In a short span of time, Jesus helped many people. Wherever He went there were throngs of people with afflictions. They were attracted to Him. Jesus cared for them all having great compassion, but He saw more than their physical needs. There was a scarcity of spiritual leaders for the people. The people were starving to be led by people of faith.
“36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 “Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest” Mt 9:236,37.
Because the religious aristocracy was pretty useless having become something superficial and worldly – for the most part – the people were sheep without shepherds. Jesus answers the most important need for the soul. When the people heard and saw Jesus, the hungering people were compelled to draw near.
Jesus says the problem is perennial. Prayer is an important sign that we understand this because people have the same needs today. They need spiritual leadership. We should pray for leaders who shepherd: who feed and water, who heal and help the feeble, who watch over and protect, and know the truth and guide souls to God.