When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
What an amazing statement. They were in Israel, near Jerusalem, a city and country filled with religious leaders; people who studied, taught, debated, memorized and revered God’s law but there were no shepherds for God’s people. Surrounded by folks who claimed to love God, Jesus could find no one guarding or caring for God’s most precious treasure, His people.
As one God has allowed to serve as a “religious leader” this challenges me to be more – more than just a teacher of God’s Word, more than just one who studies, believes and even memorizes God’s Word, even more than one who loves God and His Word. This challenges me to be certain I am also loving God’s people; shepherding them, guarding, guiding, protecting, feeding, tending to and caring for the flock of God.
In a world filled with scribes who carefully reproduced God’s Laws, teachers of that Law, religious leaders and an entire nation that prided itself on being God’s chosen race, Jesus had compassion, pitied “harassed and helpless” people because no one cared for their souls. When God looks at the people He has brought into my life I don’t want Him to pity them because they are wandering without a shepherd, no one who cares about them.
Lord, in this life I’ll never fully understand the Scriptures and be able to teach and minister as You taught and ministered. But you never commanded me to KNOW as You know. You did however, command me to LOVE as You love. Divine Shepherd, use me as a channel of Your love for Your sheep; the ones in the fold and the lost ones still wandering.
1 Corinthians 13:2
If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.