The apostles gathered around Jesus
and reported to him all they had done and taught.
Then, because so many people were coming and going
that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them,
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.
But many who saw them leaving recognized them
and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd,
he had compassion on them,
because they were like sheep without a shepherd.
So he began teaching them many things.
Mark 6 30-34 (NASB)
Many years ago, when I was pastor of a church, I made an announcement to the church one Sunday that I and my family would be away on holiday for the next two weeks and if there was any need for pastoral help the need should be directed to my associate. One disgruntled member of the church spoke to me after the service and said that the devil never took holidays so why should I.
I had enough of this troublemaker’s nonsense, so I responded that I was unaware that the devil was my role model. By answering in this manner, I hoped that the man would benefit from how I had pointed out his foolish comment. Shortly after this sad encounter the man and his family left the church.
In Mark 6:1-6 we read of our Lord’s last visit to Nazareth. Then He sends the Twelve out to preach the Good News, heal the sick and cast out demons Mark 6:7-13. When the Twelve returned to report to the Master they continued to be so busy ministering that they did not have time to even eat. Hence the Teacher planned a retreat to a remote area to rest.
Alas, the crowds ran ahead and reached the secluded area ahead of Jesus and the Twelve. When the group landed the Good Shepherd had compassion on the crowd, seeing them as sheep without a shepherd. Instantly the Saviour began to minister to the persistent crowd of people.
The profound lesson we are to take from this scene is that our beloved Master is never too busy to attend to our needs!! Regardless of how busy the Good Shepherd may be or how long He has been listening to our prayers He will never take a vacation from those who persist with their petitions.
Take heart believer, your Beloved Redeemer is closer than you may think. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His love, His faithfulness, His tender care for all His loved ones, remains the same. You are as sure of His gentle care as though you were already safe in heaven. He is never too busy to pay attention to you any time, anywhere. So come to Him and come now.
My name from the palms of His hands
Eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains,
In marks of indelible grace;
Yes, I to the end shall endure,
As sure as the earnest is given;
More happy, but not more secure,
The glorified spirits in heaven.
– A.M. Toplady