Summary: We all hate being interrupted. But many of the most important moments in Jesus' ministry were the result of interruptions, such as when a bleeding woman interrupted him on the way to heal Jarius daughter. We can learn from Jesus example.
"When Interruptions Come Knocking”
March 1, 2015
INTRO: Has this ever happened to you? You've had a hard day. Finally you have a few quiet minutes for yourself, you pour a hot bath, you throw in some bubbles just for a touch of luxury. You put your toe in - kind of hot, but then you ease slowly into the luscious water, and just as you settle in….MOMMY! JESSE HIT ME! An interruption.
You decide to treat yourself and bake a pie. You get out the flour, make the dough, and reach into the canister for a handful to spread on the counter to roll the dough when the door bell rings. Now your arms are white, the vacuum is sitting in the middle of the floor, and you run to the door to find...Two smiling Jehovah's Witnesses. An interruption.
Interruptions. We all have to deal with them again and again, and it seems that they always come at the worst possible time. During dinner, when you are finally alone with your spouse after a week apart, when you have work to do and just barely enough time to do it. Interruptions. How do you cope?
Jesus used interruptions as opportunities for ministry.
-In the Gospel of Luke, the first miracle we read about is the result of an interruption. Jesus is preaching when a demon possessed man stands and starts screaming,
"Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are - the holy one of God!"
""Be quiet!" Jesus said sternly. "Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him."
Then listen what happened: "The people were amazed and said to each other, "What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out." And the news of him spread throughout the surrounding area."
-In chapter 5, he is interrupted when a group of friends of a man who was paralyzed cut a whole in the roof of a house where Jesus was teaching and let him down through the hole to be healed. Jesus uses the opportunity to reveal his power to forgive sins. And the people were amazed.
-In chapter 7, Jesus is enjoying a dinner party at the home of a wealthy and influential religious leader, when a "Sinful Woman" (That means prostitute), comes along and starts pouring expensive oil on him, and wiping it off with her hair. He uses the opportunity to demonstrate the gift of grace.
-In Chapter 10, Jesus is teaching when a fellow in the audience stands up to "Test" him, to see if he is really as hot as they say he is. The lawyer asks him "What must I do to inherit eternal life." When they both agree that the answer is to love God and your neighbor, the guy persists in his interruption and asks "But who is my neighbor." That interruption led to Jesus telling one of his best known parables, "The Good Samaritan."
-In chapter 19, the unscrupulous tax collector, Zacchaeus, interrupts Jesus by his presence in a tree at the side of the road. Jesus seizes the opportunity, and much to everyone’s surprise goes to Zacchaeus’ house for dinner, where he reveals his mission even as he demonstrates it: “The Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
-And one other interruption stands out. Jesus was teaching near the sea of Galilee, when a man pushed his way through the crowd, pleading for attention.
His name was Jarius, and his daughter was dying. He fell at Jesus' feet, begging him to come to his house, to heal his daughter before it was too late. Imagine his passion for this urgent problem. So Jesus started on his way. The crowd was thick, they wanted to catch a glimpse of the miracle worker. They wanted to get near. The Bible says that the crowd nearly crushed him.
You've seen crowds like this on the highway when there has been an accident. Rubberneckers, who stop even the help from getting through.
As Jesus was pushing his way forward, he was interrupted. A woman had somehow managed to get through the crowd to him, at great personal risk. She had had a problem with bleeding for twelve years, so she was weak. Worse than that, she was continually ritually unclean. In fact, she shouldn't have been out in public.
But somehow she pushed her way through, and touched the edge of his cloak, hoping to be healed. And immediately, immediately her bleeding stopped.
"Who touched me?" Jesus asked "Someone touched me; I know that the power has gone out from me."
And the woman came forward, and he touched her, an spoke with her, and blessed her. She was an interruption, but she had been an opportunity for ministry.