"When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things." Mark 6:34
Last week, I visited my optometrist for a vision exam. It had been three years since my last check up and I knew I was long overdue for a new prescription. However, what hastened this trip to the eye doctor was an incident when my wife offered to clean my glasses as we were headed for church. She quickly wiped the lenses clean, but just for that brief moment, as I was unable to make out license plates or read bumper stickers, I could easily tell that my vision had grown increasingly blurry.
This was only verified after seeing the optometrist and testing my eyesight. I did well with the peripheral and color portion of the test, but when it came to the part of reading the letters from a distance, specifically the fourth line down, I saw: Y 4 N G, when it actually read: V A H S. It was only after she adjusted the lenses that I was able to accurately see what was right in front of me.
As followers of Christ, we, too, need our spiritual vision to be re-examined from time-to-time and then adjusted accordingly. We can get so caught up in the busyness of life and even ministry, that we lose perspective. When we begin to see a person in need as a nuisance instead of as someone made in the image of God, our vision is blurred. When we see someone hurting and walk right on by, even though we are able to help, our vision is blurred. When we see someone apart from Christ and we are not prompted to pray, our vision is blurred.
As we read in the verse above, Jesus had compassion on the crowd and did not see them as a bothersome bunch. This is even more impressive because during this time, He and His disciples had been extremely busy. In fact, we can imagine just how hectic things were in the preceding verses.
"The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them,“Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.”For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them." Mark 6:30-33
We already saw how Jesus responded to the people but now let’s take a look at how His followers reacted.
"And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” Mark 6:35-36
This was a perfect opportunity for Jesus to fine-tune how His disciples viewed and treated people, even when they were tired and hungry. This particular episode of Scripture ends with Jesus miraculously feeding thousands of people. Instead of selfishly sending them away, He taught His disciples to sacrificially serve.
As a disciple of Christ, do you need to have your spiritual eyes checked so that you can continue to see people compassionately? Remember, ultimately the most compassionate thing we can do for someone is to share the gospel and point them to Jesus.
If you are not yet a follower of Christ, I encourage you to pray that God would let you see the truth and beauty found in Jesus, so you may one day say “I once was blind but now I see”.
Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity
Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Posted on Tue, May 5, 2015
by Sam Petitfils