Jesus Understands Loneliness
From Gospel Translations
“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3)
Sometimes we feel alone in the world. Jesus understands this feeling. In a very human sense, he was alone.
Imagine what living in this world was like for Jesus. He was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). That might sound like a pleasant problem to deal with. I don’t think so. I think it was tormenting. Peter described sinful Lot’s experience in Sodom as being tormented day after day by the “lawless deeds that he saw and heard” (2 Peter 2:8). How much worse was it for sinless Jesus living in a world of sin?
Imagine what his childhood was like. He would have been odd, sticking out morally like a sore thumb, never quite fitting in with any group, even his own family.
Even his loving parents wouldn’t have fully understood him. Nor would they have been able to protect him from others’ stinging remarks and maybe cruel mocking over his unsullied strangeness.
I wonder how much came from his siblings? His brothers and sisters (Matthew 13:55–56) would have grown increasingly self-conscious around him, aware of their own sinful, self-obsessed motives and behavior, while noting that Jesus didn’t seem to exhibit any himself. What resentments accrued? All was not harmonious because Jesus’s own brothers didn’t believe in him (John 7:5), possibly until after his resurrection (Acts 1:14).
Jesus was a sinless person living with sinful parents, sinful siblings, sinful extended relatives and sinful neighbors. No one on earth could identify with him. No human being could put an arm around him as he sat in tears and say, “I know exactly what you’re going through.” His sorrow and grief (Isaiah 53:3) began way before Gethsemane.
But Jesus’s loneliness reached its apex the moment he became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) on the cross and was “forsaken” by his Father (Matthew 27:46). First he was estranged by sinlessness and then from being sin. Jesus knew supreme rejection and loneliness.
Which makes him perfectly suited to understand yours. He is a high priest who can sympathize with this weakness (Hebrews 4:15).
But Jesus doesn’t just understand your loneliness; he’s destroying it. Because he died on your behalf, you are no longer truly a stranger or alien, but you are a fellow citizen with the saints and a member of God’s family (Ephesians 2:19). Because Jesus was alienated from God and man, you will enjoy the full family fellowship of God and all of his redeemed saints forever.
Child of God, your loneliness is passing away. The day is nearing when you will know as you have been fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12). And the fading loneliness you still feel Jesus understands.
So “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that [you] may receive mercy and find grace to help” with every lonely need (Hebrews 4:16).