Alone No More

Even before His birth, the angel proclaims Jesus as the Great Companion. At the end of his Gospel, Matthew records Jesus’ final words: “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” “Immanuel” – “God with us” - in the person of Jesus Christ, banishes loneliness and replaces fear with faith, despair with hope, and sorrow with joy. Jesus was with His disciples as teacher, instructing them in the ways of happiness and holiness (Matthew 5-7); the paths of effective service (10); the nature and growth of the Kingdom of God (13); life with others (18-19); the perils of hypocrisy (23); and the end of the age (24-25). Jesus was with them as healer of “all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease” (4:23; 9:35; 14:34-36; 15:30-31). Jesus was with them as deliverer from demons (4:24; 9:32-34; 12:22; 15:22, 28) and from danger (8:23-27). Jesus was with them as High Priest, pronouncing forgiveness of sins (9:2). Jesus was with them as Shepherd, providing for their physical needs (14:13-21; 15:32-38). Jesus was with them as Suffering Servant, walking before them the way of the Cross (16:24; 17:22-23; 20:18-19; 26:47-27:50). Jesus was with them as Risen Lord, to whom had been given all authority in heaven and on earth (28:9,16-18). That same Jesus is with us today.