This is something that I came across today while preparing for this Wednesday night.
The Interruptions Are the Ministry
A minister once observed that sometimes “interruptions are the ministry.” In the book, Before Burnout, the authors point out that Mark’s Gospel provides many examples of Jesus handling interruptions well. After he healed a man with an unclean spirit (Mark 1:21–26), Jesus was suddenly interrupted by an entire city who demanded his attention (1:33). He was then interrupted in the midst of his teaching by four men carrying a paralyzed man (2:1–5).… Later Jesus was pursued and interrupted by a large multitude (3:7–9). At one point, after being interrupted by Jairus, Christ was almost immediately interrupted again by a woman with a long-term illness. The Savior compassionately handled all of those interruptions well.
A study of the way Jesus handled these kinds of interruption can teach us several things:
1. Christ always responded graciously. He never conveyed the attitude that people did not have a right to interrupt Him.
2. He made people a priority. For the most part, those who interrupted Him were not prominent individuals, yet Christ treated them as important.
3. Although frequently interrupted, Christ did not allow those interruptions to deflect Him from His ultimate purpose. For example, after dealing with the woman with the issue of blood, Jesus immediately went on to raise Jairus’ daughter.
4. On occasion, the Savior actually initiated an interruption himself. He interrupted His teaching of the multitude to call Levi the tax collector to follow Him.
5. Fifth, when important priorities made it necessary, Christ isolated Himself from interruptions.
“Learning to handle interruptions in a Christlike fashion,” say the authors, “will take us a significant distance down the road of handling life’s circumstances.”*