You know, the one who always has a comment about every subject and even stops the teacher in the middle of a lecture to insert his idea. Or your boss is giving a report and that guy has to throw his two cents into what was not previously a discussion.
That guy is annoying, but that guy is common and he’s been common for awhile. Even Jesus dealt with that guy interrupting his teaching.
|Photo from EducationNews.org|
In Luke 12, several thousand people crowded around the hear Jesus teach. A large crowd had been gathering in chapter 11, before Jesus went to eat at the home of a Pharisee. When he left the house, the religious leaders were trying to trap him (they are persistent, you have to give them that), but the people began to gather even more.
The crowd swelled to such a size that they began to trample on one another. Apparently going to hear Jesus teach was like braving Black Friday sales after Thanksgiving, except instead of getting a black eye after fighting with another parent over the last singing Elmo toy, you get to hear the Word of God share the words of God. But you know, same difference.
Jesus began to teach, at first, to just his disciples, who were apparently close around him. He warned them of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and how it would end up turning violent. They should be prepared to be brought up on false charges before courts, but be open to the Holy Spirit using them to share Christ even in those situations.
Then that guy shows up.
Maybe he’d saw the crowd and had just wandered up late. He could have been waiting for Jesus to catch a breath, so he could ask his question. Either way, he felt like this was a great time to stop Jesus’ teaching to ask him a really important favor.
“Jesus, tell my brother to split the inheritance with me.”
Seriously? You have the Son of God preaching and teaching right there. You pluck up enough courage (or stupidity) to interrupt him and ask something of him and all you’ve got is wanting Jesus to tell your brother to share. That sounds like my 7-year-old coming down stairs from playing Legos with his older brother. “He won’t share with me!”
Initially, Jesus does give the guy a bit of a rebuke, but Jesus uses his request (which Jesus never directly answered) to shift topics to describing the dangers of greed and the futility in chasing after wealth and possessions. Jesus takes the interruption and, as He so often does, redeems it.
As I read this passage and I thought about this guy butting in on Jesus’ teaching just to get his personal request in. I was all set to blast him, until I realized that guy is me.
How often do I not let Jesus speak to me because I’m too busy giving Him my list of
demands (if I’m being honest)? He’s trying to teach me; I’m trying to please me.
So often, be it when I’m praying, reading His word, listening to a sermon, and I sense that He’s there with me, I don’t want the opportunity to pass by until I’ve said my piece and got my blessing order in.
“I’ll take a nice job, a good house, a comfortable lifestyle … oh and can I super-size that to include more attention for my writing? Thanks Jesus, I’ll pull around to the window now.”
I’m the guy interrupting Jesus with stupid requests and thoughts about such temporal, temporary stuff. He’s the one constantly working to redeem those selfish demands into moments of growth.
How do I know I’m not there yet? When I’m in the presence of the King, I want to talk about myself, instead of Him.
Too often, I’m that guy. Anybody else?