I love studying about the life of Christ. Probably 80% of the Bible studies I’ve done center around His time on earth….His miracles…His life’s work…His relationship with His Heavenly Father. But the one thing I love studying the most is His humanity. I can’t relate to what it must have felt like to perform the great miracle of the feeding of the 5,0001, nor can I relate to the power it took to still the raging sea2. The depths of forgiveness Christ showed to His accusers on the cross3 is beyond my comprehension. But His humanity…His humanity I can relate to. I can relate to crying with a dear friend because a loved one has passed away4. I can relate to seeing the multitudes in dire need of a spiritual leader and being overcome with compassion for them5. I can understand anger at stubborn hearts who refuse Biblical teaching6, and I can relate to sighing when after many long days of serving others someone asks something more of you7.
Recently I found an entry in my journals from a number of years ago about this matter of Jesus sighing. I had just read how He healed the Maniac of Gadera8 and a man who was deaf and dumb9. He had healed the Syrophencian’s daughter10 and a lame man brought to Him by his friends11. In the midst of these great miracles I read that Jesus sighed.
“He sighed.” It seems like such a strange bit of information for Mark to share with us when telling the story of Jesus opening the ears of a man and loosening his tongue. Why did He sigh? Was He tired? Did He sigh because He knew those who would witness the miracle would not heed his admonishments to not publish it? Was it because everywhere He turned there was someone who needed His help? The Bible doesn’t tell us, but a few short verses later we find Him sighing again. This time it was because His enemies were questioning Him yet again12...questioning His deity…questioning His authority…questioning His actions and His motives.
I don’t know about you, but I often sigh when I’m at that point where I’m tired or frustrated or irritated with someone or something. For me a sigh usually signals that I’m about done with the matter and have not the wisdom nor the patience to deal with it any more. I know that sometimes I feel an undue pressure to be at the top of my game at all times and get frustrated with myself for sighing, feeling like I’m not “strong” enough to get the job done or that I’m trying to do it in my own power. I mean, surely anyone serving the Lord in the center of His will in the power of the Holy Spirit should have no cause to give in to sighing at a situation, right? I’m encouraged to know that sighing is not a sin because we know Jesus never sinned at yet He sighed.
What I realized is that although Jesus sighed, He didn’t decide it was time to give up. Instead He continued in His great work. So the next time you find yourself sighing, look at it as a crossroads and choose to keep on going instead of giving up.
My journal entry - June, 2007
Lord, last night I was reading in Mark. I came across 7:34 & 8:12 – both mentioned you “sighed.” The thought that You were tired made me sad, and I wished I could have done something to help You. I thought of all the people You had helped and healed. No wonder You were tired. I thought of writing a song about it (your sighing), but instead wrote of how You changed lives and healed people (in spite of it).
No More They’d Be the Same
As I stood there watching amazed,
My Lord healed every one.
They came from near and far away
To see God’s only Son.
And as they reached toward Him,
They saw His open arms,
A gentle face, a warm embrace,
Protecting from all harm.
He knew them each by name.
He knew just why they came.
And with His touch or spoken word,
No more they’d be the same.
No more they’d be the same.
A man once bound up in chains
Now calmly shares his faith.
And one who couldn’t hear or speak
Tells all of Jesus’ grace.
A mother pleads for her young girl
And returns to find her whole.
A man borne upon a bed
Now stands a saved soul.
And just like one that was lame
To the Lord Jesus I came.
His precious blood shed on the cross
Made me whole when I called on His name.
And all these years it’s still the same
Come everyone who will.
Chose Christ as Saviour of your life,
And He your heart will fill.
1. Mark 6:30-44
2. Mark 4:35-41
3. Luke 23:34
4. John 11:32-35
5. Mark 6:34
6. Mark 3:5
7. Mark 7:31-37
8. Mark 5:1-20
9. Mark 7:31-37
10. Mark 7:24-30
11. Mark 2:1-12
12. Mark 8:11-12
Originally written for baptistmissionarywomen.blogspot.com