Wednesday, June 26, 2013


On Lonliness

Jon Bloom @ DG writes of loneliness:
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.


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).

For some reason this whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Do I believe Jesus understands and can share int he loneliness I feel? Yes, of course I do. Do I take comfort in that? Again, yes? But casting Christ's loneliness in terms of his moral perfection and then is experience on the cross is not something I can share in. I am neither morally perfect nor have I had the weight of the sin of all mankind placed on my shoulders.

This seems written with a view of Christ totally as some theological object, whose humanity was at best a guise. It casts the simple insecurity that one feels when everyone is too busy to spend time with you (often the root of loneliness, it is simply a matter of temporal realities) as somehow sinful. Do we honestly think that a morally perfect life is without simple emotional negativity? I don't.

It is true that some emotional overreaction is an illness and results from sin, but not all of it. Clearly Eve felt jealousy for the tempter to even have the leverage to tempt her, so not all negative emotion is a result of sin.

Jesus felt lonely because we all feel lonely fro time-to-time. I am not sure the perfect Christian life will fix that - just make us better capable of coping with it.


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