The average person is interrupted between 4 to 12 times every hour. To put that into perspective, that means you’re being interrupted at least every 15 minutes. I don’t know about you, but when I’m interrupted in the middle of working on something, I’m typically annoyed, frustrated, and impatient. And I would say I’m not even interrupted as much as the average person.
But as we look at scripture, we see that Jesus was constantly being interrupted. In Matthew 9, we see Jesus has just called Matthew to follow him, and as they are at Matthew’s house eating, Jesus is teaching and answering questions the pharisees and the crowd have. While Jesus is speaking, a ruler enters into the house and tells him that his daughter has just died, but that he believes if Jesus would come lay his hand on her, she would come back to life.
There are a couple things to note from this interruption. First, Jesus wasn’t bothered by this man, in fact, He was moved by his faith. In verse 19, the scripture says, “Jesus rose and followed him”. It doesn’t say that Jesus lashed out at the man for interrupting his teaching. It doesn’t say that Jesus told him to wait until He was done talking before He could address the man’s need. The scripture says that Jesus heard the man’s need and was moved into action immediately.
The other point we need to note from this interruption is the ruler’s confidence in Jesus. This man was willing to enter a house he was unfamiliar with, interrupt Jesus from teaching, and explain this troubling situation in front of total strangers. As I read this scripture, what I see is a man who was willing to do whatever it took to present his request to Jesus. He wasn’t worried about his reputation, and he wasn’t concerned about what others would think of him, because he was so confident in Jesus’ ability to heal.
So Jesus and his disciples follow this man to go and pray for his daughter. On the way to go pray with this man’s daughter, Jesus is interrupted again. This time, he is interrupted by a woman who wanted to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment because she believed even that would heal her of her disorder. When she reached out and touched Jesus’ garment, she was instantly healed. In that moment, Jesus turned to the woman and said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well”.
Not only was Jesus not bothered by the interruption, but he responds and fulfills her request of healing. Jesus never lost sight of His mission to seek and to save the lost. Even in the midst of busyness and interruption, Jesus continued to show grace and love to those around Him.
As Jesus and the ruler approach the ruler’s home, they see a crowd mourning the death of the girl, but Jesus says, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” Jesus enters into the house, grabs the girl by the hand, and she was instantly healed and brought back to life.
So, what can we learn from this chapter? The first thing we need to remember is that our mission is people. And with people comes interruption. Interruptions will be something that we deal with all the time. How we handle those interruptions will be what determines the impact we can make on the people around us.
The second thing we need to remember is that Jesus still responds to faith. Just as Jesus healed in response to faith throughout this chapter, we have to remember that He’s still healing. Too often we’re quick to jump ship when the going gets tough. We’re ready to throw in the towel once our faith is challenged by situations we’re facing. I want to encourage you today – don’t give up on what you’re praying for. If you’re facing a difficult circumstance today, let it build your faith not crush it. The same God that responds to faith in scripture is working in you and I today. When we keep our faith in God, He shows up by working in and through us.