Among the questions we ask when we suffer loss is, “Does Jesus care?”
Frank E. Graeff, a Methodist preacher, was known for his optimistic attitude. There were times, however, when his body was wracked with pain and he was filled with doubt. The hymn he wrote attempted to answer the question, “Does Jesus care?” The first verse is well known to many:
Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress
And the way grows weary and long?
Graeff’s exclamation was “Oh, yes, he cares! I know he cares!” But there is greater proof within the pages of the Bible.
Fourteen times in the Gospels, the word, “compassion” is used either by Jesus or about him. The word means, “to have pity or feel sympathy for someone,” but there’s a deeper component to it. The word means to feel moved from the very insides of the body. Jesus, in Mark 6:34 was moved with compassion for these people from the very core of his being.
One cannot read the gospel without finding this kind of love from Jesus. Perhaps one of the prophetic scriptures of the Christ in Isaiah 61 is so very descriptive of the love Jesus has (yes, has) for people. The prophet wrote, “”The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1-3 NKJV).
Every time I read, “to give them beauty for ashes,” it always impresses upon me the love Jesus has for all of us. It is so moving and reassuring that Jesus does, indeed, care.
Does Jesus care? Oh, yes, he cares! He cares more than we know. We can know not only from Frank Graeff’s words, but also from the words of the Bible about how much he does care!