While the religious leaders were concerned about their positions and proper protocol, Jesus’ eyes were on the weary and scattered who had no shepherds!
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Matthew 9:35-36
Man’s True Need
As you read chapter 9 in the book of Matthew, you see that Jesus forgave sins, healed people, and ate with tax collectors. While Jesus was concerned about people’s physical needs, His focus was always about the internal condition of man. He knew that unless the spiritual condition of man was addressed, man continued to remain lost, helpless, and needy. Sadly, the religious leaders of His day missed the point!
Jesus saw no shepherds
As Jesus looked at the people in Jerusalem he saw a group of people who were weary and scattered, and they were sheep without a shepherd. It wasn’t that they didn’t have spiritual leaders, but their leaders were not leading and guiding the people towards God. Instead, they were leading them away from the Father. They were seeking to have power and position. Their focus was to be at the top of pecking order and feel good about themselves giving orders to everyone. Furthermore, those who were higher in the echelon of their spiritual hierarchy, had the ears of the governors; they felt powerful for having political clout. However, all along the religious leaders were missing the essence of their God given call and mission, which was helping, guiding, and protecting the sheep towards a deeper walk with God.
Do you have a shepherd in your life? Who is influencing your life on daily and weekly basis!?
You may state that Jesus and your pastor are your shepherds, and that’s great. However, you may have other shepherds that you are not aware of! Are there other people who influence you in the direction that you should go? Who do you listen to and watch during the week? If so, do they lead you closer to Jesus or further away from Jesus? Do they give you Biblical hope for your future or are they drumming up business for themselves by keeping you hooked on their soundbites!? Do you find yourself at the end of the week more free and hopeful about your life or do you find yourself disdaining life, others, and your circumstances? Do you find yourself more loving towards God and others or do you find yourself agitated, restless, worried, and angry? We all should pay attention to other voices and influences that try to shepherd us.
Who should we allow to shepherd us!? John 10 and Psalm 23 give us insight about God’s heart for a shepherd. Jesus had compassion on people because none of their shepherds fit the bill. They claimed to be their spiritual leader, but in reality they were hirelings. They did not care about the people or God, and they were not about making sacrifices to see people’s lives better.
Jesus saw the people being weary and scattered. What causes weariness and scattering!? I will share about this portion of the scripture in the next devotional.