The Loneliness of Jesus
John 16:32
Behold, the hour comes, yes, is now come, that you shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone…

I. A PREMATURE BOAST. Faith is necessary, faith is possible; but a deep-rooted faith that shall itself be trustworthy is not easy. Jesus knew that in due time he would have full power over the devotion of his disciples, but their hearts had yet to be won from that fear of the world which bringeth a snare. A faith that shall be superior to all conceivable temptations must be the result of much humble and patient watchfulness. It is for Jesus rather than for us to say when true faith is attained. Faith must show itself by its fruits. Not he that commendeth himself is commended, but whom Jesus commends.

II. HOW THE LONELINESS OF JESUS COMES ABOUT. By the departure of those who professed to be his own. It is plain that as yet there had been no real κοινῶνια. There had been outward companionship; service of a certain sort; generous intentions; but the disciples had not yet entered into the aims of Jesus; and directly their lives seemed to be in peril, they showed how fragile was the bond that united them to him. They showed that they could not believe in Jesus whatever happened. As long as Jesus bade a calm defiance to the worst plots of the Jews, as long as he escaped out of their hands, as long as he went on adding one wondrous deed to another, they seemed to believe. But when the hour and power of darkness came they lost at once what little presence of mind they ever had. Hence we see that the loneliness of Jesus did not begin with that hour when his disciples forsook him and fled. No one ever knew more of what it is to be alone in a crowd than Jesus did. With regard to many, the solitude is simply that of the stranger; in proportion as they become acquainted with others, the solitude passes away. But the more Jesus mingled with men, the lonelier in a certain sense he became. The nearer they drew to him, the plainer it became what an immense change must take place in them before they could look on all things just as he looked at them. He said he was like the seed, abiding alone till it is planted in the ground. But the seed cannot feel, and Jesus had to know the loneliness that comes from having higher aims than all round about him. Moses and Elijah had the same feeling.

III. THE LONELINESS WAS ONLY RELATIVE. In one sense Jesus did not know near so much of loneliness as John the Baptist. He was a great deal in society; he, the loneliest of beings, was also, after a fashion, the least lonely. Jesus always had One with him whom the world knew not, whom his own disciples knew not. Jesus continually carried about with him the essentials of heaven. When men showed themselves furthest from him, God was nearest. The wide gulf that separated Jesus from even his closest companions was well made manifest, for so it was also made manifest that he had resources far beyond any that human intercourse could supply. Jesus meant his disciples not to reflect too hardly on themselves when they came to look back on their leaving him alone. They were but showing the weakness Jesus expected them to show. It is well for us that, so far as human support was concerned, we should see Jesus alone; for so it becomes clearer and clearer to us that through those hours of seeming solitude a presence gloriously superhuman, and full of all possible strength and comfort, must have been with him. - Y.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

WEB: Behold, the time is coming, yes, and has now come, that you will be scattered, everyone to his own place, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

The Loneliness of Christ
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