Will you run after Jesus?

Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee

And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves. The people saw them going, and many recognized them and ran there together on foot from all the cities, and got there ahead of them. Mark 6:31-33

So much need, no time to eat.

When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. Mark 6:34

Matthew Henry writes:

they seemed to be well-inclined, and manageable as sheep, and willing to be taught, but they had no shepherd, none to lead and guide them in the right way, none to feed them with good doctrine: and therefore, in compassion to them, he not only healed their sick, as it is in Matthew, but he taught them many things, and we may be sure that they were all true and good, and fit for them to learn.

Even though Jesus and the disciples were weary and needed to rest, they ministered to the people who were hungry for guidance … hungry for the spiritual food that only Jesus could give.

They ran to Jesus and would not leave Him until He fed them spiritual food as well as earthly food. Not until this multitude of 5,000 men, not including women and children, were full did Jesus send them away.

I’ve been as desperate as these people were. I’ve run after Jesus, not letting Him out of my sight until He filled me with His healing touch, His spiritual food, and His earthly provisions. Nothing else really mattered.

Only Jesus mattered.

Looking upon that desperation, Jesus had compassion, for He is the Good Shepherd. He filled every need beyond any human expectations.

He wants to fill your every need. Won’t you run after Jesus, sit at His feet, drink in His teachings, receive His healing, eat His bread?

He’s looking upon you with compassion.

My prayer for you

Our Good Shepherd, we long for Your guidance, Your touch, Your filling. Lead us by Your staff, set a table before us in the presence of our enemies, anoint our heads with your healing oil, and walk us through the valleys as we dwell in Your presence forever.

Jesus Shepherds through comfort and distress

mountainsThe Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23

It is easy to say “The Lord is my Shepherd,” when we are comfortable and have everything that we want, and yet, that does seem to be the time when we stray from the other sheep.

When we’re going through the shadow of death, that valley that steals our health, our wealth, our loved ones, that’s the time that we press in closer to the other sheep and our Shepherd, or we run away in terror.

Sometimes, a little lamb continuously strayed from the flock, and to teach the lamb to stay with the flock the shepherd broke the lamb’s leg. While the leg healed, the shepherd carried the lamb around his neck. The lamb grew to know and love the shepherd, and when the lamb’s leg was healed, the lamb always stayed by the shepherd.

We need a little correction sometimes, too. It hurts while we’re healing, but that can be a time of deeper intimacy as our Shepherd carries us around His neck.

He gently walks us to the table of plenty and gives us His overflowing cup. He anoints our wounds with the healing oil of the Spirit.

He guides us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

My prayer for you

Loving Shepherd, guide us in Your righteous paths. We cherish Your rod and staff because we know that You love us with an everlasting love. You are our Protector, our Healer, our Provider, our Rest, our Savior. We adore You and cherish Your presence.