Earlier this week I was reading through the Gospel of Matthew and came across something interesting in Chapter 9. It’s not necessarily unique to Chapter 9, but it really stood out to me that day.
On several occasions, as Jesus was either teaching, engaged in healing ministry, or walking from one place to another, He was interrupted by people.
In verses 14 – 17, He was teaching about fasting. We read in verse 18 that while he “was saying these things to them,” a synagogue official came to Jesus and appealed to Him to come and restore life to his daughter who had just died. Jesus rose from His teaching and followed the father toward his home and daughter.
As Jesus was on His way, a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind Jesus and touched His cloak. Sensing her touch, need and faith, He stopped, spoke to her and she was healed.
Jesus then proceeded to the synagogue official’s house, in verse 23, where He restored the daughter to life.
The interruptions continued. Verse 27 tells us that as Jesus was “passing on” from the official’s house, two blind men who had been following Him cried out for His mercy and healing. The miracle of the men receiving their sight at the touch of Jesus is recorded in verses 28-30.
Jesus then left the house in which the blind men had been healed. As He was “going out,” a dumb, demon-possessed man was brought to Him by friends or family. Jesus immediately cast the demon out of the man and he was able to speak.
After that healing, Scripture records that Jesus went into all of the cities and villages, continuing His ministry of teaching the people, proclaiming the kingdom and healing many people.
So, what did I learn from this chapter that records four “interruptions” in a day in the life and ministry of Jesus?
I learned that Jesus always had time for people. Regardless of what He was doing, or where He was going, He gave time and attention to people. He was never so rushed or pressed by a schedule that He could not take time to meet a need, hold little children, or spend time with friends. Why? Because Jesus loves people and one way that it was expressed was by His willingness to be interrupted.
So many of us are driven by our busyness and held to our schedules by our day-timers. The calander that I used to use broke my days into quarter-hour segments, beginning at eight o’clock in the morning and running through 6pm each day of the week.
I’m not saying that it isn’t important to schedule things or that we shouldn’t have order to our days, but, are we open to people and interruptions as they occur throughout the course of each day?
Who knows, that “interruption” might be God trying to break into my day. It might be a God-appointed moment to learn more about Him, to discover and meet a need, for His kingdom to be advanced here on earth, and for Him to receive glory.
How many times have I missed God because I was too busy to be interrupted?