Summary: Jesus has one overriding concern in life - our welfare. He had compassion on us, sacrificing himself for our benefit. We take comfort in a God whom we can fully trust.
To the early Christians, this particular event in the life of Jesus is an important one. It is the only miracle of Jesus that is reported in all 4 Gospels. Apparently there is something significant here that the 4 authors want us to see.
After a particularly intense period of ministry, Jesus had gone off by himself. But the crowds followed him, and at the end of the day they were hungry. The disciples wanted Jesus to dismiss them but He said, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” (14:16).
What motivated Jesus to say that? Verse 14 give us a clue – “He had compassion on them.”
Now if we understand the MENTAL STATE Jesus is in, we’ll appreciate Him much more.
Jesus did not plan to meet this crowd. 14:13 says He was withdrawing by boat privately to a solitary place. Why? Possibly to grief over the loss of a friend, and to spend time praying. Verse 13 says He wanted that quiet time after hearing the news – v.12 that John the Baptist was beheaded (His forerunner and kinsman).
But this crowd interrupted His plan. And that’s why after the whole event was over – v.22-23 Jesus asked the disciples to get into the boat and go on ahead of Him, while He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. That was His original plan. He needed that quiet time.
So this crowd spoilt His schedule. They did not give Him any peace. They followed Him on foot and when Jesus landed on the shore, the large crowd was there. His plan was interrupted. Yet He wasn’t angry. He wasn’t irritated.
Yet Luke says “He welcomed them.” (Luke 9:11). Mark 6:34 “He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” Jesus loved them. Taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed the sick. CAN YOU SEE THE HEART OF JESUS? What was He motivated by? Not His own agenda, but your needs!
Do you doubt that God can meet your needs? Are you like these people, stranded in the wilderness without food?
1. If you feel helpless, allow God to take the lead
We can’t solve every problem, and God don’t intend us to. But He is going to challenge us, to push us to the edge... and cause us to put our faith in Him.
Taken from Max Lucado’s Experiencing the Heart of Jesus, pp.3-4
This interview is between the Holy Land Press (REPORTER) and Moses.
REPORTER: Tell us about your conflict with the Egyptians.
MOSES: Oh, the Egyptians - big people. Strong fighters. Mean as snakes.
REPORTER: But you got away.
MOSES: Not before they got washed away.
REPORTER: You’re talking about the Red Sea conflict.
MOSES: You’re right. That was scary.
REPORTER: Tell us what happened.
MOSES: Well, the Red Sea was on one side, and the Egyptians were on the other.
REPORTER: So you attacked?
MOSES: Are you kidding? With a half-million who were previous slaves? No, my people were too afraid. They wanted to go back to Egypt.
REPORTER: So you told everyone to retreat?
MOSES: Where? Into the water? We didn’t have a boat. We didn’t have anywhere to go.
REPORTER: What did your leaders recommend?
MOSES: I didn’t ask them. There wasn’t time.