January 17, 2021

The Good Shepherd

Mark 6:30-44

“They all ate and were satisfied.”

—  Mark 6:42

Sometimes it can be hard to know what we really need. On a windy beach, as a man tries to start his campfire, he may think he just needs more matches. But what he ­really needs is someone to help block the wind.

The crowd that followed Jesus was full of people who wanted healing and people who were thrilled and amazed to see his miracles, but Jesus saw that they really needed to be taught many things. Jesus’ disciples, his closest followers, wanted to know how they could find food for the crowd, but Jesus saw that they really needed to understand that he was the good shepherd who provides.

The disciples were distressed over how to feed the crowd, but they might have noticed that Jesus, like a good shepherd, had compassion because the huge crowd was like sheep without a shepherd. So in that quiet, remote place he had them all sit down on the green grass in order to be restored. If you read Psalm 23, you will see a picture like this one, with Jesus taking care of all these people like a shepherd tending his flock. And even if the disciples didn’t fully see what he was doing at the time, that’s what he did.

Thank the Lord that he looks after us as the shepherd who knows what his sheep really need.

Lord Jesus, help me to know what I really need. Thank you for always caring for me. Help me to rest in you and not stress out; help me to trust that all things are already in your hands. Amen.

About the author — Douglas MacLeod

Rev. Douglas MacLeod is a church pastor in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has served as a pastor for over 36 years with five congregations in Michigan and Iowa. He and Cathy, his wife of 40+ years, are grateful for their three children and four grandchildren.

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