Bible Reading: Mark 6:30-44
He had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Mark 6:34
By the second day of soccer camp, you’re sick of being followed. Some little kid thinks you’re a soccer pro. “You’re my hero!” he squeals. He wants your autograph. And he expects you to teach him every trick you know.
One day as you’re crossing a field to your next practice, you spot your little fan. He’s up on a goalpost, suspended by his soccer shorts. “I’m so glad you’re here!” he shrieks. You study the situation. It’s not like he’s dangling over a cliff. Sooner or later his shorts will rip and he’ll be just fine. So you walk away.
But later you get to thinking. You didn’t exactly do what Jesus would have done.
More than once Jesus was followed by a crowd that wouldn’t let him go. In Mark 6 the people hunted down Jesus and his disciples, chasing them along the shore and waiting for their boat to pull in. Jesus didn’t act annoyed. He was kind, gathering the crowds and teaching them. Late in the afternoon the disciples said the people should get lost—and go find their own supper. Jesus, however, had heard their stomachs growling. He fed the mob a big meal, using a tiny snack—it was a miracle.
Jesus did three loving things in this scene: (1) he gave time to the worn-out disciples; (2) he gave teaching to the crowd when they needed help to understand God’s love; and (3) he gave physical help to thousands when they were hungry.
Being a Christian means growing to be more like Jesus so that we have a compassionate heart like his. It means feeling the hurts that other people feel so that we want to help them. To be like Jesus, we can ask ourselves these three questions—and then act on our answers:
Question 1: How can I give my time to help people?
Question 2: How can I give information about God to people who need to know about him?
Question 3: How can I give practical help to people who need something?
Do you ever notice that people around you are sad or upset? It makes you feel sad or upset too, doesn’t it? Well, that’s the compassion of Jesus showing up in you. Don’t let the feeling go away. Take a clue from your compassionate Savior. Show that you care about the way others feel!
TALK: How do you plan to put into action the compassion that God puts inside of you?
PRAY: God, open our eyes to the world all around us. Help us see opportunities to give like Jesus gave.
ACT: Answer one of the three questions above and look for a time when you can give in this way today.