Monday, March 2, 2015

Retreat: Christ and His disciples together

3.2.2015 Monday of Lent 2              Mark 6:14-34 Retreat: Christ and His disciples together

The disciples return from the preaching journey and are exhausted. People with needs throng around them so that they do not get any rest. Jesus takes them in a boat to a secluded spot that they may rest and be apart from the crowd. But the people will not let them alone. When the boat comes to shore, they people are waiting for them. Seeing the crowd, Jesus expresses compassion for them because they are as sheep without a shepherd.  Before Jesus gives them physical bread, He gives them spiritual food by teaching them.

Jesus looks at people as sheep – they throng together, they run for food, they are easily led and misled. Because of these characteristics, they need a shepherd.  Without a shepherd, the people wander, get hurt and lost. They also need a good shepherd. The prophet Jeremiah (23:1-6) tells  of the tragedy of Israel’s having bad shepherds who caused the people to go into captivity. Jesus describes Himself as the good shepherd who cares for and dies for His sheep. [2]

Jesus’ heart goes out. He is compassionate because He know your needs. The disciples were only concerned about their reporting and resting. The crowds were no better. They were unaware of their spiritual poverty. All they wanted was a miracle worker and a bread king. Yet Jesus remains compassionate, not wanting any to be lost. This moved Jesus into action. He shepherds. He goes out of His way, even interrupting His plans as “He began to teach them many things.”

He will also go to the cross. To save you and the world, by means of the cross. His forgiveness is the result of this compassion. This is His attitude toward you. To sheep prone to wander, often lost and frightened, or hurt. We can take heart. Our Good Shepherd pours out His heart to us, by shedding His blood on the cross.

Let your Spirit, O Lord, come into the midst of us to wash us with the pure water of repentance, and prepare us to be always a living sacrifice to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.[3]

[1] Image by Ed Rioja © Higher Things
[2] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff pp.222-223, © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH
[3] Collect for Monday of Lent 2,

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