Jesus had this uncanny ability to be distracted without losing focus. Remember Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:40-56)? Jesus stopped to heal the unclean woman–giving her seemingly undivided attention, yet He never forgot or ignored Jairus and his daughter.

Someone said we should look at distractions as opportunities. Must have been before the days of smartphones. When I’m distracted by social media, that’s simply an “opportunity” to waste time. Throughout His public ministry, Jesus turned distractions and digressions into opportunities…opportunities for teaching, blessing, or healing, and sometimes for all three.

Occasionally through Lent this year, we’ve been looking at some of the distractionary opportunities Jesus experienced in the days before He entered Jerusalem like a king. There must have been some urgency in His spirit, some let’s-get-this-over-with moments (like when I’m running, and I speed up on a hill just so it’ll be finished faster), but He continued toward His end goal at the pace set by His Father.

This week, let’s review some previous posts about these opportunities.

stream bed
(c) Carole Sparks

Whaddaya Want?    As Jesus approached Jericho for the last time, a blind man called out for mercy. Jesus made him say it out loud: I’m weak, I’m messed up, I need You. Why? It wasn’t because Jesus didn’t realize his blindness. Take a closer look with me.

07-18 pretty tree
kinda like a sycamore tree (c) Carole Sparks

The Largess of a Not-Large Man    Just after (or maybe just before) Jesus healed the blind man/men outside Jericho, he enjoyed a big party at Zacchaeus’ house. In my study on generosity last year, this tax collector’s generous response to Jesus stuck in my mind. He changed Jericho for a generation or more!

IMG_0825
new growth (c) Carole Sparks

Guilt By Association    After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the Pharisees put a price on His head. And yet, a band of friends wasn’t afraid to have dinner with Him. One hosted, some sat at the table with Him, and some stood back to judge. Which crowd would you have joined? (John places this scene before the Triumphal Entry, but Matthew & Mark place it just a couple of days before Passover.)

As we set our minds toward Easter, and even as we work toward our daily goals, let’s reject distractions but take advantage of distractionary opportunities.

Jesus masterfully turned distractions into opportunities on His way to the cross. In the same way, my #endgoal is #NotAboutMe, via @Carole_Sparks. (click to tweet)

I hope one of these pieces strikes your interest. Leave me a note on the individual posts or come back here and let me know what you think in the comments below. It’s time to set our minds toward Easter!

Previously in this series: On the Way to the Cross: Who’s Hollering?

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