The Pharisees came and started to argue with Jesus. Hoping to embarrass him, they asked for some heavenly sign. Then his spirit was moved. He gave a deep sigh and said,
Why do the people of this present time ask for a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this people.
Then he left them, got into the boat again and went to the other side of the lake.
The Pharisees asked for a sign but Jesus gave them a deep sigh instead. Why did Jesus sigh? Why do we sigh? In general, sighs are associated with a negative mood—a sign of disappointment, defeat, frustration, boredom, and longing. Sighing is a way to soothe ourselves when we feel mentally and spiritually exasperated, like feeling empty in our prayer. Jesus sighed in frustration because despite the many signs he showed through his miracles, the Pharisees were still asking for more. Clearly, no matter what sign Jesus had given them, they would not have recognized and believed it anyway. Their unbelief and envy blinded them from seeing and believing the sign right there before them—Jesus himself. Jesus sighed deeply in his spirit. From his deep sigh, we come to learn that Jesus cared deeply. He cared that those who witnessed his miracles and heard his teachings would come to believe in him and his mission. Today Jesus continues to sigh deeply in his spirit whenever we doubt his gospel message and stop believing in him and his love for us. Whenever we sigh out of frustration or longing, let us be reminded that Jesus sighs in us and with us.
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