Jesus Understand Loneliness

I’m writing over at The Glorious Table today! Here’s a Preview

We’ve spent a lot of time alone these past weeks. As I’ve chatted over Zoom, Voxer, email, and text with friends and family, it’s clear everyone has felt a heaviness from the imposed social distancing. Even when we have family members surrounding us, we can still experience feelings of loneliness if we feel misunderstood, or in moments when we need a break from each other.

For the past several weeks, our church has met online, and our pastors continue to remind us that God is our comforter (2 Cor. 1:3-4). But when we’re in the middle of a stressful season, it can be hard to remember that our Creator also experienced loneliness.

In the hours before Jesus hung on the cross, willingly sacrificing his life for humanity’s sins, he went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. Matthew 26:37-40 says, “Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’ Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?’”

I’ve always believed this last question from Jesus to the disciples must have been in a tone of disappointment. I hear Jesus say, essentially, “Come on, you guys! Don’t you see how stressed I look? Can’t you pray with me for an hour?” While I still think there may have been some disappointment mixed in, I think that in truth, the realization that the disciples fell asleep caused Jesus to feel isolated in his anguish, even though his closest companions were nearby. Read the rest here…

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