Have you ever planned a time of rest, a vacation, or a day away only to have it interrupted? You get a phone call that changes all your plans—you need to drop everything to help a friend or family member work through a rough patch. These times challenge our sense of compassion and can sap our strength. These are also times when, with a little obedience, we can see God multiply what we have and make it enough.
- What is taking your energy these days? What are the pressing issues you are facing?
- Do you have what you need to meet these challenges?
READ THE WORD: MARK 6:30-44 (ESV)
30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.
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. 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. 35 And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. 36 Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denariiworth of bread and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. 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. And he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And they all ate and were satisfied. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Compare Jesus’ response to the crowd with the disciples’ response. What were their emotions, questions, and actions (vss. 34-36)?
- How did Jesus meet the need of the day (vss. 37-42)? What was the participation of the disciples?
- What is significant about the fact that there were 12 baskets full of leftovers? What could the disciples have learned about Jesus’ care and concern for them?
- Who are the “sheep without a shepherd” in your life? What do you have that Jesus could multiply and make sufficient for their needs?
RESPOND TO GOD
Jesus is full of compassion for us and for the crowds of lost, needy, and lonely people in the world. When we act in simple obedience, we get to participate in the miracle of God’s love and care for those in need around us—even when we are tired and overwhelmed. Jesus can take what little we have and make it enough, even an abundance.
- Ask God to show you the people in your life that he loves and has compassion for.
- Ask God for the strength and the resources to love those people as he does.
- Spend some time thanking God for providing you with what you need, and more.