Vital signs- Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Read- Mark 5:21-43

The disciples. Oh, these poor guys. It’s amusing to think about what they experienced as they followed Jesus around during His ministry. It’s not that their intentions were bad. They were often just trying to move Jesus through crowds in order to get Him to important places and engagements. They knew He was preaching the truth, and they were eager to see the word spread. Logic told them that Jesus needed to be in this place, where He could make the most of His time and opportunities.

Imagine what it might have felt like, then, to watch Jesus get interrupted along the way. It must’ve been puzzling and a bit irritating to witness Him stopping to talk with a blind beggar or a tax collector perched in a tree. Can’t you just see the disciples? Putting their hands over their faces, shaking their heads, trying desperately to understand why Jesus keeps allowing all these interruptions?

Take the story told in Mark 5. Jairus, a well-known leader in the community, comes to Jesus desperate and pleading for Him to come heal his daughter. She’s dying, Jairus tells Him. Will He come? 

Jesus agrees, and the disciples are pushing through the throng of people, rushing Him toward Jairus’s home when suddenly Jesus stops. He turns and asks, “Who touched my robe?”

The disciples must have been befuddled at this point. They’re in the middle of this crowd that keeps pressing in toward Jesus, and Jesus is asking who touched His robe. Perhaps one of them blurted out, “Um . . . everyone?”

We discover that a woman with a long-term illness has been healed by her faith, knowing if she could just touch His robe, she’d be healed. In the meantime, during this interruption, messengers arrive with the news that Jairus’s daughter has passed away. 

Surely, from the disciples’ point of view, the situation looks hopeless. The little girl is dead. If Jesus hadn’t gotten distracted, maybe He would have made it in time to heal her.

The story goes on to reveal one of Jesus’ biggest miracles, as He brings the girl back to life. But the story also illustrates one of Jesus’ many wonderful traits, which was that He was willing to be interrupted for the sake of connection, of relationship. 

Jesus didn’t mind people or the constant interruptions. We must drive Him crazy, yet He still interacts with us, still has time for us, still says yes to giving us His attention. Jesus knows the secret—that every interruption has the power to be an encounter of eternal significance. But it all begins with a yes.

In much the same way, keeping our agenda on a loose leash will allow relational interruptions into our lives. This approach allows us to prioritize people over agendas. Interruptions allow God to work in unexpected ways, and if we’re willing to hand over our daily agendas to God, we begin to see how much He’s ready to cultivate the relationships around us.


What is the thing that’s hardest for you to let go of in your daily agenda? What would be the hardest to give up if a friend needed you to?


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