Jesus had compassion

Mark 6:30-34, 53-56, from the Question Mark series of talks?


There is no question in our sermon title this week. My sermon is entitled, ‘Jesus had compassion’ but I do have three questions which I will give at the end … hold on tight!


First of all an introduction

You are all involved in this sermon!  ACTIONS for adults and children alike.

Listen out for particular parts of the story, & let us all do the actions as we go along…


CROWD – we are all the crowd



Happy- wave arms and cheer

Hungry – rub tummy

Tired – rub eyes

Want to get there quick? – running feet on the floor


DISCIPLES – the 12 – we all are the disciples



Listening for Jesus instructions – hands on ears

Being sent – point to a place to go

Teaching and helping – hands giving out/ sharing good things

Report back – swirl the hand



The disciples have gathered around Jesus

They have listened to the instructions (ears)

And have been sent out (point)

They have been sent to preach about repentance, to heal, to cast out evil (hands giving/ sharing)


And they have succeeded in the task given to them by Jesus their leader

So at the beginning of our reading, the disciples return to Jesus to report back (swirl the hand)

All that they have done and taught (hands giving/sharing)


Surrounding the disciples are the crowds – so many people (running feet)


Jesus says to the disciples – come with me by yourselves, to a quiet place to get some rest


The disciples listen to Jesus (ears)

And do as he says (point)


Now a little bit about the disciples…


·      They are called apostles

·      because this means “the sent ones”

·      they have been given a commission by Jesus

·      they are highly regarded

·      in fact they are the authorised representatives of Jesus


The key to being a disciple of Jesus is not their status or their activity


But the key is that

Jesus is the one who has chosen and sent them,

they are doing what they have been instructed to do,

and then they are returning to Jesus, and staying with him until he sends them again


The root of their whole ministry is their attachment to Jesus himself


Jesus is the one from whom their life comes – so when he says, “let’s get away from the crowds”, they do as he says


They are key people

They are Jesus’ companions

They are eye-witnesses of the ministry of Jesus

They are authorities on the ministry of Jesus



Today we are gathering to celebrate ministry – of all sorts – preaching, giving a cup of cold water, a listening ear, fixing a light bulb, praying …


All ministry and mission is an extension of Jesus’ own ministry


The disciples were called and sent – and known as apostles


I am going to ask 3 people to come here to me now – they do not know that I am going to ask them.  They are all used to public speaking so I thought they would not mind on this special Sunday of ministry celebration.

Let’s give them a clap as they come up

Martin Rudd –

Jennifer Martin –

Gordon Crowder –


I am going to ask you each one question…

each of you has been called into a particular ministry…

each of you has served Jesus in a different way…

and each of you has done this for more than a decade … well done!

But we want to ask you a question about now…


Where have you been called?

Martin – for many years you have been a faithful Church Warden here, fixed light bulbs, arranged chairs, sorted rotas, and organised volunteers here in St John’s… helping us all. You have stood down after 16 faithful years and now you are being called into service with the Diocese and with Scouts, as well as continuing to serve here in St John’s, Hook – what are these roles? What is the point of them?


Jennifer – as a Licensed Lay Minister for many years you have served here in Hook, with families’ ministry, teaching, encouraging, Messy Church, and leading worship…helping us all. You also have a wider role in the Diocese, and we have recently had a letter from our Winchester Diocese, our 3 Bishops; Can you tell us a bit about that training, and about your own personal calling? [Jennifer was not able to be with us]


Gordon – we are celebrating your 65 years of service here in St John’s church as a Licenced Lay Minister today – thank you for that! Over the years you must have sensed God’s call to different work, been sent into different places, and to different congregations… can you tell us a bit about the sense of being called and sent?


Thank you for being our public speakers


We have acknowledged and continue to say thank you to the whole lot of people here who have served Jesus in Hook for many, many years

 – and we have celebrated that this morning

– thank you all for standing up

- as you have served with cups of coffee, cleaning, admin, flower arranging, preaching, listening….



Now let us return to the story of Mark’s gospel


Are you ready for actions again?


The CROWD are running to be with Jesus (running)

They are listening to him (ears)

They are happy to be with Jesus (cheering)

And have followed him around the lake

They get to the side of the lake before Jesus arrives with the disciples!


Verse 34 is our key verse

“when Jesus landed on the shore, he saw a large crowd,

and he had compassion on theme because they were like sheep without a shepherd”


So he began teaching them many things


After all the teaching

They are hungry (rub tummy); they are tired (rub eyes)


And then he feeds them – the feeding of the 5,000 fits into this story between the two sections of the reading

5 loaves and 2 fish

One little packed lunch – and the story is recorded for always in every one of the gospels – it must have had a big impact


(we have a BBQ later – so please stay – it will be fantastic)


Back to Jesus – no actions for this just careful listening please!


This is the bit I want us all to remember to take away




The Greek phrase means Jesus “is filled with pity which expresses itself in active service”


Mark 8:2 (Feeding of the crowd of 4,000 – this time they are not Jews but Gentiles, it is a different occasion – and he has compassion on them for they have nothing to eat)


Matthew 9:36 (compassion on the crowd, they are like sheep without a shepherd – send forth workers into the harvest field)


Matthew 14:14 (also the feeding of the 5,000)

Matthew 15:32 (also the feeding of the 4,000)


In the New Testament the Greek word is only used of Jesus, except three times when it occurs on his lips with reference to people in parables who have a close connection with himself; to describe the actions of people in his parables, people who resemble Jesus


eg. Matthew 18:27 (forgiveness of the master whose servant could not pay the debt – the master has compassion on the servant)


Luke 10:33 is the key verse in the Parable of the Good Samaritan

When the man is beaten up on the road, two religious people walk on by, and offer no help. But one man stops, and has compassion on him. As he travelled he came where the man was, and when he saw him he took pity on him; and then we know that the Good Samaritan bandaged him, took him on his own horse to the local inn, and paid for him to be looked after until he was well again. The Good Samaritan, from a disliked people group at the time of Jesus, he was the one with compassion.


This is compassion – in a parable


And here today – Jesus has compassion on the crowd meaning that Jesus is


Inwardly so moved that he would do something about their needs



hungry (tummy) Tired (eyes)


And needing to hear about the love and power of God on their behalf

Jesus of Nazareth – who said these words…


The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor,

to  proclaim freedom for the prisoners,

to proclaim recovery of sight to the blind.

To release the oppressed

To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. (Luke 4)


Jesus has compassion

Jesus has pity that moves him to action

Jesus responds in love to the disciples, and to the crowd,


The disciples are tired – and need to be with Jesus for rest and refreshment

The crowd is hungry – and needs to be fed

The crowd is greatly attracted to Jesus, and Jesus does not turn them away.



Here is the end of my talk today

Instead of answering a question today, I am asking us three questions…


1 – Am I part of the crowd?

Am I attracted to what I have heard about Jesus, but maybe not wanting to stand out or be different?

Maybe I am part of the crowd, and can’t decide what I think about Jesus of Nazareth? Maybe just want whatever he has got…?

                  Brilliant – thank you for being here!


2 – Am I a disciple? (by the way, there are now many more than 12!)

I have got to know Jesus a bit, and want to know him more?

Am I listening to him for his instructions?

Am I ready to be sent – like Martin, Jennifer, and Gordon?

Will I take time out with him, just to learn?

Brilliant – keep going!


3 – Do I believe that Jesus has compassion, even for me?


This is for all of us, do we really believe that Jesus has compassion?

Do we really believe that Jesus looks on the crowd, and he has compassion on the crowd, and also he looks on the disciples, and has compassion and cares for their needs, tiredness, and invites them to time away just to listen and learn from him?


Jesus says to all of us, “I am a good shepherd, follow me”

Jesus has compassion and is here today…


Do not go away today without that assurance, that whatever is happening in our lives, however harassed and helpless we may be feeling,


Jesus has compassion on us

Let’s trust him



I wonder whether any of us today might hear a call from him

– and have a renewed sense of being sent into mission or ministry ….

Please do feel free to come to talk to me if you do!


Let’s pray


Marion de Quidt, 19 July 2015, St John’s Church, Hook


backThank you to authors for resources used for this sermon:

Donald English, ‘The Message of Mark’, in the Bible Speaks Today Series. © 1992. Inter-varsity Press.
New International Version Study Bible. © 1993 International Bible Society
C.E.B.Cranfield. The Gospel According to Saint Mark. Revised edition. © 1977. Cambridge University Press.