Aging Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones has sung thousands of times this simple line, “I can’t get no satisfaction.” He has stuffed himself with all that this world has to offer, and yet he still starves.
How about you? Does Mick sing your song? Is your life consumed with work and family and friends and television and satellite radio and extra-curricular activities, and yet at the end of the day, you still find yourself saying, “Something is missing. These joys are here today and gone tomorrow. I can’t get no satisfaction!”
One Spring day, thousands of people clamored to be around Jesus, even though He was trying to get away with his disciples for some rest (Mark 6:30-34). Jesus and his disciples were out on the sea in a boat. Mark 6:34 tells us, “When He went ashore, He saw a great crowd, and He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” As Jesus and the disciples pulled the boat out of the sea, they were met with a sea of Mick Jaggers.
The people who raced around the water to greet Jesus were lost sheep without a shepherd to guide them and protect them. They did have teachers of the Law, but those men were more concerned about adding to God’s prescriptions than patiently helping the people to taste and see that the Lord and His Word was good. These lost sheep did have a ruler over them named Herod Antipas, but he was more like a wolf than a Shepherd; he was too busy indulging himself and murdering great men like John the Baptist instead of helping his subjects.
So when Jesus came to the shore, and he found himself in the middle of thousands of unsatisfied people, “He had compassion on them.” When he looked at those people he felt pity. You can hear him thinking, “Look at those needy and helpless people. I want to help them.”
So how did Jesus serve these people? First, “He began to teach them many things” (Mk. 6:34). He preached to them about the kingdom of God (cf. Mk. 1:14-15). He showed them their sin and their need to repent. He told them about Himself, that He was the promised Messiah and Savior. What they needed most in their lives was the gospel.
Are you looking for satisfaction? Are you looking for meaning and purpose in life? Let me encourage you to open your Bible and turn to the Gospel of Mark, and read a chapter a day with a couple of questions in mind, “What does this tell me about Jesus? How should I respond?” And as you are reading, ask God to help you to see Jesus for who He really is.
Second, after Jesus fed the lost sheep spiritually, He fed the 5,000 men physically with only five loaves of bread and two fish (Mk. 6:35-41). He actually may have fed upwards of 20,000 people since only the “men” were counted. This feeding of the thousands was a miracle that demonstrated Christ’s deity and creation power. Not only is Jesus the Good Shepherd who cares for lost sheep, but He has the power to meet their needs. He showed Himself to be a servant of lost, directionless, unsatisfied sheep. He served them the good news and fed them. What He supplied was far more than they needed (cf. Mk. 6:43). This is a small picture of the ultimate reason Christ came to earth: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mk. 10:45).
Isaiah writes, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way” (Is. 53:6). We arrive on this earth as directionless as those people in Mark 6. We should follow the Lord and obey His commands found in the Bible, but we do not. We are sinful in our thoughts, words, and actions, causing the holy God to judge us. Ultimately this means eternity in hell. But Isaiah continues, “But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” Jesus Christ is the Suffering Servant Who on the cross paid the penalty for many sinful people. He was crucified for sinners and raised from the grave. He now lives to be the Savior and Lord and Shepherd and all-satisfying One for all the Mick Jaggers who will come to Him.
When Jesus provided food for the people, how did they feel? Mark 6:42, “They all ate and were satisfied.” Jesus always does this. Pastor Derek Thomas comments, “You can taste of the cisterns of this world, but those cisterns are broken, and you will be hungry again. But when you feed from the provision that Jesus gives you, it satisfies as nothing else can do” (from “Feeding a Multitude,” a sermon on Mark 6:30-44). Jesus is the satisfying Savior. He provides forgiveness of sins, escape from hell, reconciliation with God, strength, purpose, and meaning throughout life, and the promise of heaven.
You can’t get no satisfaction? Look away from yourself and your futile desires to the wonderfully compassionate, infinitely powerful, abundantly selfless, completely satisfying Lord Jesus, the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for His sheep and Who lives to bring them safely home.