Divine Interruptions

Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,

We’ve been continuing our study of people in the gospels who encountered Jesus and the impact Jesus had on them. This past Sunday we looked at Mark 2:1-12, which records the healing of the paralyzed man who was carried on his mat to Jesus by his four friends. Unable to enter the house where Jesus was teaching because of the large crowd, the friends climbed the stairs on the outside of the house up to the flat roof. They then dug a hole in the roof, lowered their paralyzed friend on his mat to where Jesus was teaching. Jesus first forgave the sins of the man (meeting his greatest need), and then healed him so the man was able to get up and walk out under his own power.

One aspect of this episode I did not have time to mention on Sunday has to do with the owner of the house. He is not identified or even mentioned in this passage, but he played such an important role. First, he graciously opened his house for Jesus to teach the crowd of people that gathered. And second, when he saw his house being damaged as the four friends made the hole in the roof, he didn’t intervene. He didn’t go up to the roof and demand that the four friends stop destroying his house. He allowed this whole event to continue.

What this tells is that somehow this person was able to recognize what was most important. He sensed that this was not merely an interruption to the meeting, but a divine appointment. He was able to discern that something of far greater worth was taking place than whatever the value of his roof was. Because of this, the paralyzed man was both forgiven and healed, the crowd of people saw a dramatic display of the divine identity and power of Jesus, and we have been left with this moving account in Scripture.

There is much for us to learn here. More than a few times we will experience “an interruption” of some kind. We have our day planned out, we are in the midst of our pre-determined routine, and suddenly we are interrupted. It may take the form of – from our perspective – an untimely phone call from a friend facing some difficulty, or a co-worker we can’t help but notice is discouraged or sad. It may be one of our children who – right during our favorite television program – is upset about something that happened at school. It may be that just when we are on the verge of falling asleep for the night, we suddenly have this strong sense we need to write an email to a friend, or simply to pray for someone.

This is not to suggest that every interruption to our plans and routines is a “divine interruption,” but sometimes they are. So, it will be good for us to always be sensitive to the leading of God’s Spirit. It may be as simple as uttering a quick prayer, “God, is this from You? Have You brought this person or this situation to me at this time?” If we develop this sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, and respond accordingly, we will have the joy of seeing God work through us in amazing and unexpected ways.

May God give each of us grace to recognize what is most important, what is of Him.

Pastor Bob

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