God Running is a place for anyone who wants to (or even anyone who wants to want to) love Jesus more deeply, follow Jesus more closely, and love people the way Jesus wants us to.
In our last post from the book of Acts we left off where Peter was sharing Jesus with the crowd using the Old Testament scriptures. If you’re interested you can check out that post here: Who Cares About the Old Testament? — Acts 3:24-26. In today’s post we’ll look at what happens to Peter and John during Peter’s wonderful speech about Jesus.
And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.Acts 4:1-5
An Interruption of Colossal Proportions
So as I just wrote, today we’ll look at what happens to Peter and John during Peter’s wonderful speech about Jesus. So what does happen? Here’s Peter doing one of the best things anyone can ever do: He’s sharing Jesus, and he’s sharing persuasively, and eloquently, and with the weight of God’s Holy word as his foundation. So while doing this very good thing, in the very midst of sharing the Light of the world with the crowd at the temple, what happens?
Peter is interrupted in a most disruptive way.
The priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees have great consternation because Peter and John are teaching people about Jesus. And because they were proclaiming the hope we have in Jesus which is the resurrection. In fact, they were so upset about it, they had them arrested and put them in custody.
I Should Have Known I’d Be Interrupted
I’ve known for a week now that I was going to write about interruptions and the way today has gone I think it’s likely that God had something special in mind for me today. You see, Friday is blog day around the Bennett house and everyone knows it. On Friday I write. Friday’s are, in a sense, sacred. Friday’s are guarded jealously. Friday’s — they’re important.
So my goal for today was to write about interruptions — with no interruptions.
Here’s what happened.
My son Nate called yesterday, Thursday, and asked if he could come over and help me with my video set up (because I’m going to start a YouTube channel). I told him no, because that’s my blog day, so, “No, can’t do it that day.” But then I thought about how my time is more flexible than Nate’s time and how much value he brings to the table (he used to be an independent film maker). So I made an exception and I reversed myself. I said yes.
So today, Friday, Nate comes over and I’m thinking, “We need to dive in here and get this done as quickly as possible, because — I need to write a blog post today.”
As this thought is matriculating through my consciousness Nate and Kathy get into a discussion about the current state of COVID. Knowing what I’m about to write, I decide that if Nate’s Mom wants to spend some time talking with her son, then Nate’s Mom should have time to talk with her son.
Eventually Kathy had to leave. So finally it was time to get to work.
Except, just as Kathy was leaving, my oldest son Gabe shows up. Kathy let him in as she was heading out. Gabe had decided to bring over some homemade ice cream for me to try. What could I do but sample the ice cream — and then sample some more — and then make a root beer float with what remained.
It was delicious.
Eventually Gabe had to leave. So finally it was time to get to work.
Gabe had to leave so he could pick up his wife Charise and his son, my grandson, Andrew from the dentist which is just a ten minute walk from our house.
Just seconds after Gabe headed out, I hear Andrew’s voice downstairs in my living room. Charise and Andrew decided to walk to our house from the dentist and just meet up with Gabe here. But somehow Gabe didn’t get the message. So I visited with Charise and Andrew for a couple of minutes while we waited for Gabe to come back and pick them up.
Then they had to leave. So finally it was time to get to work.
But as we started in, Nate quickly came to the conclusion that I needed a different microphone. So we headed off to the local Guitar Center and grabbed a mic.
By then it was time for lunch so we hit Sarku’s and grabbed some Bento Boxes. Then we arrived home with the new equipment. Finally it was time to get to work.
And we did.
We got in some good work and made great progress on setting up the YouTube channel.
By the time Nate left though, it was dinner time and I hadn’t written a single word yet. But, finally it was time to get to work, on the next item on my agenda which was/is this blog post.
But Kathy had something she needed to talk about.
Poor Kathy. By now I’m coming out of my skin knowing I have a late night ahead of me. The only way I can do these blog posts is to set a hard deadline for myself of 4:55 am every Saturday morning. I tried hard to listen patiently but eventually Kathy could see I was indeed starting to come out of my skin. She graciously ended the conversation and made me a hamburger.
So finally it was time to get to work.
But just as my fingers were hitting the keyboard, my daughter Anastasia called. She had something important she needed to talk to me about.
It was at this point that I began to surrender. I hit the pause button on my to do list and enjoyed a great conversation with Anastasia.
Jesus and Interruptions
So here’s what I want to say on this late Friday evening. Here’s what I’ve known I wanted to say for a week now.
I’m supposed to be interrupted. And you’re supposed to be interrupted too. I’m convinced God intentionally designed life on planet earth to include interruptions. Interruptions happen often. Interruptions are everywhere. Interruptions are supposed to happen.
So I’m going to be interrupted, I can expect it, and so can you. Recognizing this, I can look to Jesus to see how God wants me to respond to interrupters, and interruptions.
One Sabbath Jesus was teaching in the synagogue and a man with an unclean spirit interrupted him: “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy one of God.” Jesus doesn’t miss a beat. He simply rebukes the unclean spirit: “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the man was delivered. (Mark 1:21-26)
Once while Jesus was alone in a remote place praying, his disciples interrupted him. “Everyone is looking for you,” they said. Jesus didn’t complain or send them away. Instead he said, “Let’s go to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that’s why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and delivering people from demons. (Mark 1:35-39)
Another time Jesus’ Sabbath was interrupted by a man with a withered hand. “Come here,” Jesus said to the man. Then he asked the Pharisees if it was lawful to interrupt the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” They wouldn’t answer. So Jesus healed his hand. (Mark 3:3-6)
Still another time Jesus was traveling through Samaria on his way to teach in a town on the other side when the Samaritans asked him to interrupt his itinerary and stay with them. He stayed there for two days. (John 4:40)
So we see that Jesus was absolutely amazing when it came to interruptions. Jesus seemed to treat the interruption as though it was better than whatever was being interrupted. It was as though he expected these interruptions. It was as though Jesus thought these interruptions were supposed to happen. It was as though Jesus recognized interruptions as part of God’s plan for Jesus.
Interruptions and You
How Jesus responded to interruptions is one of the secrets of how he loved people and loved God so well.
“My times are in your hand . . .” The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 31:15. Jesus recognized interruptions as opportunities from God. Jesus surrendered to whatever God had in mind for him including interruptions. Jesus recognized interruptions as opportunities to love people. Jesus’ times were in God’s hand and he went with the flow when God allowed Jesus to be interrupted.
If I, if you, if we can love the interrupter, and respond to the interruption the way Jesus did, as though whatever the interruption is, is better than whatever’s being interrupted, we can love like Jesus loved.
Peter and John were doing the best thing ever when they were interrupted by the authorities arresting them and taking them into custody. And in a few verses we’ll see that they were filled with God’s Holy Spirit and they took it in stride. Not only that but even though they were interrupted, 5,000 were saved by what Peter shared. And it may even be that some of those 5,000 were moved to receive Christ, because Peter and John were arrested.
I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be interrupted by being arrested while doing the best possible thing ever. I can become frustrated when I’m interrupted by an unexpected visitor or an unexpected phone call. When that happens I’m unlikely to receive God’s Holy Spirit the way Peter and John did. And when that happens I’m unlikely to be used by God the way Peter and John were.
When I become frustrated with interruptions, it seriously compromises my ability to love people the way Jesus loved people.
“Father, have mercy on us for those times we become frustrated with those who interrupt us. Change us. Please help me, and help the dear person reading this blog post to respond to interruptions the way Jesus did. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit the way you did Peter and John. Bless us with the Spirit of Christ whenever we’re interrupted. Give us the great privilege of having Jesus’ love flow out of us onto those who interrupt us.
“We want to be made into the likeness of Jesus, Father. Please help us.
“In Jesus’ name.
(You might also like Jesus Interrupted: Frustrations, Interruptions, and the Love of Christ)
Image of handcuffed man via picturexv — public domain
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Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)
Love Like Jesus begins with the story of how after a life of regular church attendance and Bible study, Bennett was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. That led to an obsessive seven year deep dive. After pouring over Jesus’ every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job of studying Jesus’ words than he was following Jesus’ words and example. The honest and fearless revelations of Bennett’s own moral failures affirm he wrote this book for himself as much as for others.
Love Like Jesus examines a variety of stories, examples, and research, including:
- Specific examples of how Jesus communicated God’s love to others.
- How Jesus demonstrated all five of Gary Chapman’s love languages (and how you can too).
- The story of how Billy Graham extended Christ’s extraordinary love and grace toward a man who misrepresented Jesus to millions.
- How to respond to critics the way Jesus did.
- How to love unlovable people the way Jesus did.
- How to survive a life of loving like Jesus (or how not to become a Christian doormat).
- How Jesus didn’t love everyone the same (and why you shouldn’t either).
- How Jesus guarded his heart by taking care of himself–he even napped–and why you should do the same.
- How Jesus loved his betrayer Judas, even to the very end.
With genuine unfiltered honesty, Love Like Jesus, shows you how to live a life according to God’s definition of success: A life of loving God well, and loving the people around you well too.
A life of loving like Jesus.