Today’s Scripture: Mark 8:10-13
10 Immediately after this, he got into a boat with his disciples and crossed over to the region of Dalmanutha.
11 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had arrived, they came and started to argue with him. Testing him, they demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.
12 When he heard this, he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, I will not give this generation any such sign.” 13 So he got back into the boat and left them, and he crossed to the other side of the lake.
One piece of advice I got from my Dad growing up was that I do not need to react or engage with people who are harassing me or looking for a fight. I always have the choice to just walk away. Walking away doesn’t mean you’re weak, he would say. It means you’re making a choice to be the bigger man. I wish I could say I’ve always taken his advice!
But of course, there have been many times when I have met harassment with harassment – fighting words with fighting words – overreaction with overreaction.
In this episode in Mark, Jesus is a perfect example of how to walk away. No sooner had he gotten off the boat in Dalmanutha that the Pharisees started to argue with him. Seriously? At least let the man get his bearings!
But no, the Pharisees were not interested in a polite debate. In fact, they were not interested in a debate at all. They just wanted to antagonize, fight, and get a rise out of Jesus.
We tend to think of Jesus as the passive guy who just let things slide off his back. But I like to think that in this situation, he knew that he was not going to be able to “let it go”. So, instead of standing there and letting them try and get him to react – he simply got back in the boat and left.
Or maybe he knew that he COULD have taken it and argued with them – but for his own well-being decided it was best to just leave.
Sometimes we have to get back in the boat. Sometimes we have to walk away. It’s for our own mental health as well as the protection of others! Walking away is a very “Jesus thing” to do. So the next time someone tries to bait you to reacting – maybe just get back in the boat.
God help us to realize that we do not have to rise to every challenge or meet attack with attack. Sometimes it’s best to just walk away. Give us the courage to do so when needed.
This Week’s Immerse Passages:
Week 5, Feb 1-7
Day 21 257-268 Mk 1:1-6:6
Day 22 268-279 Mk 6:6-10:52
Day 23 279-292 Mk 11:1-16:20
Day 24 293-301 1Pe 1:1-5:14
Day 25 303-310 2Pe 1:1-3:18; Jud