I was moved last month when reading about Jesus’ compassion for the crowds, that He was moved because they were harrassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd
Jesus must have felt that way other times, too, as Mark says:
When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. Mark 6: 34 (all passages NIV)
In Matthew, Jesus has been healing people when he says this, then tells the disciples about the plentiful harvest and need for workers (presumably to share the gospel).
Here in Mark, Jesus himself begins to teach. (This is a different occasion since in Matthew, Jesus was in a town, not coming ashore.)
So, we sheep need shepherds to teach us.
And in today’s Psalm (28: 7, 9), the Psalmist talks about a shepherd, too (coincidence, or providence?):
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.
I really like the idea of Jesus carrying me forever (but not like that overwrought footprints thing…).
So, we sheep need shepherds to protect, bless, and carry us.
There are lots of verses that show how compassionate God is in Leviticus 25. God shows a shepherd’s care for his flock when He gives his people rest every 7, then every 50 years, and when He says:
Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 25: 17) and
Do not take interest or any profit from [poor Israelites], but fear your God… (Leviticus 25: 36) and
Do not rule over [your bondservants] ruthlessly, but fear your God. (Leviticus 25:43)
These three particular verses suggests to me that when God commands Israel to care for the weak among them, it is evidence that they fear God, that they understand and are in awe of his rule in their lives, his right to demand compassion! The shepherd wants his sheep to show His compassion to each other and the weak among them.
So, we sheep need shepherds to care for us. And to command us to likewise show compassion to others.
I have to go now to prepare for leading Bible study tomorrow night. So no pix tonight!
Leviticus 25:1-55, Psalm 28:6-9, Proverbs 10:10-21, Mark 6:30-56. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts.