Summary: A consideration of Jesus’s care about us and for us, specifically looking at how He meets our daily, earthly needs as well as our physical, health needs.
Jesus Is . . .The One Who Cares About Us
Series: Who Is Jesus? (Sermon # 7)
Matt 9:36 April 13, 2008
COPYRIGHT © Joe La Rue, 2008
[Special: Eleanor Rigby, by The Beatles]
A. John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s song, Eleanor Rigby, reflects a truth common to us all: many times we feel like we go through life’s battles alone. We put on our happy faces, like Eleanor did, but inside we are afraid and sad and lonely. And we want to know that we matter, that we’re significant to someone, that we would be missed if we were gone. We want someone to share our lives with. We want someone who cares about us.
I read this week about Jack Hammond and his son, Michael. Jack is 88 years old, and recently moved to a nursing home closer to his son. That move, though, took him away from his neighbor who used to go drinking with him at the local pub. They were friends, and Michael is worried that his dad will now be lonely. So, he posted an add in the post office, offering £7 an hour for someone to take his father to a pub and be his friend. (At today’s rate, that is about $15 an hour). Michael was not sure that anyone would respond; but, he said that he has been “absolutely staggered” by the response. However, as he pointed out, “There must be hundreds and hundreds of people in the same position needing some company.” Michael and his dad are currently interviewing the applicants, trying to find the perfect match for Jack. (See Man Seeks Drinking Pal For Father, British Broadcasting Company (April 3, 2008) at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/7328410.stm (last visited April 8, 2008)).
While we might think that advertising for a friend is rather extreme, it’s not extreme if you feel like you are all alone and have no friends. And increasingly, people feel that way these days. Many of you here this morning are old enough to remember a time when neighbors sat out on their front porches at night, drinking lemonade and being neighborly. We knew each other back in those days. We supported each other. We were like the Mertzes and the Ricardos on I Love Lucy, or like the Kramdens and the Nortons on The Honeymooners. We knew that just up the road was somebody who cared about us.
Today, though, the situation is different. Many people these days find themselves increasingly alone. And many people, especially many of the younger generation, want to know, “Does anybody really care about me?”
1. Now, some of us, of course, are married. Some of us have good relationships with friends. But, many people these days do not. Many people these days identify with Eleanor Rigby and Father McKenzie. Many people these days feel alone.
2. And, even those of us who are not lonely still face situations that are greater than we can handle, even with the help of our friends. Sometimes we face financial challenges. Sometimes we face health challenges. Sometimes we face relationship challenges. Sometimes we face a myriad of other challenges, and we sometimes think, “I wish I had someone who really cares about me, who was powerful enough to help me with this!”
B. This morning, as we continue with our study, Who Is Jesus, I want us to focus our attention on the Bible’s portrait of Jesus as someone who does care about us, and who moves heaven and earth to help us. Look with me at Matthew 9:35-36. Not only is Jesus the fulfillment of prophecy and the one who died for us and the one who rose victorious from the grave and the one who is coming again to reign as King forever, as we’ve seen in previous weeks, He is also the one who cares about us. Matthew 9:35-36. Look at it with me. The Bible says,
“Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matt 9:35-36, NASB).
Jesus felt compassion. In the original Greek, ‘felt compassion’ is splanchnizomai, which indicated a very strong feeling of compassion originating down in the depths of the being. The Greeks used this word to describe a depth of care that frequently moves the one feeling it to action: it’s the type of care and compassion where we want to roll up our sleeves and get involved and make things better for the one for whom we splanchnizomai.
And Jesus felt such compassion. He cared deeply for people. And that depth of care frequently moved Him to action on their behalf.