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A Lenten Journey of Release & Renewal (Day Fourteen)

Day Fourteen

Scripture: Mark 6:30-44

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34 As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 35 When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; 36 send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.’ 37 But he answered them, ‘You give them something to eat.’ They said to him, ‘Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?’ 38 And he said to them, ‘How many loaves have you? Go and see.’ When they had found out, they said, ‘Five, and two fish.’ 39 Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And all ate and were filled; 43 and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.


“He had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.”

The disciples were tired. They didn’t even have time to eat because there were too many people wanting them. Earlier, Jesus sent them out two by two to go around villages to preach, drive out demons, and heal the sick (Mark 6:7-13). When they returned and reported to Jesus what they had done, he had compassion for them. Probably, they were burned out. So he told them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” Jesus knew they needed this self-care.

Unfortunately, even this short vacation was not allowed for Jesus and his disciples. Many ran faster than the boat and got there ahead of them. If I were one of the disciples, I would have been super annoyed as soon as I saw the crowd. “Give us a break, for Christ’s sake!” I would have yelled at them.

However, when Jesus saw them, he had compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. They were desperately standing there because there was no one to nurture them with words of hope, guide them with love for their daily life journey, and protect them from the trials of the era to rest a while in peace. Perhaps Jesus saw that they were even more worn out than his disciples. So Jesus fed them not only with words but also with bread and fish.

It’s a miracle. No, I’m not just talking about feeding five thousand men and many more uncounted women and children. I’m talking about the scale of Jesus’ compassion. How could he do that? How could he see the need of the people more than his need for a rest? How could he care for them more than he cared for himself?

I know I’m not Jesus, and I need tons of self-care to be able to function well as a pastor. However, I pray that I may have compassion for the lost like Jesus. Jesus, be my shepherd. And may I be a shepherd for someone, for some people.


  1. Is there someone or some people around you who are like “sheep without a shepherd?”

  2. How could you be a shepherd for that person or the people?

Prayer / Reflection:

Song of Reflection: Shepherd of My Soul

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