Afflicted

“And behold they cried out, What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, thou Son of God?”
ST. MATTHEW VIII. 29.”

The devils who held two miserable men under their thraldom put this question to our blessed Lord. They were coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, and met the Redeemer as He was entering into the country of the Gergesenes. You know the fate they met with. They besought Him that they might enter the herd of swine that was feeding nigh ; and their request was granted. They came out of the unfortunate and afflicted men. and entered into the swine. And the whole herd now, overcome by the evil spirits, ran violently down a steep place into the sea. and perished in the waters.

… [L]ook at our large, deep, overwhelming needs in spiritual matters. We are sinners and need cleansing from defilement. We are guilty, and need absolution and remission. We have pains, sorrows, afflictions, and we need relief, rest, consolation. We have poverty, and need riches. We have broken hearts, that need binding up. Death comes to us all, and we need life and blessedness. And these miseries are extended world-wide. Sin has scattered them into every quarter of the globe, and among all nations, into all families. Doubtless there is a system, a vast corporation of evil spirits throughout the universe, active and malignant, infusing the poison of distress into myriads of souls around us and below. But, on the other hand, God has established a system and kingdom of spiritual assistances, through all the ranks of men and angels, with Christ at the head. And to whom else but Him can we go for comfort, for satisfaction, for life, for eternal blessedness? He only has the words of eternal life. He only is “the resurrection and the life.” He only is the one “that liveth and was dead ; who has the keys of hell and death.”

” What have we to do with Thee, Jesus thou Son of God?”” Rather, indeed, what have we to do with any but Thee, Lord and Master ? What are the concerns, what the interests, whether for time or eternity, in which we can do without Thee ?

The presence of Jesus may excite the temper and the fears of evil spirits, and stir the opposition of unbelieving men. But we who are Christians know in Whom we have believed. We know what wonderful things He has done for us. We know our only life is hid in Him. We know already somewhat of the glory which is yet to be revealed in Him, in fulness and perfection, for our souls ! Yes, this same Jesus Whom wicked men and evil spirits reject, is our only hope and refuge now and forever! He is our God, our Saviour, our Protector, our Guide, our only consolation, our salvation. Amid the darkness which bedims our feeble sight in this world He is our light. And when the shades of death film and glaze our departing sight, we know in Whom we have believed. To Thee we come, blessed, adorable Saviour ; help us, feed us, illuminate us, and with angels and archangels we will glorify Thy Name through eternal ages !

Alexander Crummell, “The Rejection of Christ,” The greatness of Christ : and other sermons, 1882.

Alexander Crummell was the rector of St. Luke’s church in Washington, DC. He lived from 1819-1898 and was the son and grandson of slaves.

Crummell shows a keen insight as to just how bad it is for so many people: defilement, guilt, pains, sorrows, afflictions, broken hearts, and poverty. There’s a wide range of sufferings listed here, and they are felt no less harshly nor are they any less true because most of those listed here are spiritual in nature. And it’s kind of hard to say all of these are intended to be taken as spiritual metaphors. People are suffering in many ways. Crummell witnesses that Jesus is the answer to all of them.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, you are our Saviour, our Protector and Guide, our only consolation, our salvation. Bind up the broken hearts around us. Open our eyes to see those around us who may be suffering from various afflictions, pains, and sorrows. Give us the rest, relief, and consolation that only you can provide. Send the devils packing.  AMEN. 

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