People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Isn’t that true? I long for the day when churches are known as caring places. Let’s take a closer look into Jesus’ ministry to discover afresh what it really means to care.
The word “care” means to cherish someone enough to nourish their inner being. It is that support that people receive with the purpose of helping them becoming better and developing into their best. Care is about wholeness, that therapy that looks after people who are hurting in some way or the other. Often people are oppressed by some misfortune or evil that has come upon them (Mk. 1:34). Other times, people feel suppressed due to their own moral weaknesses or even distressed from having to suffer sickness and diseases (Mt. 4:23f.). In any event, what these people need is genuine care.
Jesus cared for people. In fact his care primarily stemmed from the way he perceived people. Wherever Jesus went he saw people as shepherdless sheep–helpless, harassed, and in desperate need of pastoral care (Matt. 9:36). Jesus then sought after after such people–those weary and weighed down by the difficulties of life and even religious demands (Matt. 11:28). Jesus invited them to come to him to have their burdens eased and experience rest. Most importantly, Jesus served these people with tender care. As God’s suffering Servant, he gently restored people who were like bruised reeds. He further rekindled hope in the lives of those who had become like a smoldering wick (Matt. 12:20). It is through such care that Jesus offered people God’s gracious forgiveness characterized by mercy and justice. Jesus eventually gave his life to bring all those who trust him into God’s kingdom of light and love
Christians, as followers of Christ, can demonstrate Jesus’ kind of care. This isn’t normal, nor does it come naturally. This is precisely why Jesus, when he commissioned us to go to all people, simultaneously promised us his enabling presence (Matt. 28:19-20). So then, lets dare to care as we share the gospel–a process I call “pastoral evangelism.” How else would needy people trust Jesus as the One who loves them enough to give his life for them in order to bring them forgiveness, healing, and the hope of life eternal?
Because He cares for me – Chris Gnanakan (1 Pet. 5:7)