Key Texts: Mark 6:30-34
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.
Sometimes, when I am tempted to think of my ministry as being especially tiring, I am reminded of how Jesus and the Twelve rarely had time to get away “to a solitary place” and rest.
This doesn’t mean I advocate ministers burning themselves out in the name of service. That doesn’t help anyone or anything.
Still, it is good to note that Christ’s compassion was so great, and so giving, that seeing the “sheep without a shepherd” inevitably led to His reaching out to them again – to teach, to heal, to give of Himself however He might.
And that is a good model for ministry – that it always be grounded in tireless, self-giving, compassionate love.
What Jesus gave most of all – even as he miraculously fed the thousands who flocked to see and hear Him – was Himself.
That is also the greatest thing we can give in His name. We can give ourselves.
“Love as you have been loved.”
That just about says it all.