Often someone or something interrupts our schedule. Webster states that to interrupt is “to stop or hinder by breaking in…to break the uniformity or continuity of.” So, by definition, to interrupt is to stop or hinder progress by breaking in. I don’t believe Jesus thought that at all. In fact, if you take a focused look in the gospels, you will see that an interruption many times ended up being Jesus’ assignment to show compassion that day. Allow me to give you a couple of examples.
Luke 18:15-17 is an amazing text. “15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’” Jesus taught in the midst of a number of people including “sinners and tax collectors” with Pharisees muttering in the background. Seemingly, it was an important opportunity for Jesus. However, people were being interruptive bringing babies to Jesus to receive a blessing from Him. This perturbed the disciples and they rebuked the parents. I am sure their thoughts were, “how insensitive of you! You continue to interrupt the progress that Jesus is making in other lives.” However, Jesus had a very different idea. He called the kids to him tenderly ministering to them compassionately equating childlike faith to the genuine kingdom of God. This interruption became the very assignment of Jesus. Compassion many times does not fit our schedule. By the way, when your kids “interrupt” your schedule, do you make them feel that they are a hindrance to progress or do they become your assignment to be compassionate?
One of the greatest lessons of compassion in the scripture is the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. “30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy (compassion)on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” This story from Jesus does not need commentary. The religious leaders did not have time from their tight schedules to be interrupted or inconvenienced. The injured, filthy man would be a hindrance to their progress. Then, a Samaritan who the religious leaders would have considered a sinner allowed his schedule to be interrupted and spent his day showing great compassion for the injured man. He realized that his assignment for that day was the interruption…to care for the hurting man.
Hey guys, let’s not schedule out compassion. As Jesus leads us, many times compassion may become our assignment for that day. Oh, by the way, as I am writing this devotion, three of my grandkids want to see their granddad. Time for me to show compassion!