Mark 6:30-56; 2 Samuel 16; Daniel 10:1-21
Jesus had sent the disciples out to minister. They had healed and they had proclaimed the kingdom of God; now they were back to give a report. Then Jesus tried to teach them how to react after ministering – He took them aside to rest. There was a problem though. People knew Jesus and wanted to follow Him. Current day stars had no papparazi to compare with those Jesus dealt with. His retreat plans were shattered when they got to the deserted place and found it populated with people hungry to hear from Jesus. “And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34) Jesus didn’t ignore these people. He didn’t put on sunglasses and use His entourage to keep Him separated from the masses – He began to teach. They hung on His every word. They stayed so long that He had to feed them. We know this as the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand. The key point here is the number of people who so hungered for Jesus that they were willing to go out into the desert and hear Him teach. They didn’t come for food. They didn’t worry about the food either. They would have gone hungry, except for Jesus’ compassion, but it didn’t matter. They wanted to hear Jesus. How hungry are we for God. Would we be willing to inconvenience ourselves to hear Jesus teach or would we begin looking at our watches if things ran too long? Perhaps we’ve become so used to being able to hear the teachings of Jesus, or read them for ourselves when it’s convenient, that we’ve lost that longing to hear God speak to us. No longer are we desperate to hear from God – we seem to think we have all we need.
Lord, remind me that I am not self-sufficient and that I must depend on You each day. Make me hungry for Your word. Speak to me through the Bible and through other people and make that experience so intense that I would be willing to give up food just to experience Your presence.