When One Suffers, All Suffer

He who touches you touches the apple of His eye.
ZECHARIAH 2:8
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When One Suffers, All Suffer
Whenever the lowliest member of Christendom suffers, immediately the whole body feels it and is roused, so that all the members at once come running, crying out, and shouting. For our Head, Christ hears it and feels it in the same way. And though He holds back for a time, nevertheless, when He begins to glare and His nose flares, He will not be coming in jest. . .. See what precious promise this is, for the great comfort and assurance of Christians against their persecutors, to know that He is so deeply and personally affected by our sufferings that He calls it "touching the apple of His eye" and will tolerate it just as little as anyone could endure much poking in the apple of his own eye. And so when the devil assaults a Christian, he lays hold of something that will make him bite his own tongue and burn his finger.

From Sermons on the Gospel of John, Chapters 17-20 (Luther's Works 69:78-79)
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