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Jesus Knows What We Are Feeling

After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. [Mark 7:33-35 NIV]

In Max Lucado's book, “Outlive Your Life,” he makes an observation that I had never noticed before about this story in the Gospel of Mark of Jesus healing a deaf and mute man. In the narrative a man is brought to Jesus who immediately takes him away from the crowds. He is taken aside so Jesus can work His miracle on him. Jesus explains to the man what he is about to do, because it is a bit odd. He is going to put His fingers in the man's ears, then spit on His hand and touch the man’s tongue to loosen it.

Then Jesus did something that seemed out of character for Him. He sighed. Deeply. We don’t know what this sigh was about, but I never pictured Jesus, someone in control, composed, and serene, taking a deep exasperating sigh.

I’m sure you have done your share of sighing: when things are not going your way, when there is one more interruption, when your car’s engine light goes on, when your credit card is not working, when the internet is down, when the gift you are buying for someone online won’t arrive until after their birthday. You sigh. Whether it’s a sigh of exasperation or mixed with anger and anguish, it’s a sigh.

Life wasn’t meant to be this way. We live in an imperfect and down-right frustrating world sometimes. So, we sigh just like Jesus did. You can say that Jesus’ sigh was filled with “It was never intended to be this way. Your ears weren’t made to be deaf; your tongue wasn’t made to stumble.”

But I have found new meaning for the “sighs” in my world—and that is “comfort.” When I feel a deep sigh coming over me, I remember this story in the Gospel of Mark, and know that Jesus sighed too. He understands where we are coming from and what we are feeling, and He is there with us.


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