An open Bible and a cup of coffee.

And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.”
(Mark 6:34)

Today’s verse passage describes the Lord’s loving and kind posture towards the needy. In the preceding verses, we learn that Jesus and His disciples had been very busy in their ministry work, so much so that “they had no leisure so much as to eat.” Knowing they needed a break, the Lord said to them, “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). The people saw where they were headed, however, and met the Lord and His disciples in droves. Our Lord could have responded to this in any number of ways. He might’ve ignored the plight of the people and gone elsewhere, or He might have signified great annoyance with the endless wants and demands of the people. Instead, we read that Jesus was “moved with compassion” and granted them grace to help in their time of need (Hebrews 4:16). Matthew informs us that this was no one-time event either; it was the Lord’s regular practice to allow Himself to be “moved with compassion” for the world’s downtrodden, the helpless and harassed (Matthew 9:36). On one occasion, a brave leper had enough courage to approach Jesus and ask for healing. “If thou wilt,” said the leper, “thou canst make me clean” (Mark 1:40). Instead of responding in fear and disgust, which were common reactions at that time, “Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean” (Mark 1:41). These instances are not only touching, they provide us with profoundly important theological information. Whereas some theologians insist that God’s prime attribute is sovereignty, which is then reduced to raw, self determination, the biblical record reveals something very different. Twice we are told that God is love (John 4:8, 16), and that all the fullness of deity dwells bodily in Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:9). He is God’s ultimate self-disclosure; to see Jesus is to see God Himself (John 14:9; Hebrews 1:1-3). His actions, and those of His Father Who sent Him, are not expressions of capriciousness, of arbitrary self determination. Rather, the Bible insists that love was their great motivator. “For God so loved the world,” declares the golden text of Scripture, “that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The cross was and is an expression of God’s love (Romans 5:8), the central attribute of God’s morally-perfect character. How encouraging it is to know that the Sovereign King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16), the very One upon Whom the universe depends for continued existence (Colossians 1:17), is One Who can be moved with compassion towards us, His fallen but beloved image-bearers. Hallelujah!

God bless,

pastor john