How Jesus Viewed Interruptions

November 8, 2020

David Sorn

When you get interrupted, how likely are you to be generous with your time? Let’s observe today how generous Jesus was with His time.

How Jesus Viewed Interruptions

November 8, 2020

David Sorn

When you get interrupted, how likely are you to be generous with your time? Let’s observe today how generous Jesus was with His time.

SERMON TRANSCRIPT | Matthew 14: 13-14



How many of you like being interrupted?

Okay, none of you.

We don’t enjoy being interrupted

And it seems with COVID and working from home and distance learning and everything else being thrown at us, there are more interruptions than ever.

Maybe you dream of a day or a life without interruptions? I do.

If I tell you to think of a place where you feel really at peace…you’re probably not picturing your living room or kitchen, or your office at work.

In fact, you might not be picturing anyone there with you at all.

For some of us, interruptions are a lot harder than others.

If you’re an introvert for example, which, can I just say, “It’s so cool, popular, and trendy to say you’re an introvert nowadays”

I can’t wait until extroversion comes back in style.

But if you’re an introvert, an interruption is time taken away from your recharging time.

Or maybe you’re like me…I’m the exact opposite of the “go-with-the-flow” type of guy.

I have my day planned out, minute-by-minute before I wake up each day.

An interruption is a detour from what I had planned.

And yet, what if, sometimes, your interruptions are just opportunities?

Opportunities for you to reflect God’s generosity?

We are wrapping up our Generous Like Jesus series today

We spent the first couple of weeks talking about what it means to be generous with our finances, and today, we’re going to talk about what it means to be generous with our time…especially when we don’t want to be J


We’re going to take a look at just 2 verses today in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament.

That’s one of the books about Jesus’ life.

(Renovation App)

(Bible – Weekly Verses)

Our two verses are sandwiched in between two other major stories in the Bible.

In the first story, Jesus’ friend and relative, John the Baptist, was murdered by King Herod…and Jesus is just about to be informed of it

And in the second story, Jesus miraculously feeds 5,000 men, and also women and children.

Both of those stories in context will matter for our two verses today.

Let’s take a look

(Matthew 14:13-14) – NIV

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

It starts by just saying, “When Jesus heard what happened…”

When Jesus heard that John, the one who baptized Him…the great prophet, his family member even…was brutally killed…

Jesus is sad.

He decides to take a break from ministry for a bit…maybe a day, a weekend, we’re not quite sure.

But we see that Jesus’ life is hard.

We say that a lot here… “life is hard”

It was hard even for the Son of God on earth.

Life involves many difficulties, death of loved ones, and all hosts of challenges.

It’s hard.

Sometimes I think we picture the disciple’s 3 years of following Jesus incorrectly.

It’s easy to think of the excitement of being near Jesus and being a first-hand witness to countless miracles.

But boy, it must have been exhausting too.

For the disciples and Jesus

They’re always on the go…moving from town to town…never really having a home (we’re told the Son of Man has no place of his own to lay his head)

They’re ministering to people all day long and seeing amazing miracles…which is great…but the emotional rollercoaster of it…is also absolutely exhausting.

Not to mention that the persecution is growing every month.

At first they’re just peppered with questions by the religious leaders…but then the Pharisees begin looking for ways to kill them.

And now John the Baptist is dead…and Luke tells us in his account of this story, that Herod is now looking for Jesus.

Just ONE of those things (traveling, miracles, persecution) is exhausting, but all 3 is utterly exhausting.

And so Jesus decides it’s time for them to get away, by boat, to a solitary place.

This part of the story is also in Mark, and we see that Jesus wasn’t just withdrawing completely by himself, but also invited the disciples.

(Mark 6:31-32) – NIV

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.

Jesus in a sense has said to them, “Hey guys, I know you’re worn out. Come away with me. We’ll do a retreat together, and you’ll get a lot of alone time to just relax and refill your soul. We need it.”


And indeed we do too today.

It’s been a long, hard year.

You’re probably tired.

God did not build you to go and go and go and work and work and work.

We all need a time to rest and recoup with the Lord.

And even more importantly, we need sabbath rhythms

Daily, we all need a short time to rest each day, to put our phones down, shut off the TV, and rest ours mind…talk with our creator

Weekly, we need a day…one day…every week, to not work, to put extra focus on God and replenishing our soul.

Yearly, we need a time to take a week off if you can, even better go somewhere and get a way…and put extra focus on God, your faith, family.

Sabbath Rhythms.

If you’re interested in this topic, we did an entire message on “Sabbath Rhythms” about a year and a half ago.

Our messages page of our website has incredible tool where you can search by any word in a message…so you can just search there.

You just need to know how to spell Rhythm. Good luck.

And part of finding a rhythm is finding your spot to get away to that solitary place…and have time to think, and for the Christian, be with God.

Just this week, I read this from Christian author Mark Batterson

He writes about how Susanna Wesley, who gave birth to 19 children, 2 of which were the famous brother duo of John & Charles Wesley

And if you think your life is hard, listen to her biography, which isn’t that different than anyone else’s in the 1700’s

9 of her 19 children died in infancy.

1 was accidentally smothered by the maid

Her life was…hard.

And yet, history tells us she was an absolutely remarkable woman.

She raised two of the greats in Christian history, John & Charles Wesley, who started the Methodist Church…which was an absolutely incredible movement of God back in the 1700 and 1800’s

But Susana Wesley, despite her hard life, and her small home, full of many children running around, had her spot.

A spot where she met with Jesus every day

It was a rocking chair in the middle of a room.

And when she threw a blanket over herself, that was her tent of meeting.

She met with God…


We all need places like that.

But the question is…what do you do when you’re interrupted though?

How do you respond?

Let’s look at our two verses again:

(Matthew 14:13-14) – NIV

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Think about this…

Jesus and his disciples get in a boat to a more remote region for their retreat…

But as they finish crossing the lake, and they’re pulling in the boat, talking about how refreshed they’re going to be after a weekend away

…they look up, and, oh my, there’s a massive, smiling crowd (out of breath), waving at them. J

The crowd literally chased them down…on foot!

And if you’re one of the disciples, what are you thinking??

I’ll tell you what I’m thinking…


“Jesus, I got this. I’m getting rid of this crowd right now. This was NOT on the weekend retreat agenda!”

I mean, this would be like if your work was really stressful this past year, but you finally booked a vacation up in Northern MN, and when you get to your cabin, you open the door, and your boss is there with a list of things to do”

Or, you finally get a weekend away from the kids to go away on a romantic weekend with your spouse, but grandma decides to surprise you by bringing the kids up to meet you at your cabin


But thankfully Jesus isn’t us.

It says, when Jesus saw them, he had COMPASSION on them and healed their sick.

And that word compassion is important.

In the Greek it means to feel for someone else from deep down in your gut.

It’s a burden from deep within you.

And so, if I’m the 13th disciple, say Davidius, I’m going, “Oh man, get these people out of here…”

But Jesus feels so much compassion for them that he’s going to heal their sick all day long, and it’s later that SAME day that the feeding of the 5,000 takes place.


And by that point, the disciples literally do say, “Send the people home!”

Read the rest of the chapter this week

But thankfully Jesus responds differently

It’s maybe good to think about how we might react if we were there, but a better question might be to ask, “How do you respond when you are interrupted in real life? Especially if it’s when you’re trying to refill, sabbath, relax, meet with Jesus?”

Say your young kids are down for nap, and you’ve finally got a moment of peace and quiet, until you hear, “MOM…DAD…I had an accident”

Or, you’ve had a crazy week, but you’re finally going out on a date tonight…and you’re really looking forward to it…

But your good friend texts you, and says their having the hardest week even, and they need to talk to you…tonight.

“Really, tonight?!? Does it have to be TONIGHT?”

Maybe you’re completely worn out by this year, but you have a needy family member…

Maybe it’s an adult child, or sibling, even a parent…

And they keep needing your help…

OR,…You come to church, and you just want someone to pour into you…but some pastor is on stage talking about how other people need you to serve and pour into them…

In reality, we’re interrupted all the time.

And so often, we fail to look like Jesus when someone interrupts “our time.”

And do you know why that is?

It’s not really that different than when we were talking about money the past 2 weeks.

We miss the heart of Jesus, when we say, this is “my time”

Just as you would miss it, if you said, this is “my money”

We miss his heart when we make hard distinctions like that.

I mean, think about it, Jesus could have easily dismissed the crowd by saying, “Sorry everyone, this is my personal alone time with the Father. It’s VERY important. See you tomorrow at 9am”

And yet, almost surprisingly to us as Americans (if we’re honest), He doesn’t say that.

His actions arise out of his generous heart, which always puts others in front of Himself…all the way to his death.

We’ve talked about this often in 2020

The Christ follower is to consider others as more important than themselves.


Because that’s what Jesus did.

But you can’t do that if you live as if you have certain parts of your life that always “MY TIME”

Now, I can hear some of the objections to this in your head.

Some of you are saying, “But what about boundaries? Don’t I need to tell some people “no” once in a while?”


Shouldn’t I have boundaries on when it’s my time to be alone with God?


Guard that, and guard it well.

I’m really serious about guarding my sabbath, my day off for example.

But I’m learning, and the Scripture teaches, it can’t be an absolute rule.

And at the end of the day, it’s not “your time”

Your life is meant to be lived as a generous blessing.

And often, we’re missing what God wants to do through us because we’re putting ourselves first.

Throughout the Gospels, we see that Jesus values sabbath rhythms.

He values rest, recuperation, refilling.

But He never values it over people.

How many times do we see Him healing on his day of sabbath rest for instance?

And He’s able to do that because while He has rhythms of rest, He’s okay letting them get interrupted once in a while to bring God’s heart to another.

And I think we miss this in the modern self-care movement.

Self-care (taking care of yourself through rest, sleep, alone time, and more) is too often played as a “Trump Card” nowadays to get out of serving others

We say, “I would come and help you move, or listen to your hard day, but I just really need to focus on self-care right now.”

And surely there are people who need more self-care in their lives…

…they have no boundaries, and they’re running themselves into to the ground serving other people.

But in my experience as a pastor, that’s a small minority of the American population.

The rest of us are not being generous with the help we could give people because we have to make sure that we relax and recuperate (in front of a screen for 55 hours a week) …all in the name of self-care J

And this is why studying WHO JESUS IS is so important if we are to reflect Him.

Think about this.

I want you to think like a person in the crowd in Matthew 14

The people in the crowd are hurting.

They are sick in their body.

Some have diseases that will take their life.

Others are sick in their soul and need the words of Jesus to bring them back…

Pretend you’re in this crowd…and you feel like your life is on the brink.

And you’ve maybe already walked for 2 days just to see Jesus, but word is that He just left in a boat.

And then, the rumors start flying that Jesus has been seen in his boat heading for a place around the bend of the lake, but it’s a number of miles away.

And so, along with the crowd…you just start running

And the whole time you’re running, with blisters on your feet, and your heart beating from pushing it so hard…

You’re thinking, “I don’t even know why I’m trying this…He’s never going to heal me. He left to get alone…that’s what they said”

But you NEED Jesus, so you push on.

And you get there, just seconds before he’s pushing his boat into the sand.

And as he steps out of the boat, you’re kind of waiting for Him to yell at you all for interrupting Him…

But instead of looking mad, He smiles…

And he walks over to you, grabs your hand, asks you your name and your story…And he loves you…and He heals you.

That’s WHO Jesus is.

And so you can run to Him, and you can come to Him…anytime.

And my Christian friends, That is who we want to reflect to the people around us when they come to us…even if we’re busy.

Ooohhhh… what we could do for this world if THAT is what they saw in us when they came to us…

…even if they felt like they were interrupting us.

And so see your interruptions, not as interruptions, but as opportunities.

Opportunities to reflect the generosity of Jesus.

Let me pray.

Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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