Mark: According To
I Have Compassion For The Multitudes
In Those Days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them 2 “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. 3 And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.” 4 Then His disciples answer Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?”
This must have been a great disappointment to Jesus. Recently he had fed 5000 from five loaves and two fishes and now again the disciples questioned Jesus on how this was to be done.
The influence of Jesus was great for Jesus makes a point of declaring that many had come from a great distance to hear Him teach and perhaps even be made well.
In Mark 6:30-44 we see that the same thing happened where Jesus had compassion on the people, asked His disciples to find food for the people. But in that instance, they complained about the cost to supply food for this amount of people. Now this time there is no complaining about the cost, but that there wasn’t enough food present, for Jesus sent them to determine how much food was among them and in verse five they answer by saying seven loaves and verse seven says they also found a few small fish. Jesus had the multitude sit down and then He blessed the food and then set food before them.
Recently I was speaking before a group of prisoners in one of our local prisons. Several of the prisoners commented by saying, “Your approach to the gospel and telling the story of the Bible is different. You present your topic, you appeal to our heart, but we can tell you are not forcing your opinion upon us. Why is this?”
The reason is simple. It is outlined in our study today of the feeding of the 4000. It says Jesus set the food before them and they ate till they were full. You see the message of the gospel and the Bible is food for the heart. With prayer and study, we can grow spiritually and mentally. But as Jesus did not force feed those that came to Him, we should not force the gospel down anyone’s throat. Instead we should present it an as appetizing a format as possible. There is a time and a place for pulpit pounding and that place is not now, for what we all need is the simplicity of the Gospel message, delivered with sincerity. I am in no way saying that we deliver a watered-down gospel message, but instead deliver the full gospel with love and sincerity.
As Jesus had compassion for the multitude, we too should have compassion for the thousands that are seeking the truth, presenting to them the truth of the gospel with love, with sincerity and with simplicity.
We should make sure there is enough gospel truth present so that when people leave to go back to their homes, they can bring the extra with them to share with others. In this way, the gospel message will continue to be spread from one person to another which is the way heaven intended that it should. Heaven never intended that pastors and ministers of the gospel do the entire work on their own. Jesus enlisted disciples to first learn from Him and then go off on their own to share what they had learned to others. Our churches and places of learning should be training ground to teach others to share the gospel with love and meekness. As Peter put it in his first letter to the church. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (I Peter 3:15). Notice how Peter stated it, “Be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you. Peter finishes the text by adding two words of great importance by saying “with meekness and fear.”
So often we miss the meaning of these two words, “meekness” and “humility”. Meekness means with humility not forcing your will upon anyone and spreading the gospel with simplicity. Fear means to spread the message not only with humility and simplicity but with love, the same love that Jesus showed the people when He was moved with compassion towards the multitude.
My friends, how do you present the gospel to others? Do you present it with love and sincerity letting the simplicity of the gospel and allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to do the work? If not, I invite you to study the scriptures and learn of Jesus’ way of presenting the message of the gospel to others. He did it with love and compassion, always ready to teach others of the great love their heavenly Father has for them.