I have a friend who was a medical missionary in Bangladesh. He spent all of his time with sick people – He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
Actually, this is a phrase used of our Lord by Isaiah. In Isaiah 53:3, he says, “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…”
The word for “sorrows” here is the Hebrew word mac’ov, and it means “pain; disease; suffering; a wound.”
Now Isaiah is not saying that the Messiah, the Servant of the Lord, would be a sick man. There is no record of our Lord ever having had a disease or having been ill. Rather, he was saying that this would be His environment. He would live his life among the poor – those who were ill and diseased. He would know continual sorrow and grief. He would not seek to be sheltered from the troubles of people. Thus, He would be despised in the eyes of the more elite. He would hang out with the losers, and He would be despised – just like they were.
As a pastor, I am accustomed to visiting in the hospitals and commiserating with the sick and infirmed, and of being called alongside those who are despairing of life. And I am overwhelmed with how much sickness and pain people have to endure. Yet, I have always been glad that I could tell those who are suffering that Jesus cares, and that He is there with them in their trouble.
Listen. We live in a troubled world. And quite frankly, it’s wonderful to know that we have a Savior who is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. We don’t despise Him for that – we praise Him! There is an old hymn that describes Christ in this way: “Man of Sorrows!” what a name – For the Son of God who came – Ruined sinners to reclaim! – Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Say – are you ill and suffering? Be encouraged! Jesus likes to hang out with people like you…