"The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. He sighed deeply and said, "Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it." (NIV)
Mike was watching Bill Maher last night...and I was on my laptop working. I was listening to the program as Michael was watching...but sincerely...I really have a problem with Bill Maher. I have a problem with him personally. This program last night was Bill Maher's latest stand up act on HBO. Since this program was on HBO, Bill was really able to just spit evil from his mouth freely. He began to talk about "God the Creator." This one single comment is what prick at my ears and I began to really listen. Bill began with, "Now I want to talk about this so called God of Creation that created me..." Mr. Maher went on to mock my God of Creation and claim many things in the Bible were hypocritical. Personal I was confused as to how he really thought any of his act was funny. But people in his audience were laughing at him or with him.
Now I know God wants me to pray for my enemies and this includes Bill Maher. That may sound silly to you, but I really struggle with this comedian and his open ability to touch so many with his views on my Savior. We have a lost and dying world that needs my Jesus. Really God, I just wish you would pull Bill Maher up to the pearly gates and give him a face to face with you right now!
Bill Mahr even said..."I know religious people think they need to pray for me..." Well we do! This very visible comedian needs a lot of prayers. First, God does not want a single one of his sheep to be lost. Remember, He tells us He will leave the flock to go after the one lone sheep! "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?" (Luke 15:4) So, Bill Mahr and so many others just like him are the ones God will and does want to pursue. As his act continued it lead me to believe that at one time Bill Maher was a believer. Something in his life had harden his heart against God and now he is lost in the fields of this world.
When he says things like "you religious people." I can't help but think of him in the same way as the Pharisees of the Bible. These Pharisees were very intelligent, religious leaders of the day. They were convinced that Jesus was a fraud, and they demanded Him to prove Himself with a miraculous sign. This verse in Mark tells us that Jesus "sighed deeply" at them. He then said, "Why do you people ask for a miracle as a sign? I tell you the truth no sign will be given to you."
If you have teenagers, you've probably sighed. If you've tried to resist temptation, you've probably sighed. If you've had your motives questioned or your best acts of love rejected, you have been forced to take a deep breath and let a painful sigh escape...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 the sighs, longing for home. The creation was never intended to be inhabited by evil; hence she sighs, yearning for the Garden...It was never intended to be this way for us.
So this deep sigh that Jesus gives when talking to the Pharisees I really relate it to the word comfort. Yes, 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. What hope would we have really?
But He didn't. That 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.
Now back to Bill Maher...yes, I too sighed at the end of this comedian's routine. My sigh was one for a lost sheep confused and consumed with the things of this world. So, I am called to pray for the one lost sheep that he will someday find my Savior and my hope is that it won't be when they meet face to face. I know that the groanings of Christ is my hope for this lost soul.