Premise A: If God cares for people He would use His power to help them
Premise B: Jesus, the God-man, healed this sick, loved the outcast, died to save sinners, and rose from the dead to give them eternal life
Conclusion: Therefore, God cares for people
Some philosophical ideas of God do not offer much comfort to those who are hurting. One idea is that God is an abstract concept, an impersonal and distant force. This force created the universe, but it neither knows your name nor cares whether you live or die. This concept of God is called Deism. The deistic worldview sees God as a clockmaker who built a clock, started it ticking, and then left it to run on its own laws and mechanisms. The God of the deists simply programs the universe. He orchestrates the Big Bang, gives an initial nudge to the evolutionary process, and then steps back and disinterestedly watches the results. This God never reaches into the universe He set going to interfere or intervene.
Others picture God as an elderly figure sitting on a throne way up in heaven. He is “the man upstairs.” They think He peeks through the clouds at His creatures far below and the distance is so great that people look like little ants scurrying around. It is hard to imagine the figure on the throne caring about what happens to any individual ant.
But, the New Testament offers us a different picture of God. In the four Gospels, we discover Jesus, and His life proves that God cares for us. Jesus is not just a messenger from heaven. He is far more than an angelic being. Jesus is God and as God, He came from heaven to earth in order to help us in our suffering. One of the most well-known verses in the Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The story of how God became a human is the greatest love story ever told. Let’s take a few moments to look at the story of Jesus. The evidence for how much God cares for people is found in the life of Jesus.
The birth of Jesus is proof that God cares
Christianity is rooted in space and time; it’s claims about Jesus are historical. Two thousand years ago, God Almighty humbled Himself and became a human. He was born to a virgin named Mary in the town of Bethlehem, a few miles from the city of Jerusalem. The King of the Universe was born in a stable and spent his first night on earth with the eating trough of animal as his cradle. Sometimes, when a child leaves the front door of the house open, you will hear the parents say, “You’d think you were born in a barn.” Well, that’s exactly how Jesus was born. God did not arrive on earth riding in a golden chariot. He did not appear surrounded by ten million angels. No, Jesus was born as a helpless baby. He experienced the trauma of passing through the birthing canal. When He caught his first breath, the “silent night” was disturbed as he wailed like any other human child. C.S. Lewis wrote, “The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation. They say God became Man.”
The reason God did this was not because He was curious about what it would be like to be a man. He did this so that we could understand who He is and how much He cares. Imagine that you wanted to communicate with an ant. As a human, you could talk to an ant, pick it up from the ground, cuddle it, blow on it, write it a long letter, sing it a song, paint it a picture—but the ant would not understand your attempts to communicate. The only way to really get an ant’s attention is to become an ant and speak to it in terms it could understand. In a sense, this is what God did for us. In order to reach out to humans in their pain and brokenness, their great Creator became a man. He walked on the earth, ate our food, shared our sorrows, experienced our pain, and shared a message from heaven with us.
Christians have believed in the virgin birth from the earliest times. The Apostle’s Creed, which goes back in its earliest form to the second century, reads:
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.
Many of the arguments for God’s existence are abstract and philosophical, but in the person of Jesus, God concretely entered human history and revealed Himself to humanity. Jesus shows that God is not an abstract concept, He is a concrete reality. The Gospel of John explains this mystery, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God […] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1,14). When I hear about Jesus leaving the heavenly streets of gold to come walk the dusty roads of Judea with humanity, I say, “Yes, God CARES!”
The life of Jesus is proof that God cares
Jesus grew up, spending his infancy in Bethlehem and Egypt, and then as a child moved to the small town of Nazareth. He learned how to walk, and how to talk. Like other boys, he fell and skinned his knee and went running to his mother for comfort. He experienced the joys and the frustrations of childhood. He went to the synagogue and learned about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He heard stories about the life of Moses and King David. He studied the writings of the prophets. “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52 NKJV). As he entered puberty, Jesus amazed the greatest scholars of the Jewish religion with his wisdom.
When he was about thirty years old, Jesus was baptized by his cousin, John. He then went out into the desert wilderness and was tempted by Satan. He experienced the same temptations that every human is offered, but unlike Adam and Eve and the rest of us, He did not give into the temptation to disobey God and live selfishly. When He returned from this place of temptation, He started to preach the Gospel—the Good News that God loves, cares, and is ready to act to help people. Calling twelve disciples to follow him—common men: fishermen, tradesmen, a tax collector—He taught them through simple parables about the Kingdom of God. Besides these twelve, hundreds and thousands would come to hear His words. His teaching transformed their lives. He spoke with great authority and His words captivated His listeners.
One day, young children came to Jesus. The disciples pushed the children away and told them that Jesus was far too important to spend time with them. Jesus saw what they did and was greatly displeased. He said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14). Throughout His ministry, the people that Jewish society thought unimportant—the sick, the poor, women, children, non-Jews, money-grubbing tax collectors, the uneducated—were the people that Jesus would seek out and show God’s love to.
The miracles of Jesus are proof that God cares
But Jesus was far more than a traveling teacher. He also performed outstanding miracles and these miracles prove that God cares about people and their circumstances. One day, a leper came to Jesus. Leprosy was a horrible disease that left people horribly disfigured. It was incurable and was considered contagious because, in Jewish culture, it made a person ritually “unclean.” No one wanted to touch a leper because they would become “unclean” too. This leper asked himself a question: “Is Jesus willing to healing me?” Jesus responded to this man’s need in a beautiful fashion. Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man, saying, “I am willing. Be healed.” Immediately, the man was cured of his leprosy.
Another time, a paralyzed man was carried to Jesus by four friends. Jesus was teaching in a house and the four friends tried to push their way through the crowd that was there listening to Jesus. The crowd was too thick and it proved impossible to get into the house. In a desperate bid to get their friend to Jesus, they carried the paralyzed man up to the roof of the house and dug a hole in it. They then lowered him down through the hole to where Jesus was. Their desperation paid off. Jesus spoke kindly to the suffering man, forgave his sins, and healed him.
A woman who was bleeding for twelve years came up behind Jesus in a crowd and touched the edge of his clothes. Immediately she was healed. Jesus raised a man’s twelve-year-old daughter from the dead when he touched her hand. He opened a blind man’s eyes. He healed a crippled man. Jesus healed a man who could not speak. He healed Peter’s mother-in-law from a fever. He changed water into wine, so the guest could continue celebrating. He fed over 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two small fish. He cast demons out of many people who were possessed by the devil. He raised His dear friend Lazarus from the dead. Sometimes people brought crowds of the sick to Jesus, and scripture tells us that Jesus healed them all (Matthew 15:30).
The Bible records miracle after miracle of Jesus. These miracles prove two things. First, they prove that Jesus is God. Man cannot do miracles, but God can. Second, they prove that God cares for people. Jesus cared about the plight of the sick. One time a man prayed, “Dear God, I pray that I could meet Jesus.” At his feet lay an open Bible. As the man began to read the four Gospels, he saw Jesus and by seeing Jesus, he met God. The Bible reveals Jesus to us. Jesus shows us what God is like. The Bible clearly shows us that Jesus is loving, that He heals the sick, that He is compassionate, that He seeks and saves the lost, and that He is wise and full of life. When I read about how Jesus healed the blind man, restored the crippled man, forgave the prostitute, and played with the children, I say, “Yes, God CARES!”
The death of Jesus is proof that God cares.
Jesus came to earth to accomplish more than teaching His disciples about heaven and performing miracles. Jesus was a moral teacher and a wonder-worker only because they were part of his larger mission in coming to earth. Jesus came to earth to save humans from their sins. As covered in the previous chapter, in the beginning of time, Adam and Eve sinned. They disobeyed God’s commands. All of Adam and Eve’s offspring, the whole human race, became sinners as a result. The Bible teaches, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 ). And sin has a terrible price: “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
When the Bible says that God is holy, it means He is different from humans because He is without sin. Sin is the opposite of God, and He cannot tolerate it. It might be more correct to say that sin cannot tolerate God, in the same way that bacteria cannot tolerate boiling water. Sin, and all the evil it unleashes, is offensive to God’s holy nature. Because of this, it is impossible for sinful humans to have a relationship with God or to enter heaven. Anyone who sins is lost and will spend eternity separated from God who is the source of life and goodness. The Bible calls this eternal destination hell, and to spend the eternity that follows this life separated from God is what it calls “the second death.” Jesus came to save us from sin and its terrible penalty.
That’s why Jesus gave his life on the cross. Jesus did not deserve to die. He lived a perfect life, a life free from sin. He was completely innocent. But, evil men condemned Him to death and nailed Him to a wooden cross. The cross is the ultimate example of God’s power to take something evil and turn it for good. In allowing Himself to be put to death, Jesus did so in order to die in our place. In the Old Testament, when someone sinned, they were required to bring a goat or a lamb to the Jewish temple, where it was killed and sacrificed. The innocent animal died in the place of the guilty person who had sinned. Each time they sinned, they had to bring another sacrifice. When Jesus died on the cross, He became a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.
Today, crosses are made of stone, wood, marble, steel, plastic, and stained glass. Churches put them on top of their buildings, in their foyers, behind the pulpit, and etched into every pew. Believers wear them around their necks and put them on their bumper stickers. But, the cross is far more than a decoration. “And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him” (Luke 23:33).
Crucifixion was a cruel punishment devised by the Romans. Cicero, a Roman statesman, wrote of crucifixion: “It was the most cruel and shameful of all punishments. Let it never come near the body of a Roman citizen.” The eighth amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees “no cruel and unusual punishment.” Because of this, our society does not allow torture or a painful death penalty. Our prisoners watch TV, study for degrees, and have recreation time. But, the Roman Empire had none of our modern protections for criminals. In times past, governments used firing squads, electric chairs, and the hangman’s noose. Today, we execute criminals with lethal injection. Arguably the worst means of execution ever conceived was the cross.
To say that crucifixion of Jesus was humiliating and painful would be an understatement. Before He was crucified, Jesus was horribly beaten. The flesh on his back was ripped to shreds with thirty-nine lashes of a leather whip laced with sharp bits of metal and glass. The Roman solders ripped his beard out. To insult Him, a branch of thorns was fashioned into a rough crown and jammed down on His forehead. Soldiers beat Jesus with their fists. When they took Him to be crucified, they forced Jesus to carry the heavy cross. At Calvary, Jesus was stretched out its rough wooden beams and large nails were hammered through His hands and through His feet. When the cross was raised upright, the pain became excruciating as His raw back grated against the splintered surface in his struggle to breath. In physical agony, for hours Jesus hung naked on the cross, suffering the shame and humiliation of a criminal’s death.
When I realize that Jesus died on a cross to pay for my sins, I say, “Yes, God CARES!”
The resurrection of Jesus is proof that God cares.
Jesus did not stay dead. After three days, he rose from the dead, and today Jesus is alive! There was nothing special about dying on the cross. The Romans crucified thousands of criminals every year. But coming back from the dead is something special. Everyone dies. Nobody comes back. It was the resurrection of Jesus that caught the religious leaders of Jerusalem off guard. They thought that killing Jesus would solve their problem with him forever. They thought His disciples would run back to Galilee and His message about the kingdom of God would die with Him. But then He rose from the dead.
According to the Apostle Paul, Christianity rises and falls on the resurrection of Christ “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14). The cross without the resurrection is impotent and meaningless. If Jesus is still dead, His followers might as well keep their money and lock the church doors on our way home. However, if Jesus died and rose again three days later, then the Bible is true.
The death of Jesus was awful, but his resurrection was amazing. Jesus was buried, but today His tomb is empty. His tomb is the only attraction in the world where people line up to see nothing. I have been to the tomb and crawled around inside and there is nothing there. Jesus is risen! When I see the empty tomb in Israel, when I hear about how God breathed life back into Jesus, when I experience His presence in my life today, I say,
“Yes, God CARES!”
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About the Author: Dr. Daniel King is a missionary evangelist who has traveled to over seventy nations in his quest for souls. His goal is to lead 1,000,000 people to Jesus every year through massive Gospel Festivals, distribution of literature, and leadership training. Because of his experience and research on evangelism, he is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in mass evangelism. As an evangelist, he has a deep interest in using apologetics to convince skeptics that God is real.