Dr. Clair Budd – “Teaching as a Compassionate Act”

April 24, 2014

“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 NRSV

We often think compassion is best expressed through service:  feeding, clothing, and housing people in need.  And there is truth in this idea.  Yet it is not the whole truth!  Followers of Jesus -- who was most known during His earthly ministry as “rabbi” (teacher) -- must also participate in His mission of teaching as an expression of His compassion.

Jesus recognized that people in His day were misled by their religious teachers, so that “they were like sheep without a shepherd.”  They experienced an intellectual incarceration of error and ignorance about God and His work.  Seeing this provoked compassion in Jesus, which He expressed by “teaching them many things.” 

Who are the people in your life who are similarly trapped in false ideas about God?  How might God want to work through you to lead them to truth and to freedom?

“God of truth and light, increase my compassion for those who are blinded by error, and guide me in your mission to lead them into truth.  Amen.”


- Dr. Clair Budd, Professor of Christian Studies & Philosophy

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