Scripture Text: John 13:31-33 Title: All Alone

Question of the Day: Why is it that we have to go through life’s toughest times all alone?

In today’s passage the Lord is spending His last few hours before His arrest with His closest friends. These words are spoken just after Judas was identified as the betrayer, Satan entered him, and he made his exit to do his dastardly deed of betrayal. Then Jesus speaks to the remaining eleven disciples about how God the Father is going to get great glory through what He is about to do. He mentioned to them that He had to do it all alone. But, why all alone?

Here is today’s text: “So when Judas had left Jesus said, ‘Now will the Son of Man bring glory and praise to God and God will be glorified through Him. If God is glorified in Him, then God will glorify Him and exalt Him and all in all great glory will come to this next event. My little children, I will be with you for just a little while. You will then seek to be with Me, and as I said to the Jews, “Where I am going you cannot come,” now I say the same things to you.’”

The disciples had learned to lean completely on the Lord—whether out on a lake in a violent storm, or when they faced the death of a loved one, or when the crowds got so large and the food supply was short, they had learned that He always had the answer—and the solution. He also told them about the kingdom of heaven and how they could enter it, but they had no idea what was about to take place. They assumed that He would next overthrow the hated Roman government and revise the temple worship to focus on God and then establish a kingdom that would never end.

But as they approached the showdown in Jerusalem at the Passover feast, He seemed to get more somber and serious and determined to go through with it. What we want to focus on in this devotional is how Jesus had to go through this horrible experience all alone. From the time that the arrest took place He went through with the mock trial, the beating, the questioning, the mocking and ridiculing, and the crucifixion all alone. In today’s text He told the disciples, “My little children, I will be with you for just a little while. You will then seek to be with Me, and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going you cannot come,’ now I say the same things to you.”

In the next verses Peter would boldly say that he would follow Him—even to death, but Jesus explained to him that it was not possible for him to go through His time of suffering with anyone. In chapter 16:32 He said, “Look, the time has finally come, yes it is here right now, and you will all be scattered and leave Me alone; but I am never totally alone because the Father is always with Me.” What Jesus showed us, and what we must learn, is that when we go through life’s toughest times, we must do it all alone and learn to lean totally on the Father—who is always with us. One of the most helpless feelings for a believer is to try to stand by a fellow believer or a loved one, and just be there for them. We can’t do anything about what they are going through and we can’t fix it, we just have to leave them in the hands of God and let Him sustain them.

For the person going though the extreme trial, they always feel totally alone and then it is just that person and God walking on together. Many Christians who have gone through deep trials and severe tests of faith have reported to us that the presence of God never felt closer. It is something that each of us must bear alone, and since we are so used to leaning on others around us, it is a time of being “one on one” with our Creator as he walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death. We may be close to death, or we may wish we were dead, or we may just be dying inside with the pain of the moment, but it is then that God Himself shows up and envelops us with His presence. It is the most awesome time of one’s life!

Prayer: Lord, thank You for going through Your most challenging hours—the darkest hours of Your earthly life—and showing us how to do it. May we ever be mindful of Your Presence as You surround us with Your great love and draw us closer to Yourself. We wouldn’t miss those intimate times for anything in the world. Surround us with Your presence—always. Amen!