"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." - Mark 6:34
This passage is part of the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000, which has always been one of the most familiar stories in the bible. All four of the gospels touch on this story, so it is fairly hard to miss. Jesus is depicted as a shepherd in many different aspects in this story. Mark quiet literally refers to the crowds as a group of sheep without a shepherd and then Jesus started to teach them.
In other research, I read that many people probably brought the sick to him to be healed. Jesus also feeds all of the people. Some of the most important jobs of a shepherd, according to Google, is to herd the sheep into areas of good forage, provide protection, and bring healing. Jesus exhibits all of these behaviors in this passage. We see God exhibiting these behaviors within our lives as well.
In each day of our lives, we are shown the way to lead our lives. As Christians, we are called to teach others how to also follow the Good Shepherd. We are to exhibit the same behaviors and help to lead those who are sheep without a shepherd. This includes doing things like helping those who are sick, hungry, and hurting.
It can be difficult to try to take up the things that are required to help others in our world when we often want to primarily worry about ourselves, but it is what we are called to do as followers of Christ. Just as Jesus and God experience hurt when someone in the flock is hurt, we can also experience hurt when somebody in our flock is hurt or struggling. We are all part of one flock, and we can all be affected when someone or some group of people is hurt.
As a world that is still going through great divide and disputes over things like race, gender, and political views, we can all be hurt by others’ opinions and views. We as Christians should try to find ways to pick up the shepherd’s staff and help others to feel safer and more comfortable by trying to heal some of the divide and differences in the world.
Help us Lord to make that so. Amen.