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[Mar 4:38 NLT] (38) 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?"

[Mar 4:38 MGNT] (38) καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν ἐν τῇ πρύμνῃ ἐπὶ τὸ προσκεφάλαιον καθεύδων καὶ ἐγείρουσιν αὐτὸν καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ διδάσκαλε οὐ μέλει σοι ὅτι ἀπολλύμεθα

Thayer's Greek Lexicon [?](Jump to Scripture Index) STRONGS NT 3199: μέλει μέλει, 3 person singular present of μέλω used impersonally; imperfect ἔμελεν; it is a care: τίνι, to one; as in Greek writings with the nominative of the thing, οὐδέν τούτων, Acts 18:17; with the genitive of the thing (as often in Attic), μή τῶν βοῶν μέλει τῷ Θεῷ; 1 Corinthians 9:9 (Buttmann, § 132, 15; cf. Winer's Grammar, 595 (554)); the thing which is a care to one, or about which he is solicitous, is evident from the context, 1 Corinthians 7:21; περί τίνος, genitive of object, to care about, have regard for, a person or a thing: Matthew 22:16; Mark 12:14; John 10:13; John 12:6; 1 Peter 5:7, (Herodotus 6, 101; Xenophon, mem. 3, 6, 10; Cyril 4, 5, 17; Hier. 9, 10; 1 Macc. 14:43; Wis. 12:13; Epistle of Barnabas 1, 5 [ET]; cf. Winer's Grammar, § 30, 10 d.); followed by ὅτι, Mark 4:38; Luke 10:40. THAYER’S GREEK LEXICON, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006, 2011 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. BibleSoft.com

Did Jesus care? What does it mean that he cared?

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I suggest "care" is an expression of the fear, or lack of faith, of the disciples.

Jesus did not appear to care. As in many Bible stories circumstances are not the whole story. When Pilate "delivered him over to them to be crucified", John 19:16, Jesus did not appear to be the the One to whom "All authority had been given". Matthew 28:18.

I suggest Jesus looked defeated to the disciples in the boat as He was "sleeping". "And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat..". Mark 4:37. Only a tired and worn out person could sleep in that situation.

The disciples might have accused Him of being weak, or incapable of sorting out the situation. But being selfish they did not care about his reputation as one who could deal with the storm. They only cared about themselves.

So why did he not care for them!?

"He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps" Psalm 121:4.

If the disciples had applied that to Jesus they would not have been filled with fear, as the boat with water "was already filling". Mark 4:37 NKJV.

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Mar 4:

38 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?"

The same Greek word for "care" is used in Luke 10:

40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

In both cases, Jesus cared in the sense that he cared about the situations. Jesus didn't care in the sense that he knew nothing bad was going to happen. In both situations, Jesus showed peace and calm and redirected the inquirers to focus on Jesus instead of on the environment.

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  • Hi Tony. Did you happen to consult a lexicon?
    – Ruminator
    Oct 12 at 17:10
  • not particularly. I just looked up the Greek. This OP is not as trivial as some thought :)
    – Tony Chan
    Oct 12 at 17:14
  • I like to peek under rocks. :o) "Care" is a little abstract and makes it difficult for me to envision. The main options are "Aren't you worried that we're all going to drown (Jesus and the disciples)?" and "Aren't you concerned that we (disciples) are going to drown?" IE: Whether or not they thought that Jesus was in any danger as well. With Martha, the latter is clearly in view. Not sure about the latter.
    – Ruminator
    Oct 15 at 13:18
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Care is care. Not minding, not afraid, not perturbed, not moved, etc. No long stories. Try not to create a mountain topic of trivial things.

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