What They Really Need

This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one word prompt.  The prompt today is “need.”

sheep

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”  (Matthew 9:36 NLT)

Jesus looked at the crowds and he saw their need- they needed a shepherd, someone to care for them to guide them and direction, to give them purpose and security.

As I look around me, I also see people in great need, and I see them trying to fulfil these needs in a variety of ways.  Striving for success, seeking fame, looking to find fulfilment in relationships…  Sometimes struggling and turning to food or alcohol or escapism to numb the pain, sometimes thinking it will all be okay if only they try harder and reach that next goal, sometimes finding what they seek to some degree, but still left with the feeling that something is missing.

“Confused and helpless” sums it up well, because what they need is hope and purpose.  What they need is Jesus.

The trouble is they often can’t see how Jesus could possibly meet their needs.  Surely the Bible is outdated and irrelevant, a life of following Jesus is one of rules and restrictions, the claim that there is absolute truth is misplaced in a multi-faith society.

Sometimes it seems hopeless to even try to help them see.

But then I remember that they are not sheep without a shepherd.  Yes, they are lost and wandering, but they are sheep with a shepherd who knows and cares for each one individually, who lovingly pursues them, the good shepherd who gave up his life for his sheep and will go to any length to find them and to bring them back.

And we are called to play our part in helping them find their way: by living a life that is different, by holding to the truth, by loving radically, by telling others of the hope we have, by showing them that we have what they need, and it is available for them too.

We have a hope and a purpose, and his name is Jesus.

“Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night.”  (Philippians 2:15-16 The Message)

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23 thoughts on “What They Really Need

  1. Beautiful reminder that Jesus is the shepherd, and as his followers, we have a role to fill. We shouldn’t be overwhelmed by the needs surrounding us, but trust our shepherd. I’m your neighbor at FMF. Have a blessed weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a good take on this prompt, Lesley. Excellent! A song starting going through my head too as I read your post. Did you ever listen to Sweet Comfort Band or Bryan Duncan (their lead singer) When he went solo he has a song about this too simply called, We All Need.

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  3. Lesley, yes we were thinking of others today. Our God is so amazing to be able to meet all needs in His will. Your writing reflects your loving heart. I will pray through the weekend about the lost sheep, the ones who need Jesus. Blessings to you, friend, Julie

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  4. Since I was more or less raised by German Shepherds (really!), I always thought of myself as a shepherd dog…attuned to the wishes of my Master, but watching over and physically guarding the flock.

    Where they went, that was the Shepherd’s business. Keeping the safe, that was mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think our experiences growing up can have a big impact and the times when we weren’t protected or didn’t feel safe can really affect how we see God’s protection.

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  5. Don’t you just want to shake people when they turn away from Jesus? I sure do. No wonder He calls us sheep – they’re not that smart and they sure love to wander.

    Thank you for this call to patience and love. If God, who could snuff out the world with a breath, has the kindness to pursue, then I, as one who was pursued and knows the blessings of being found, can certainly be kind as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly- God is the one who has the answers! I’ve been in a similar situation lately with someone who is looking to me for the answers, which I don’t have, and trying to encourage them to look to God is quite a challenge!

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