In today’s culture, too many pastors are giving the sheep what they want, not what they need. What is needed today is truth—not a post modern truth, but biblical truth. Feeding the flock a steady diet of biblical preaching is the only true spiritual food. It’s popular to be trendy YouTube-celebrity pastor, but avoid such temptations. Just preach the Word of God—feed the sheep the Word, verse by verse, chapter by chapter, so they will get the nourishment they need.
Sheep need a shepherd. Wandering sheep are a danger to themselves. Jesus had compassion upon the multitudes of people following Him: “Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). Jesus helped multitudes of people—those with illnesses, blindness, lepers, demon-possessed, and even raising the dead. Yet, all these are temporary. Jesus saw beyond their physical ailments; He saw the deep spiritual need. Physical healings, no matter how miraculous, are temporal.
The compassion Jesus felt was genuine, not figurative. Yes, healing was happening, but emptiness still was there. He identified the reason for it: they had no shepherd. The spiritual need for healing far exceeds the physical. One can be healed physically, and yet still die without Christ.
Jesus looked beyond the temporal. He saw them distressed and dispirited. The ESV says, “harassed and helpless,” and the NKJV reads, “weary and scattered.” No matter the rendering, the fact is they were confused and wondering. Even after all the physical miracles, there remained a grave concern—their spiritual condition.
The very ones responsible for being their shepherds were the ones causing confusion and hopelessness. Jesus identified the hypocrisy of these false shepherds: “Therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger” (Matthew 23:3-4).