Jesus Feeding the 5,000

A daily devotion for May 1st

The Cure to Loneliness

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

John 12:24

Jesus is speaking of himself in this parable. He is the grain of wheat. He is the Son of God, compelling, compassionate, living the life of God in the midst of men, and yet wholly as a man. Crowds everywhere left their work and followed him. They sensed that here was a man who possessed the secret of life. He had nothing that men thought was necessary to living. He had no material possessions. He did not even have a place to lay his head. He had no influence with the authorities. Yet, everywhere he went, people sensed that he understood the secrets of life. So he was like a grain of wheat, alone amidst other grains of wheat, sharing nothing with the others.

He could have remained that way. He did not need to die. He was no martyr to a failing cause. He was not forced to the cross. He had no need to lay down his life, for he could have returned to the Father. There would have been no blame attached to him if he had. He could have chosen to return to the Father, having demonstrated before men exactly what God wanted man to be, and left us with that demonstration and gone back to heaven. But, as he says, if he had done that he would have remained alone. For the rest of eternity, though he would have been thronged with angels and all the other created beings of God's universe, he would have been alone. There would have been no one else like him in all the universe.

This is very important, because it gives us our first clue as to what our Lord is really unveiling here, the problem that affects so many of us — loneliness. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. One can be alone and not be at all lonely. Or you can be in the midst of a crowd, and be utterly lonely. This is what Jesus is referring to. He is not talking about being alone; he is talking about being lonely.

Dr. F. B. Meyer once said, Many people complain of lonely and solitary lives. They suppose their condition is due to the failure of other people. It is, however, attributable to the fact that they have never fallen into the ground to die, but have always consulted their own ease and well-being. They have never learned that the cure for loneliness comes from sowing oneself in a grave of daily sacrifice. There he puts his finger upon the cause of this distressing loneliness that bothers so many today. It is an attempt to hold on to life, to grasp it for oneself, and this results in an undeveloped life.

Our Lord knew the craving of the Father's heart; that he might bring many sons to glory. But to do that it was necessary that he die. There was no other way by which what he was could be given to us. John 1:12 says, As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God. As many as received him, to them he gives the power to share his own life. But how is that life made available? It is only available by dying to ourselves. But we fear such dying, do we not? What the Lord Jesus is saying to us is that there will be no deliverance from the loneliness and emptiness of the world's life until we learn to renounce that kind of living.

Lord, thank you for showing me that the way to life is through dying to myself. I confess that I fear such dying, so I ask that you help me to live this out.

Life Application

Am I lonely? What is the source of my loneliness? Have I bought into the lie of this world that fulfillment is found in holding onto my life?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

The Cure to Loneliness

Listen to Ray