Jesus is presented with a man who is deaf and has a speech impediment. Perhaps he stammered. Maybe he spoke with a lisp. Perhaps, because of his deafness, he never learned to articulate words properly.
Jesus, refusing to exploit the situation, took the man aside. He looked him in the face. Knowing it would be useless to talk, he explained what he was about to do through gestures. He spat and touched the man's tongue to be removed. He touched his ears. They, for the first time, were about to hear.
But before the man said a word or heard a sound, Jesus did something that I never would have anticipated.
He sighed . . .
No doubt you've done your share of sighing.
If you have teenagers, you've probably signed. If you're tried to resist temptation, you've probably sighed. If you had your motives questioned or your best acts of love rejected, you have been forced to take a deep breath and let escape a painful sigh . . . .
All these sighs come from the same anxiety; a recognition of pain that was never intended, or of hope deferred.
Man was not created to be separated from his creator; hence he sighs, longing for home. The creation was never intended to be inhabited by evil; hence she sighs, yearning for the Garden . . .
And when Jesus looked into the eyes of Satan's victim, the only appropriate thing to do was sigh. "It was never intended to be this way," the sigh said. "Your ears weren't made to be deaf, your tongue wasn't made to stumble." The imbalance of it all caused the Master to languish.
So, I found a place for the word. You might think it strange, but I placed it beside the word comfort, for in an indirect way, God's pain is our comfort.
And in the agony of Jesus lies our hope. Had he not sighed, had he not felt the burden for what was not intended, we would be in a pitiful condition. Had he simply chalked it all up to the inevitable or washed his hands of the whole stinking mess, what hope would we have?
But he didn't. The holy sigh assures us that God still groans for his people. He groans for the day when all sighs will cease, when what was intended to be will be. (From God Came Near by Max Lucado)
The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus; Max Lucado General Editor, Thomas Nelson Publishers, New Century Version
"There is no greater darkness than ignorance of God." John Calvin
"There are none so blind as those who will not see." - Matthew Henry
"Even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 NIV
"They do not know, nor do they comprehend; for their eyes are shut, so that they cannot see, and their MINDS as well as that they cannot understand." Isaiah 44:18
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God. Romans 12:2
Equal Parts of Difficulty and Grace
Pastor Adrian Rogers
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” Matthew 6:34
In the crucible of His wisdom and the ecology of His grace, God has ordered some trouble for you today. And every day of your life.
We’ve been blessed with difficulties. Yes, you read right—blessed! The worst thing that could happen to us would be not to have any difficulties. If that were the case, we’d never know our need of the Lord. So God in essence says, “I’m going to give you sufficient difficulty for the day.”
God gives you enough difficulty to draw you close to Him, but then God gives you enough grace to meet those difficulties every day.
Is there a difficult circumstance in your life? If so, thank God for sending it your way to make you more like Jesus. Now ask for His grace to be victorious through it!
For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.