Jesus Sighed

Mark7_31t37Mark 7:31-37 (KJV) And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. 32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. 33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. 35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. 36 And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; 37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

In August of 2003 a blackout struck the northeastern United States. Four states were without power for five hours. One of the more unlucky individuals was a man on an elevator of the Empire State Building in New York City. When the blackout struck the elevator stopped between the 52nd and 53rd floor. The lights went out. This man was stuck in a metal coffin hanging 525 feet above the ground. That’s about 1 ¾ the length of a Football field – vertical! When the man was interviewed afterward by CNN he said:

I have never been so terrified or alone in my life. Those five hours were a living hell. I was trapped and couldn’t get out. That’s a horrible feeling. I was trying to open the doors with my hands, but they wouldn’t budge. I yelled, but no one could hear me. I couldn’t see anything. It was like death in there. I knew I was never going to get out. But when Detective Moran repelled down from the 57th floor and opened the hatch on the roof of the elevator, I felt freedom like never before. All I wanted was for that door to be opened. When {I was rescued} I looked at my watch – it said 9:15 pm. I will never forget what time it was. I felt alive again!”

I can only imagine being stuck in a place like that, lonely, darkened, without hope. Then someone puts his life on the line – literally. He descends into that dark place where hopelessness and death is in the air like the scent of a skunk. He breaks open that grave, and brings light to that poor soul. You never forget that.

You never forget the day that Jesus saves you! To be lost, to be scared and lonely, then to feel His touch is just the best. To know that He risked everything for you, that He died for you. The Scripture declares that Jesus ….

2 Corinthians 5:15 (NLT) … died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

1 Jesus Christ Came To This Earth To Restore Us To God. As I read over this text and prayed over it in preparation to preaching, two things caught my spiritual eye. There’s a lot in this text, but before we look at the man in need let’s look at the Savior indeed. Look at verse 34. We read:

Mark 7:34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.

What most people see in this text is that Jesus saith unto him EPHPHATHA (f-fath-a). This is an Aramaic word – not Greek but Aramaic – and the text tells us it means “Be opened”. What is interesting about this is that Jesus is speaking to a deaf man. The man can’t hear, but Jesus says to him “Be opened”. I’m going to talk a little more about this later, but what is more interesting is what happens before ephphatha. We read:

Looking up to heaven, He SIGHED”

Sighed” is the Greek στενάζω stenazo (sten-ad’-zo) which means “to be in distress, to hurt internally, to sigh”. A sigh signifies an inner turmoil that cannot be expressed in words, a longing, a deep desire that has not been fulfilled. We sing:

O land of rest, for thee I sigh! When will the moment come?

When shall I lay my armor by And dwell at peace at home?

We’ll work till Jesus comes We’ll work till Jesus comes

We’ll work till Jesus comes And we’ll be gathered home!

A sigh shows want, and sorrow, and a longing for what you do not have.

  • As Job was afflicted he said sighing has become my daily food; my groans pour out like water” (NIV Job 3:24)
  • The Psalmist, weighed down with life, cried out For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away” (ESV Psalm 31:10)

As humans we sigh when we long for something we do not have.

So why was Jesus sighing? Jesus was going to heal this man, and knew it. He couldn’t be sighing over an affliction that He – through the power of God’s Spirit – was going to cast out. In just a few seconds we will read “and straightway his ears were opened”. Why sigh over this man? There is another place where you see Jesus sighing in the Bible, just one chapter over in:

Mark 8:10-13 (KJV) … straightway {Jesus} entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha. 11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him. 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation. 13 And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.

Jesus sighed because of the Pharisees unbelief. He sighed in the case of this deaf man because people were missing the point.

Jesus came to this earth – being born of a Virgin, growing up among us
– so that we might be restored to God

Jesus did not come to be a medicine show. He did not come just to heal our physical bodies. He came primarily to save us from our sins so that we can live our lives as God intended them to be lived.

Resting in the hands of Grace.

Jesus said in John 10:10-11 (KJV) …. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

and in John 12:46 (KJV) I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

Jesus Christ came to defeat sin at the Cross of Calvary and death at the empty tomb. He came calling a people to Himself, a people whom He would change, whom He would restore to a right relationship with God.

Jesus sighed because – though He was willing to help this poor man – He did not come just to give temporal healing. Jesus did not come to be a human band-aid put on our boo boos. He came to give us HIS life. He came to live THROUGH US. He came to give us the life that God tried to give us in the Garden of Eden, a life that Adam foolishly threw away.

After healing this man Jesus told him:

Mark 7:36 (KJV) {Jesus} charged them that they should TELL NO MAN: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it;

Why would Jesus NOT want them to tell how He healed this deaf man, this man from Decapolis? Jesus previously cast Legion out of another man, a citizen of Decapolis, and told that man …

Mark 5:19-20 (KJV) …. Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. 20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

But THIS man and his friends were to say nothing. Why? Again, because they misread the mission of Christ. Jesus Christ came not primarily to heal our mortal bodies, but to restore our immortal souls to God.

The shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept”. WHERE did Jesus weep? Standing before Lazarus’ grave. WHY did Jesus weep? Because of the unbelief and hopelessness of those who were there that day. The people said:

John 11:37 (KJV) Could not this MAN, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?

Jesus was a miracle Man, a Witch Doctor, a Medicine Man with a traveling show. They missed the point. People still miss the point today. Jesus looked up to Heaven and sighed because we still miss the point.

Christ Came To Restore Us To God

2 How Does Jesus Restore Us To God? We started out talking about Jesus sighing, but now let’s look at the Work of Christ in this man’s life. As humans we miss the point – but Christ always meets us at our point of need. How did Jesus restore this man?

a The Restoration Of Your Loved One Begins By YOU Bringing That Person To Jesus.

Mark 7:31-32 (KJV) And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. 32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.

Notice that the healing of this man began by WHOLE people bringing a BROKE person to Jesus. I don’t know who these people were, but I do know that they went out of their way to get their friend to Jesus. They brought him. The took time to invite him to Church, to come be with Jesus. Once they got him into proximity to Jesus they beseeched Jesus to put His hand on him. They prayed. They worshiped. They begged God, “Please touch our friend. Please heal our child. Please restore him to where he should be but for sin.”

Oh Beloved, if we all reached out in love to the broken and brought them to Jesus, how different a world this might be!

Years ago when I pastored in West Tennessee (I hear I’m in Middle Tennessee now) every Monday morning one of my Deacons – a precious friend – would come to my office and drive me crazy. I say this in the nicest way possible. On Mondays we would drink coffee and my Deacon friend would begin with “I didn’t see ____ in Church yesterday. Wondered what happened to them?” I’d reply, “I have no idea”. Then he’s bring up someone else. “Wonder where that person is?” One day I wised up, and replied “here’s their phone number – why don’t you call them and let me know what happened.” That didn’t stop the Monday morning meetings, but it was much more productive after that. The Bible tells us that:

1 Corinthians 12:24-27 (KJV) … but God hath tempered the body {His Church} together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked: 25 That there should be no {division} in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

This man was suffering. The Bible says that he “was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech”. People who are profoundly deaf not only cannot hear others, they cannot hear themselves so their speech is not right. He could not speak so as to be understood.

He was in a place of darkness. So those who loved him brought him to a place of Christ. He could not speak, so they spoke for him. Master, please touch Him. And Jesus did!

b Jesus Draws The Person He Is Going To Restore Away From The World. The man’s friends ask Jesus to touch him. What does Jesus first do?

Mark 7:33 (KJV) And {Jesus} took him aside from the multitude,

Did God save Israel INSIDE of Egypt or OUTSIDE of Egypt? He saved Israel OUTSIDE of Egypt. He took Israel by the hand and, leading her through the Red SEA, used that same SEA to destroy the Egyptian knuckleheads, don’t you SEE?

When Jesus saves us He takes us away from the world, and brings us close to Himself. The man released the multitude and allowed himself to be led aside by Jesus. We are told in:

Galatians 1:4 Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.

Those who are saved by Christ are a people separated unto Christ. We belong to Him.

Colossians 1:13-14 (KJV) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Jesus led us by the hand on the day of our salvation – and leads us by the hand still. Our strength and power come from being in union with Christ.

One of my favorite movies is called Fireproof. In that movie there is a scene where a wife considering leaving her husband goes to her lost friends for advise. Everything her friends tell her is negative. “Oh girl, I wouldn’t put up with that. I’d leave him in a heartbeat! Why are you still there?” They commiserate with their friend – but not in the right way. A true friend leads you to Jesus – ALWAYS! ALWAYS!

Then Jesus takes you away from the foolishness and foolish advice of the world!

c Jesus Opens Your Ears To His Word. We read:

Mark 7:33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears,

This man’s ears need to be opened. How does Jesus open them? He puts His fingers in his ears. When God puts His fingers in your ears it is to shut out the godless gospel of the world so you can hear the Glorious Gospel of salvation. God touched this man’s ears so he could HEAR.

In a little magazine I often read called Our Daily Bread I read:

As important as good hearing is in life, it is even more important in our walk with God. In Psalm 40:6, David declared, “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; my ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.” The word “opened” in this verse can be translated “cleared out,” and it speaks of what God desires for us. He wants our ears to be open and ready to hear Him as He speaks to us through His Word. Sometimes, however, our spiritual ears may be blocked by the background noise of the surrounding culture or the siren songs of temptation and sin. May we instead turn our hearts to the Lord in full devotion, keeping our ears open to Him so that we will be sensitive to His voice. As He speaks, He will put His Word in our hearts, and we will learn from Him to delight in His will”.

We cannot live the blessed life Jesus wants for us while our ears are opened to the world and closed to God. When I was a little boy and my brother wanted to tell me something I didn’t want to hear I put my hands over my ears and said nay nay nay nay. Two little boys were walking down the railroad track one day and one little boy did like I used to do. Wanting to win an argument with his friend he put his hands over his ears. “Nay, nay, nay nay” he said, over and over. His friend shouted, “There’s a train coming – get off the tracks”. “Nay, nay, nay, nay, nay”. Death was coming, but he couldn’t hear for his foolish pride. Thankfully his friend pushed him hard, and he was saved from death.

Romans 6:18-23 (KJV) Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. … 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

d Jesus Gives Of Himself To Save Us, And We Surrender To His Lordship To Be Saved. The Gospel points us to a right relationship with God through Christ Jesus and in the Holy Spirit. But it is Christ Who opens our ears. It is Christ Who loosens our tongue. The Bible tells us that:

Mark 7:33-35 (KJV) And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. 35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.

No one helped Jesus save this man. Jesus did the work. Friends brought him to Jesus, but Jesus opened his ears and loosed his tongue. How did Jesus do that? He gave of Himself. He put His fingers in his ears. He spat on His fingers, then touched the man’s tongue.

Yes, that’s what the original text says. He didn’t spit on the ground. He spit on His fingers, and put those fingers in the man’s mouth. Why?

I have no idea.

I have no real idea how His saliva could loosen a tongue. I do know this – this man wasn’t blind. He saw Jesus spit on his fingers and put them in his mouth. And he submitted to this. He surrendered to the Lordship of Christ. And He was blessed.

Romans 10:9-10 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.

When He saves us, He saves us from this world and to His Kingdom – blessed be the Name of the Lord. May God touch your hearts with His Word!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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