Are you becoming aware of the interruptions in your life? How was your prayer life this week? (See “Prayer Interruptions“)
What about interruptions at work? Oh, many of us can identify with that, can’t we? Whether we have or had a paying job or we look at our work at home, nothing is more frustrating than to be interrupted when you have your mind set on a task.
Jesus experienced a dramatic interruption like that. You remember the time when he was in a home in Capernaum doing his main work—preaching and teaching? A crowd had gathered inside and outside the home listening to his every word.
Some concerned friends tried their best to bring their paralytic friend to Jesus, but they couldn’t work their way in with the man on his pallet. Many homes had stairs going up the side of the house to the roof where they might go to get cooler in the evenings. One creative friend said, “Let’s take him up the steps and let him down through the roof.
. . . they made an opening and, after digging through it in the roof above Jesus, they lowered the mat with the paralyzed man lying on it. Mark 2;4
(I envision bits of straw and dirt floating down with the pallet.) Rather than seeing this as an interruption to his preaching, Jesus saw the faith of these friends.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:5
Notice that Jesus didn’t acknowledge any faith on the part of the crippled man. Evidently the man had not been a believer in Christ. Jesus took the opportunity of this interruption to teach two things. First, that he can forgive sin.
The second lesson—sprinkled in the crowd were some teachers of the law. Jesus knew what they were thinking. Forgiving sin is only something God can do. Who does he think he is that he can forgive sin? Blasphemy! Jesus also knew that to call himself the “Son of Man” means one who is entrusted by God with authority and sovereign power. So Jesus said,
“Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic: ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat, and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . .” Mark 2:8-9
Jesus turns then to the paralytic and says, “I tell you, get up, take up your mat and go home.” Mark 2:11
Jesus used this interruption to teach, to heal, and to convey his divinity, both to the amazed crowd and the befuddled teachers of the law.
Can we find growth in those times of interruption?
One day our education minister shared an experience. She said, “I’m a list maker. I came home from church and with frustration told my husband that I did not get one thing done on my list today. He wisely responded, ‘So, you were interrupted with people and did ministry instead?'” Hmm.
~ Joyce ~