6, 17-19; Ephesians 3:14-21; Philippians 4:4-8 Key Verse “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world.” John 17:6 Scripture Memory: Exodus 20:8-11 “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” - Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (ESV)
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