Jesus came out, saw a great multitude, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he began to teach them many things. - Mark 6:34
Here we have a window through which we catch a glimpse of the heart of Jesus. Every scene of sorrow touched Him. It’s amazing to think that the heart of Christ is actually moved at the sight of human distress or need. It was this compassion that brought Christ from heaven. It was because our Father loved the lost world that He gave His Son to save the world. Does God care now if we are in suffering or in need? “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him” (Psalm 113:13). Does Jesus still have any such compassion for human sorrow on the earth? “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15).
It’s worthwhile to notice the kind of trouble that stirred the compassion of Jesus at this time. It was because He saw the people as sheep not having a shepherd. It was not their hunger, nor their poverty, nor their sickness, but their spiritual need that so deeply touched His compassion. There were no wise, gentle, thoughtful pastors watching over their eternal needs — feeding them with heavenly bread, protecting them from the wolves of sin and lust, and leading them in right paths.
We learn here that no condition is so sad as that of spiritual neglect. A human soul in need is far more vulnerable than being in physical danger or distress. Nothing moves God’s heart so deeply as a soul exposed to the world’s problems, wandering alone in spiritual darkness and uncared for. Happy are those, old and young, who are safe in the protection of the Good Shepherd! If we have “the mind of Christ,” we also shall be moved with compassion for all souls that have no shepherd.
Sleep can elude us when we are trying to make critical decisions. Our minds race over details; we make our lists, evaluate options, and pray, “God, what should I do?” Often we become frustrated because we’re not sure how to get the answer from the Lord.
The key is found in our relationship with Him. The closer we are to God, the easier communication between us will be. Closeness to God means:
Learning what God likes and dislikes. Certain opportunities can be quickly eliminated because they are contrary to God’s character.
Knowing God’s Word. When we are familiar with the Word of God, the Holy Spirit can remind us of passages relevant to our situation.
Confessing our sins. Confession helps our minds be cleansed from the effects of ungodly thinking, which interferes with receiving the Lord’s direction.
Laying down our desires and taking up His. As we draw closer to Him, we’ll experience the blessings of submission and be willing to do it again.
Waiting on God. We will allow sufficient time to hear from the Father.
Standing firm against pressure—external and internal. Receiving clear direction from God will be our priority.
Praying persistently. We’ll continue to ask the Father for guidance, and we will not give up. The Lord desires our very best. Draw closer to Him, and experience the joy of receiving clear direction.