“The loneliest person that ever was, was Jesus.”
R.T. Kendall is delusional. How in the world could he ever consider Jesus as the loneliest person that ever was? He’s Jesus! I sat reading these words in R.T. Kendall’s book, Thorn in The Flesh, several times over. Bothered by this statement, but not quite sure why. The idea that Jesus Christ had been lonely as He walked on this earth just seemed… wrong. He’s Jesus! How could Jesus have been lonely? Not only that but how could anyone think that?
“The loneliest person that ever was.”
Wanting an answer to this ridiculous idea I again asked, “How was Jesus lonely?” After some more time mulling over this quote I felt The Spirit nudge back with a question of His own:
“Why wouldn’t He have been lonely?”
Well duh. “He had His disciples.”
Just as soon as I had this thought I thought back to an earlier passage in the book where it was talking about the loneliness of success. How when some become successful two things happen. While some will abandon you, claiming that you are no longer the same person as before your success, others will cling to you for what you can do for them.
Then another thought came to me. How many of His disciples followed him because of his fame? We already know that Judas betrayed Him and Peter denied Him, but who followed Him just to be seen with Him? Worse, who followed Him for what He could do for them? There’s no doubting that Jesus Christ was the most famous man of that time, and still is, regardless of what some may say.
“When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” -John 6:24-26
And now a new question comes to mind. How many of us are following Jesus just to be seen with Him? Or because of what He can do for us?
Jesus had been lonely.
The idea that He could relate to one of my thorns (2 Corinthians 12:7) is comforting to some degree. It’s one thing to hear that Jesus understands the temptations we face but to hear that He understands loneliness is another thing.
“He knows how it feels to be surrounded by others but to be completely alone.”
If it hadn’t been the Holy Spirit that told me this I probably would have never believed it and would have tossed the book aside and considered it as a loss of time and effort. Loneliness is one of those things that seems unrelatable. Like, a personal sentence that no one else could possibly understand. As the youngest of six kids in a family of eight, not including aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, nieces, and nephews, I have been surrounded by others all my life. Now I have a husband, a child, and several church friends and family. There’s rarely a moment where I’m alone so the idea that I might be lonely seems ridiculous. But I do get lonely though. Something I’ve come to understand as God seeking my undivided attention when I put people and things above time with Him. (Jeremiah 29:13)
“His faithful love is constant and full.”-Whitney Putnam (Journey: A Woman’s Guide To Intimacy With God: November 2017)
As I read further into The Thorn in The Flesh and go through the types of thorns people might suffer with I have wondered more than once just how many of mine He truly understands. The answer, of course, is an obvious one. He understands everything completely. He understands us completely.
♥† Jessica Quinn