Does Jesus Care?
April 11th, 2013
“Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.”
So many people have a faulty impression of just Who God is. Some people see God as being so high and holy that He has no time for people like you and me. Others see Him as resembling a doting old grandfather Who winks at sin and just kind of watches His creation with amusement to see what will happen next.
While He was here, He endured more than His share of pain, poverty and suffering. He knows what it is like to do without, (Matthew 8:20). He knows what it is like to be rejected, (John 1:11). He knows what it is like to be hated. He knows what it is like to suffer pain. He knows what it is like to be hungry, thirsty and alone. He knows what it is like to die. Jesus walked through this world and experienced what He did so that He might better help you in your time of need, (Hebrews 4:15).
I. He Cares About The Laboring Saints
There really is no greater thrill in life than to serve the Lord when He is blessing that service. When you stop to consider where you came from and how He saved your soul. Then, to think that He would allow you a small part in His kingdom work, is a blessing too great to comprehend.
The Bible is clear; the Lord saved us to serve Him. He purposely redeemed us so that we might serve Him in this world, (Ephesians 2:10). When He saved us, He equipped us for a special place in His kingdom work, (I Corinthians 12:6-26). Our service to the Lord proves the reality of our salvation experience, (James 2:18; I John 1:7).
It is a wonderful thing to be busy for the Lord! To be allowed to serve Him is a blessing. And, there are no small tasks in His kingdom. No matter how difficult your situation in life, each of us should be busy in the service of our King.
I have always been encouraged by what happens when the disciples returned from their preaching trip to report to Jesus in (Mark 6:30-32), they found Him surrounded by crowds of needy people. The people were coming and going at such a frenzied rate that Jesus and His men did not even have time to eat a meal. That kind of constant stress would wear anyone out.
Jesus knew that His men needed to rest their bodies if they were going to be as effective as they could be in their work for Him. So, He takes them across the lake so that they could be reenergized. There is a word here for the modern Christian as well. God did not design these bodies to go like we force them to. He never intended for us to run through this world with a cell phone to our ear, a day planner in our hand and a schedule so full of activity that no one could possibly get it all done. God expects us to take the time our bodies need to rest. God wants us to serve Him, but He does not want us to kill ourselves in the process! We must take the time our bodies need to rest.
II. He Cares About The Lost Sheep
As Jesus and His men make their escape from the crowds, but they did not slip away unnoticed. The people saw them leaving and recognized that the boat carried Jesus. The people ran around the shore of the lake and were waiting on Him when He arrived on the other side. It was about 4 miles across the lake by boat. On a windless day, it would have taken quite some time to make that trip. It was about ten miles around the shore of the lake. Fast walkers would have made the trip faster than the boat. This is just what happened that day. When Jesus and His men neared the shore, they saw that a large crowd was waiting to meet them. According to (Verse 44), this crowd may have numbered between 15,000 and 20,000 people!
Many people would have been angry if their plans for rest were interrupted by the crowds. Many people would have seen the crowds as an interruption and a nuisance. Some people would have just ignored the people and their needs. Not Jesus! The Bible tells us that Jesus “Was Moved With Compassion Toward Them”. When you see a person with a need, there are several emotional responses you can have. Let me list them briefly. Apathy – This word refers to an absence of emotion. You see the need, but you do not care. You are unmoved by it. There is a lot of apathy in our world today. Sympathy – This word refers to a harmony of feeling. In other words, you see a need and you know how they feel because you have felt that way too. Empathy – This word speaks of an emotion that is stronger that sympathy. When you empathize with someone it means that you hurt with them. It means that you share the pain they feel. Compassion – The word compassion, as it is used in the Bible means, “To be moved inwardly; to yearn with tender mercy, affection, pity and empathy.” It refers to the deepest possible feelings. The phrase, “moved with compassion” means to be moved in the “inner organs”. It has the same idea as our modern expression, “From the bottom of my heart.”
When Jesus saw the people He was touched by their need and He was moved by a strong desire to meet their need. The Lord’s had compassion for these lost sheep.
As I read (Mark 6:33-34) I get the sense that while Jesus saw the crowd, He also saw much more. Jesus saw a huge group of people, but He also saw the individuals in that crowd. As He looked out at that throng of people, He saw every broken heart, every physical ailment, every emotional need, every spiritual problem; He saw it all! He saw the crippled child. He saw that abused wife. He saw the depressed father. He saw the rebellious teenager. Jesus looked at a crowd, but He saw the individual!
That encourages me today! I praise the Lord that we serve a God Who knows all things, (Hebrews 4:13; Proverbs 15:3). Our God sees everything that happens in this universe, but He still has the ability to focus in on the individual. Friend, He cares about you and about the needs in your life. You can come to Him and find the help you need regardless of the problem you face, (I Peter 5:7; Matthew 11:28-30).