What It Means to Be Human: Loneliness

David Bast

Read: John 16:31-33

You . . . will leave me alone. (v. 31)

Frontiersman Daniel Boone said that if he could see the smoke from a neighbor’s chimney on the horizon, it was time to move further west. American tradition honors the rugged individualist, the man who can go it alone. But the Bible paints a different picture of what it means to be human. It says we were made for community and need one another. As God said of Adam, “it is not good that . . . man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18).

But the second Adam, Jesus, was left alone on his last night on earth. He knew the pain of loneliness. Jesus looked for support from his closest friends and they let him down. The disciples all scoffed at the suggestion that they wouldn’t be there for Jesus. But when Jesus asked them to watch with him in the garden, they all fell asleep. “Could you not watch with me one hour?” (Matt. 26:40). And when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, the disciples did run, every last one of them.

No one should have to be alone. Family, friends, church—these should produce people to be there for us. But even if others fail us, there is still the Lord. “You . . . will leave me alone,” said Jesus. “Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” And for us, there is Jesus himself. “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). —David Bast

Prayer: Lord, may I never fail or forsake you.