“When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” (Mark 6:34)
Compassion is not a flimsy garment slung across the Savior’s shoulders; this attribute is woven through the perfect fabric of his being.
When unwelcomed crowds surged forward, disrupting his vacation plans for the weary disciples, he did not recoil from their demands. He viewed this mass of humanity with eyes of love and willingly interrupted his schedule for them. These “sheep without a shepherd” ran straight toward his tender heart.
Since the disciples did not yet comprehend Kingdom behavior, they were eager for Christ to dismiss the throng to scrounge on their own. But his intrinsic kindness would not allow this solution, and he declared, “Let’s feed them all! What do we have on hand?” Presented with a boy’s puny lunch, his power allowed for every sheep to graze extravagantly. He looked to heaven, blessed the bread, broke it apart, and gave it to the disciples to “set before the people” (Mark 6:42).
The verse ends with a succinct description of our Lord: “And he divided the two fish among them all.” All by itself, this one line is a brilliant definition of Christ. The Master took a handful of food and multiplied it miraculously, feeding over 5,000 hungry individuals at a God-‐-‐-‐sized feast. His compassion made him acutely aware they had aching bellies needing to be filled; his power enabled him to satisfy their hunger thoroughly.
He hasn’t changed; he never will. Compassion took him all the way to the cross. His power took him all the way out of the tomb. Wait awhile for him to dress you with his uncompromising strength and tenderness.