The Deep Sigh
Dec. 8th, 2010
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had arrived, they came and started to argue with him. Testing him, they demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority. When he heard this, he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth; I will not give this generation any such sign.” So he got back into the boat and left them, and he crossed to the other side of the lake. Mark 8:11-13
Where were these stupid Pharisees when Jesus was just feeding the 4000, or the 5000, or while he was healing many people in the chapter immediately prior? My hunch is they were standing on the sidelines taking it all in. My hunch is this demand for a new miracle had more to do with their “test” than proving his authority. It had to do with proving his authority to them! I suspect they were saying: “Yea, maybe you can fool these gullible masses – but it will take a real miracle to convince us super-intelligent, super-spiritual Pharisees!” That’s what I see at play here.
His response to them is preceded with this deep sigh from within His spirit. I know that sigh. I know that disappointment with people for whom you have worked and labored, who still don’t seem to get it. I am acquainted with that deep sigh of disbelief, that after all you’ve done…some people still don’t get it…some people still demand that you give them something more…some people want their ‘personal’ miracle to ‘prove’ just exactly who they think and want you to be! And I know that sigh is especially agonizing because it comes most often from those who should be most able to “get it” (the super religious/spiritual) who often are standing on the sidelines, criticizing, judging, demanding their personal miracle. I wonder today; what if Jesus had struck one of them dead cold on the spot – then raised him from the dead – would that be enough of a miracle to convince them? I doubt it.
Sometimes it seems that no matter what good we do, no matter how hard we work, no matter the investments we make, no matter even the results we produce…there will always be someone who sucks the sigh from your soul by demanding something more, something different, some more proof, some new test to pass. I’m glad Jesus said “screw it – I’m done trying to convince you!” “You either get it or not – I’m moving on”.
Lord, help me move on today in the knowledge that as long as I’m doing my best to be faithful to You and my calling – you will be happy. Help me realize and even take some assurance that you are not unfamiliar with the deep sighing from my soul today. Help me find in you a compatriot who has been there – done that- and survived! I grow tired of the pettiness that too often for too many, passes as faithfulness…in their minds at least. I want to please you. AMEN