Letters to the Family of God

by Joe Franzone | May 11, 2023 | Pastor's Blog

Family of God - Website (600 × 282 px)

May 11, 2023


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.


Mark 6:32-34


Souls of men, why will you scatter                                                                 

Like a crowd of frightened sheep?

Foolish hearts, why will you wander

From a love so true and deep?


Fedrick William Faber,

Souls of Men, Why Will You Scatter (1854)

Dear friends.


We all have problems. We do. But every Christian has a Shepherd.


It was customary for Jesus to step away from His public ministry to refresh Himself in private prayer. He taught the disciples to do the same. Mark, chapter six, was such an occasion. However, come away with me to rest, became, stop everything, and help these dear people.


Jesus responds to the crowds as the Good Shepherd. It is all incredibly moving. For this reason, when Mark writes, He (Jesus) had compassion on them. Literally, it means Jesus’s stomach was aching in concern for them. This is not theater. He is not simply doing His duty. He is, loving them into His fold.


The crowd moved Jesus to the depths of His being. Why? They were sheep who had no shepherd. (As many people there dressed in light-colored clothing dealing with heat, they may have looked like sheep.) Nevertheless, having been mistaught for so long, their souls needed care. They needed to know the way through life and the security Jesus gave past death. And Jesus, as the Good Shepherd had, come for this exact reason, looking for the lost sheep looking for you, and looking for me.


On that day, Jesus would feed the crowd physically because He cares about humanity's practical needs, and He would feed the crowd spiritually because He knows we could never meet this need ourselves. In all, He proved Himself to be the shepherd, who, as the psalmist said, makes us lie down in green pastures, leads us beside still waters, and restores our souls. Psalm 23:1-3.


The disciples were ready to send the crowds away. Too many people. Too costly. Too many needs. But Jesus said very plainly, sit them down. And this is what Jesus does for us. He sees us. He sees our needs. He sees how vexed and strained we can become and how lost we may think we are. Yet He gently shepherds us even to the point of giving His own life. Is there ever a love that has ever been so true?


If you are confused about which way to go. If you have problems too big and too numerous. If you are just plain worn out, trust Jesus to be what He said. He is your shepherd. Listen well to His teachings from the Scriptures. He will care for you perfectly in this life and lead you securely to the next life. As we often say, all you need is need.

It is so beautiful, so Christian.

If Jesus can't meet your needs,

nothing on earth will.

Lately, I have been thinking about how Jesus shepherded me through the final year of my Father’s life. It was all like a beautiful song. It wasn’t always an easy way. There were moments when I had to sit down and wait. But it was the best way, the way Jesus brought me to Himself, showed me my need and then met it. He is the Good Shepherd. May God by His grace, give you experiential knowledge of Christ's shepherding care—even now.


God bless you in all things great and small.

Pastor Joe