It wasn’t funny the second time.
Six weeks ago, I told you about my car overheating. Well, it happened again.
I was on my way to observe a classroom for my education degree in Ravenswood. It was 7 a.m. Last time, it was daylight. This time, it was dark. Last time, I stopped at a gas station. This time, I stopped alongside US-33. Last time, I made it to my destination on time. This time, I did not.
Interruptions. We don’t like them. They mess with our plans. Ruin our moods. And make us late.
But Jesus was often interrupted. For example, one time Jesus was on His way to heal the daughter of a religious leader. While traveling, a woman touched His garment. Jesus stopped dead in His tracks. He took His time. And the woman with the issue of blood was healed. Meanwhile, Jairus’s daughter died. When Jesus finally arrived, He raised the girl back to life (see Mark 5:21-43).
This week, I want to focus on another story. It’s found in Matthew 14.
John the Baptist had just been beheaded. The disciples told Jesus.
“Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns” (v. 13 ESV).
Jesus was both fully human and fully God. After hearing about the death of His cousin, He understandably wanted to be alone. But Jesus was famous. Large crowds sought what He had to offer, so they followed Him.
Let’s look at the next verse.
“When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick” (v. 14 ESV).
He was trying to get away for awhile. The crowds interrupted Him. But instead of pushing them away, He had compassion on them. He didn’t shout, “Not again!” Instead, He healed them. Jesus loved the people who interrupted Him. And that’s what I want to do.
But I don’t.
I enjoy taking walks with my family. We walk slow. It’s a good way to enjoy some fresh air and release some stress. But we’re too friendly. Therefore, it’s common for us to get stopped multiple times by gabby neighbors. (Disclaimer: if you’re one of these neighbors, I love you. Just enjoy the story.)
So last week, we took a walk. And we were stopped multiple times. I was getting frustrated. In fact, I was the most frustrated. Not good for the preacher of the family. But anyway, a car began slowing down in front of us. I knew what was coming. It was time for another interruption.
“Here comes another long conversation,” I grumbled under my breath. And sure enough, the person stopped. I didn’t feel like a Christian in that moment. Actually, I felt like a jerk.
Because when I read about Jesus being interrupted, I don’t see frustration. I see love.
Let’s continue in Matthew 14.
“Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves’” (v. 15 ESV).
The disciples make me feel better about myself. After all, they’re trying to kick the crowd out the door. But Jesus has another idea.
“But Jesus said, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat’” (v. 16 ESV).
Turns out, Jesus fed over five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. You’ve probably heard this miraculous story before.
I wonder what miracles are hidden in your interruptions if you only make the most of them.
After being interrupted by the woman with the issue of blood, Jesus raised a girl to life instead of merely healing her. After being interrupted by a crowd in a desolate place, Jesus fed thousands of people with a little meal.
This message is the result of two frustrating interruptions. To me, that’s a miracle.
There’ll be times when you’ll want to scream, “Not again!” But when you find yourself being interrupted, look for a miracle instead.
Isaiah Pauley is passionate about sharing Jesus in a simple way. Follow the journey of this young pastor at www.isaiahpauley.com, on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page, or on Instagram @isaiahpauley.