Summary: Like sheep, people have many needs.
Our Scripture of the week is Isaiah 53:6 … We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Why are people like sheep??
Sheep are dumb and people are like sheep. However, let us note that sheep are not so dumb that they cannot be taught! Some people are actually dumber than sheep, because they are not willing to learn.
Now, let’s think about this, aren’t people created in the image (to be like) God? What happened? How did people become like sheep??
People’s sins, doing things other than what God says, make people dumb; and when people refuse to learn from God, they are dumber than sheep.
Our passage today highlight this for us. What can we learn from Jesus Christ and the first disciples?
Open your Bibles to Mark 8…. Read along with me v1-20….
v1-3: another large crowd was with Jesus for 3 days and have not eaten anything!
What was Jesus telling His disciples??
Jesus was saying “I love these people and you should too; so please feed them!”
Didn’t this scenario sound familiar? How should the disciples have responded??
We read in Mark 6, Jesus fed 5000 men with their families till they were full, but started with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. That was a great miracle with lots of leftovers which the Disciples should have remembered. The disciples should have simply trusted Jesus and asked what they should do.
Jesus of course was patient with His disciples and so in…
v5-7: Jesus followed a similar procedure to the last miracle: took inventory, prayed and gave thanks to God, and gave instructions.
What’s the same from this story compared to the story in Mark 6? Both stories states that the people were fully satisfied with the food; no one was hungry after the miraculous feeding and there were plenty of leftovers! Both stories indicate Jesus sent the crowd away then He and the disciples left and went into a boat.
What were the differences?
v8-9: this time 7 basketful of leftovers instead of 12; 4000 people were present in comparison to over 5000 in Mark 6.
v11-13: The Religious leaders were looking for a heavenly sign but Jesus said there was no need. What did Jesus mean by this??
God’s Word and the presence of Jesus is sufficient for faith in God!
v14-15: Jesus warns about the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod (the King of Jerusalem). What did Jesus mean by this??
A little lie (like yeast to bread) can impact much!
v16-18: Jesus was talking spiritual; what were the disciples thinking??
The disciples were still stuck with the physical world!! Jesus performed 2 great miracles of feeding thousands of people with only a few loaves of bread and a few fish right in front of the disciples but yet they thought Jesus was upset because they had no bread!!
Now let’s never forget that Jesus lives in a spiritual world but cares about the physical! We need to note this because one can be so spiritual that the physical needs of people are neglected. I believe African Missionary Livingstone is an example of this who left his family to die as he went on his missionary journey.
v16-21: The disciples were not so dumb to not remember the miracles; they just could not yet see the power of Jesus! But….
Jesus was patient with the disciples but stern in teaching!
What Biblical principles from this passage can we apply to our lives today?
1. Jesus had compassion on people who are lost both spiritually and physically.
How do we personally see people around us who are lost and how do we respond to them? We should see people as Jesus sees people; #1 - where are they headed for eternity? But a close #2 – what are their physical needs?
2. Is our trust in Jesus strong enough to always ask “Jesus, what would you want me to do?”
3. There is a danger in looking for something else besides God’s Word and the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives! A little lie can negatively impact our entire life!
4. We must see and live out the spiritual world of God more and more on a daily basis!