As part of my daily routine I follow a set of prayer notes. I looked at the passage this morning and saw that it was a, thankfully, short one. I say thankfully because, I had a busy day planned and I was hoping to get done quickly!
God, however, had something else in mind
The passage concerned the Pharisees coming to question Jesus and demanding evidence, proof that He is who He said He was. They wanted signs and miracles to back up Jesus authority. If you want to take a look for yourself, you will find it in Mark 8 vs. 11 – 13. There were some words in verse 12 that caught my attention;
He sighed deeply
(Mark 8 vs.12)
I found those words intensely moving. We sometimes get this picture of Jesus that He was something almost “other worldly”, mystical, separate from the emotions and feelings that the rest of humanity has. Yet, in three words, I could see the reality of Jesus. Fully human and fully God.
Why did Jesus sigh deeply?
Was it the pressure and demands that others were making of Him? Was it the Pharisees, who were supposed to be teachers and leaders of the people, just did not get it? Was it their lack of faith? Was it a sigh of sadness because, in rejecting Him, they were missing life in all its fullness?
Perhaps it was a mixture of all of the above.
Sadly, I think all too often, Jesus must sigh deeply over the state of His Church today. When Christians use the Bible as a cudgel to hit others with. When Christians point out the “speck in somebody’s eye rather than acknowledging the forest in their own”. When Christians get bogged down in the small stuff of Church rather than sharing the love of Christ with the world. I believe Jesus sighs over His Church.
Of course, the Church is made up of people, individuals. I (you) have to acknowledge our own part in this. There are attitudes, values and standards of mine (yours) that Jesus must sigh over.
But there was something else that I thought about. Jesus is fully human and fully God so, not only does He sigh, He also rejoices. I believe that is true today too. There are times when I must do things, think things, say things, possibly even totally unaware when Jesus rejoices and celebrates “he has got it! He has learnt something”
As I put my down my Bible, and turned towards my days work I found myself praying “Lord, help me today to bring more joy to your heart. May my life give you cause for celebration”
What will your day be like?