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The Deep Sighs of Jesus

There is this thing we all do when reality smacks up against our hopes. We sigh. We exhale a burst of air that may come from our lungs, but also comes from some angst-filled place in our heart. The deeper the sigh, the greater the disconnect between the world we hope for, and the one we live i…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

There is this thing we all do when reality smacks up against our hopes. We sigh. We exhale a burst of air that may come from our lungs, but also comes from some angst-filled place in our heart.

The deeper the sigh, the greater the disconnect between the world we hope for, and the one we live in.

Jesus seemed to live in this gap a lot. You could hear it in his testy responses to people. Look at a few chapters in Mark:

    .
*He calls Pharisees “hypocrites” to their faces when they ask him about traditions. (Mark 7:5-8)
    
*He calls his disciples “dull” when they fail to understand his explanation. (Mark 7:18)
    
*Before healing a deaf and mute man, he looks up to heaven and sighs deeply. (Mark 7:34)
    
*After he feeds 4000 men, the Pharisees ask for a sign. He responds with a deep sigh. (Mark 8:12)
    
*In his debrief of what just happened, his disciples misunderstand his metaphor. You can hear the exasperation in his voice. “Do you still not understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?" (Mark 8:17-18)
    
*When Peter rebukes him, Jesus snaps back and calls Peter “Satan.” (Mark 8:33)

Living in the gap between spiritual and physical reality can be a frustrating experience. Who of us hasn't struggled with trying to live a life of faith in a world that is cynical and disbelieving?

If it can make even Jesus respond with exasperation, then perhaps he cuts the rest of us a break too.

Comments (9)

  • I believe He does understand. A lot more than we give God credit. He knows the deeps thoughts within and knows how tired we are, in this life, and with this life….at times and at seasons. I am thankful for God’s understanding of me.

  • When I think about the sighs, I think about the sigh of love, love that isn’t hurt by their slowness, but rather that hurts “for” the other.

  • Thank you for serving us in this way. This cynical and disbelieving world needs to know the love Jesus has, love that is higher, wider, deeper and longer than anything we will find in this physical reality.

    The LORD bless you.

  • Seth, brother I love reading your scribblings, they just do something to my soul. Some days I read your posts and just sigh with a breath of ‘good, I’m glad I’m not the only guy struggling with this’. Recently my wife and I were in a tough, tough situation where we sensed we were the only ones praying for a miracle. We kept expecting, hoping, waiting for The Lord to show His power even when everyone else had lost fAith. I believe we both sighed a hundred times that week. Thanks, hermano! You make us strugglers aware we aren’t the only weird ones out here dreaming that the impossible is simple for the Father.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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