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Who Cares? Jesus Cares!

Theme: Jesus loves and cares for us. Proper 7(12) Yr. B
Object: The Hymn, "Does Jesus Care?"
Scripture: Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” Mark 4:38 (NLT)

Does Jesus care about the things that you are facing in your daily life? Does he care when you are sick? Does he care when you are hurting? Does he care when you are sad? These are questions you may ask when you are facing difficult times in our life.

Frank Graeff was a Methodist minister who had a reputation for being a cheerful person. In fact, among his friends and fellow ministers, he was known as "The Sunshine Minister." Rev. Graeff loved children and often told Bible stories to the children during worship services.

One of his friends, Austin C. Miles, described Rev. Graeff this way:

He is a spiritual optimist, a great friend of children; his bright sun-shining disposition attracts him not only to children but to all with whom he comes in contact.

In spite of his cheerful attitude, Rev. Graeff sometimes faced difficult times in his life. It was during such a time that he asked himself the question, "Does Jesus care?" As he struggled with that question, he wrote the hymn "Does Jesus Care?" The refrain of the hymn answers that question like this:

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.

Do you think that the disciples of Jesus ever had doubts? Well, you may be surprised to learn that, in our Bible lesson today, we will see that even the disciples of Jesus, those faithful followers who walked with him every day, sometimes had doubts when they faced difficult times.

In our Bible lesson today, Jesus had been teaching all day. As evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So, the disciples set out in their boats to the other side of the lake with Jesus in one of the boats. Soon, a fierce storm came up and the waves began coming over the sides of the boats and filling them with water.

Jesus was sleeping in the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples called out, "Teacher, don't you care that we are going to drown?"

The shouting of the disciples woke Jesus up and he spoke to the wind and the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Immediately, the wind stopped blowing and the lake was completely calm.

"Why are you afraid? Do you have no faith?" Jesus asked the disciples.

The disciples were even more afraid. They looked at one another and said, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him?"

Just like Rev. Graeff and the disciples of Jesus, when you and I are afraid or troubled, we may ask, "Does Jesus care?" The answer is, "Oh yes, he cares. I know he cares!"

Father, we thank you for our loving Savior, Jesus Christ. We are thankful that no matter what difficulties we may face in life, we can say with confidence, "Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares!" In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

Citation: Osbeck, Kenneth W. 101 More Hymn Stories. Grand Rapids, MI; Kregel Publications, 1985. Print.

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An alternative lesson based on Mark 4:35-41: "Who's in Your Boat?"
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