Sick Saints, One with Jesus
James Smith, 1842
"I was sick and you took care of Me" Matthew 25:36
How glorious to be one with Christ! How Jesus represents His sick saints as so closely and tenderly united to Himself, that what is done to them — He takes as done to Himself. Union to Jesus will not prevent sickness — but it turns the curse into a blessing. Jesus said of one, in the days of His flesh, "Our friend Lazarus!" yet he was sick, and afterwards slept. Jesus views His sick people as so many parts of himself — members of His body. To touch them, to hurt them, is to touch the apple of His eye.
How wonderful the idea — if covered with sores, as was Job, or Lazarus at the rich man's door; if burnt up with a fever, as was Peter's mother-in-law; or if suffering under any disease to which the human frame is liable — you may still look upon yourself as one with Jesus. He sympathizes with you, and
"In every pang that rends the heart,
The Man of sorrows has His part."
You were . . .
chosen in Him before the foundation of the world;
given to Him to be redeemed from sin and Hell;
united to Him by the work of the Holy Spirit in your heart; and are as really one with Him, as the branch is one with the tree; the member with the head; the building with the foundation; or the bride with
her husband. United to His person; interested in His work; entitled to His fullness; devoted to His praise; destined to enjoy His likeness, presence, and, glory forever — yours is a happy lot. Do you realize this, that Christ and you are one — one spirit, one body, one family? Who shall attempt to set forth your happiness, or the blessedness of your condition?
A poor sufferer — and yet an heir of glory! Tempted to think his lot hard — and yet one with God's dear Son — an heir of God, and a joint-heir with Christ! Consider, the Father blessed you with all spiritual blessings in Christ; made you accepted in Christ; predestined you to sonship in Christ; gave you an inheritance in Christ; views you in Christ with joy and delight; and you are complete in Him, who of God is made unto you, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Being in Christ — you are free from condemnation; all things work together for your good; and Jesus ever lives to make intercession for you. He says to you, "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you; you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done for you." Never forget this, if you are believing in Christ — then you are one with Christ; if you are one with Christ — then nothing can separate you from Christ; and if nothing can separate you from Christ, you will still bring forth fruit to His glory, even in old age, to show that the Lord is upright.
Jesus loves you as His own, as part of Himself; He only allows you to be pained for your profit, and He sympathizes with you in all you suffer. Aim to be like Jesus — like Him in patience, meekness, gentleness, faith, and humility. Imitating Jesus is the way to be happy, holy, and honorable. Those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with its affections and lusts. If any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.