I was reading in Mark the other day. Jesus feeds the four thousand, then the Pharisees come and begin asking him questions and they ask him for a "sign from heaven." And then do you know what the scripture says? It says, "He sighed deeply…" before he responds to them.
They didn't get it. And Jesus is visibly put out and saddened by it, thus his sigh. Their hearts are hard. Their hearts are greedy. Their hearts are prideful.
And Jesus sighs deeply.
And most days I am the pharisees. Let's be honest. They are my ancestors. If my blood can't be traced back to them than I'm pretty sure it would be traced back to Judas.
It seems like it should be easier to live into the Jesus way of life: give, love, help people heal, be selfless. That sounds like a better deal than the reverse. But later on in this same chapter of Mark Jesus says, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Oh. That doesn't sound so fun.
I don't want to die to myself and forgive that grudge. I don't want to take up my cross and pursue a life that leads to death to myself. I don't want to take the money I've "earned" and give it away to someone else. I don't want to take time away from my life to go help someone or feed someone or sit in grief with someone. That stuff is hard.
But I want someone to help me. Feed me. Sit in my mess with me.
And Jesus sighs deeply.
I was reading "Interrupted" by Jen Hatmaker [recommendation!], and she shares how the the story of the Last Supper has changed her view of what it means to live as a Christian. In Luke 22 verse 19 we read, " And he took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."
According to her Greek knowledge, that "do" is a continuos action, not just a one time deal when we sit down at communion. We are to break ourselves as Jesus did. Pour ourselves out as Jesus did. For others. Break ourselves and pour ourselves out. Because Jesus is broken and poured out in us.
Every day I have to decide if I want to be a Pharisee and serve me and ask Jesus to prove himself to me and show me signs and answer my prayers exactly as I want them to be answered OR if I want to "do this in remembrance of him".
Every day I have to decide if Jesus will sigh deeply at my inability to see Him for who he really is, or if I will be broken and poured out, nourishing others with the Jesus who is broken and poured out for me.