“In necessities and distresses.”
This means spiritual distresses because of acquaintance with the Church. It is the Church we are dealing with here. Paul is in a place where he is breathing forth by divine appointment to the Church. The purpose of these meetings is to gather the Church together in fidelity lines, because if five people could save Sodom and Gomorrah, five holy people in a church can hold the power of the Spirit till Light shall reign. We do not want to seek to save ourselves, but lose ourselves that we may save the Church. You cannot help distresses coming. They will come, and offenses will come, but woe unto those that cause offenses. See that you do not cause offense. See that you live in a higher tide. See that your tongue cannot move.
I wonder if you have ever seen the picture in the twenty-second chapter of Luke, “Lord, is it I?” Every one of them was so conscious of his human weaknesses that not a single one of them had a place where he could say that it would not be he.
John was leaning on the breast of the Lord, and Peter beckoned to him and said, “Please get to know.”'
He knew if anybody could get to know it would be John. How long do you think Jesus had known? He had known at least for nearly three years. He had been with them in the room, He had been feeding them, He had been walking up and down with them, and He had never told any of them it was Judas. The church that follows Jesus should be so sober, sober to a sensitiveness that they would not speak against another, whether it was true or not.
Jesus is the great personality I have in every way to listen and also to be provoked by His holy inward generosity and purity, and also His acquaintance with love.
What would it have done? If He had told them, everyone would have been bitter against Judas. So He saved all His disciples from being bitter against Judas for three years. What love! Can't you see that holy divine Saviour?