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Jesus was so interruptible

Posted by on Mar 29, 2013 in community, discipleship, fellowship | 9 comments

Jesus was so interruptible

Yesterday, in my post “Walking as if other people are important,” I wrote that we should live – and even walk – in a way that demonstrates that other people are important to us. In that post, I quoted a post from some friends of mine who are now living in Africa. Some of the people they work with were talking about the way that foreigners walk: “with such determination that you don’t even stop to greet people on the way.”

In a comment responding to that post, my friend Art (from “”) said: “This begins to explain why Jesus was so interruptible.”

Jesus was so interruptible.

Let that sink in for a while… a few seconds… a few minutes… Or, like me, let it rattle around in your head for a few hours.

Jesus was so interruptible.

There’s a famous portion of Luke’s Gospel called “the journey narratives.” This is the last half of the book that begins in Luke 9:51 where he writes about Jesus: “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.”

So, Jesus “sets his face to go to Jerusalem.” He was on a mission… determined… had a goal in mind. But, even while he was moving with determination toward Jerusalem, he was still interruptible.

In Luke 9:51-56, Jesus tries to spend some time with some people in Samaria. In Luke 9:57-62, he talks with some people on the road. In Luke 10:1-12, he stops to spend time with 72 followers before sending them out to proclaim the good news of the kingdom. He later rejoices with that same group and spends some private time with them. In Luke 10:25-37, he even answers questions from a man who was only trying to test him, and Jesus then tells a story. In Luke 10:38-42, he stays in the home of Martha and Mary.

And, it keeps going from there. Even though Jesus was walking toward Jerusalem with determination, he was still interruptible.

Jesus was so interruptible.

I want to live interruptible as well. I want other people to be important to me like they were to Jesus. I don’t want to see other people as distractions or interruptions. I want to live interruptible.

Jesus was so interruptible.

And, if we are following Jesus, then we will be interruptible also.


9 Comments

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  1. 3-29-2013

    I used to wear a watch all the time. One day, I was talking to someone and glanced at my watch. He said to me, “Am I boring you?”

    Actually, he was. But in recalling this later, I realized that even boring people need to be listened to. I wondered how often I bored someone else.

    For almost a decade, I put the watch away and listened to people, boring or not.

    We are too busy. We need to slow down because we are missing so many opportunities in life to be better people in the name of Jesus.

  2. 3-29-2013

    Thanks for this article. I am serving a church as intentional Interim and more or less replanting the church. It has been knocked about by two former pastors. I want to incorporate this idea of being interruptible into our outreach studies that are centered on impacting our culture.

  3. 3-29-2013

    I really can not imagine what it was like to be around Him on earth. I can’t wait to be around Him and see Him interact & be with Him! He is SO amazing!

    I know that I am so far from having this type of love flow through me…. which is one of the many reasons God made me a mother.

  4. 3-30-2013

    It’s about attention, isn’t it? Am I attending to myself or to the other? My natural instinct is to attend to myself and only attend to others when they are supplying my need.

    But this goes way beyond the level of the natural. Not only must I pay attention to those around me, I must also pay attention to the Most High, to his Spirit, to the Son. I need to be interruptible, by the Lord, by my brother or sister, by my neighbour, and by my enemy.

    Does this sound familiar? Is being interruptible just one of the many facets of love?

    Great post, Alan. Thanks so much.

  5. 3-30-2013

    Chambers said that you can tell who has been through trials: they have time for you. I know this has been true for me.

  6. 4-2-2013

    Dan,

    I don’t wear a watch anymore… but I do still often look at my phone. Thanks for the reminder.

    Jon,

    I’d love to hear if the people begin to live more “interruptible.” I think it often take a long time and a lot of examples for this kind of change.

    Randi,

    Thank you for that image… seriously.

    Chris J.,

    No one wants to admit that they’re focused on themselves. But, if we’re not focused on others, then we’re focused on ourselves.

    Chris,

    Yep. Having time for people is definitely another way of being interruptible.

    -Alan

  7. 4-5-2013

    Been thinking about this post a lot… what’s remarkable to me is that this truth of Jesus being interruptible means that sometimes Jesus did NOT give full, undivided attention to some people.

    God can see the hearts behind the people interacting with Jesus so He would lead Jesus to the people who needed Him most or was hurting the most or would have the most impact on others? or had waited the longest? Who knows…. but if Jesus was interruptible… that means that if I was on earth when Jesus was… and I was talking to Jesus, He would not be rude to an interrupter and make them feel terrible for interrupting… but He also would probably allow people to interrupt me & Him sometimes.

    Just like a good parent can teach their children how to interrupt and show love to each other…I bet Jesus did that also with His followers. He was able to keep ‘order’ (though that probably looked a lot messier than we would be comfortable with because of how perfect & patient He is) and He was able to teach everybody to be patient and loving to each other as they interacted with Him.

    Him training His followers how to interact with each other & love each other is very apparent….. which is just so remarkable to me… like when the disciples were arguing about who would be greatest…. He reminded them how to love & serve each other & consider others greater than themselves always…

    So anyway, it’s just interesting to think that LOVE does give full undivided attention sometimes. Sometimes He wouldn’t let somebody else interrupt….. but sometimes He would.

    And finally — these limits He had in interaction with people on earth is probably mainly the reason that He said it was better that He go so the Spirit could come. The comforter can give us each “full attention” all at once — when we need attention, peace, love, affirmation.

    So I imagine in heaven we will have full access like we have now through the Spirit…but Jesus will be there also and will have a body and a form so I also can’t wait to talk directly to Him…. but in heaven, there won’t be need for interruptions because we will all know that we have eternity together so there’s no rush…and I would totally love to make everybody wait at least a year or 5 so I could get Jesus’ full attention… but I will trust that He will get me over my selfishness & pride so I can share… But the truth is that since there’s also no tears & sadness or sin….we won’t be desperate in our pain or hurt for Him… we will just want to be with Him to enjoy Him and that’s something we can all do together. We will be fully reconciled to Him and others so the interactions will just work themselves out somehow.

    So these are the things I think about randomly in my weeks. I know that we don’t have answers to these questions —- but I have enjoyed thinking of them the past weeks since you posted this. Thanks!! :)

  8. 4-8-2013

    Randi,

    I’ve been thinking about this post alot lately too… and I’ve even found myself being interruptible a few times. :)

    -Alan

  9. 4-9-2013

    simply focusing on one aspect of how amazing He is will even stir us to love better!!!