Escape capture

April 29, 2016 | 13 comments

The following verse arrested my attention in the book of John about Jesus’ course of action after he pronounced some deep spiritual truths that made certain members of his audience want to kill him.

“…they sought again to seize him, but he escaped out of their hand” John 10:39, NKJV.

Jesus was a very good man, and was intent only on helping and healing people. But his teachings were often misunderstood and taken in the wrong way. His preaching could stir up anger and hostility toward him, and create enemies that wanted to capture and kill him.

Considering how spiritually powerful and capable Jesus was, his choice to leave, or, “escape out of their hand” was fascinating to me.

Why did he leave? Why didn’t he stay and pounce all over those who opposed him, put them in their right place, so to speak?

As I pondered, I found his course of action instructive.

Jesus was no fool. Even though he could raise the dead, walk on water, and shut down demons with a few words, he also knew when it was time to stay and time to leave according to what was brewing in the mental atmosphere around him.

When the carnal mind turned up the heat and wanted to destroy him, he didn’t stay in the fire if it wasn’t in his best interest. He exited. He lived on his own terms, not according to what his enemies wanted.

Eventually, he did allow his capture with the impending crucifixion, but that was with his consent. He allowed that experience to occur when he was ready to prove a point, which was done for all time to come in his resurrection.

But his decision to nimbly leave before his enemies could capture him, which he repeated several times during his roving ministry, is a rule we all can learn from.

In military warfare, one side plots and plans with all their might to stay out of enemy hands. That’s clear and necessary for survival and victory. The same rule applies to any relationship we have with those who would oppose us.

In personal relationships, with family, neighbors and business acquaintances, if tension ever builds, tempers flare, false accusations fly, misunderstanding dominates, or deceit and dishonesty rear their ugly heads, employing Jesus’ “exit strategy,” may be a wise course of action. And his exit strategy was one of not getting caught up into the state of mind of his enemy, such as getting angry and vengeful in return, or self-righteous about his position. He stated his truth and let it stand without feeling a personal need to constantly defend it.

As we keep our attitude free of arrogant ego, self-righteousness, and bloated pride, we can be wiser than our enemies too. Humility and meekness keep thought tuned to God’s wise direction and enable us to know what course of action to pursue that preserves the good and keeps us out of harm’s way.

We can be like Jesus, when it’s appropriate. We can state our case and then leave implementation of its cause to God’s timely and wise dispensation of events. We can avoid stepping into any enemy trap of battling egos in the meantime.

The Mind of Christ is humble, meek, discerning, wise, and always one step ahead of evil. With the Mind of Christ, we can stay one step ahead of evil too and escape capture.

13 thoughts on “Escape capture”

  1. Thank you Evan. This is well stated and gives me much to think about.
    I am learning that Jesus’ expression of meekness showed us just how powerful the living of meekness can be.

  2. Super, thanks for shedding light on that connection of meekness and power. As you said, state the truth then leave it to God. Thanks so much.

  3. Deeply grateful Evan, for such a lovely guidance, as to what steps should one take when tension builds in personal relationships, tempers flare, false accusations fly, misunderstanding dominates, or deceit and dishonesty rear their ugly heads, Yes if we keep calm and not allow pride, anger, self righteousness or ego to dominate our thinking, we can be more receptive to God’s guidance.
    As you showed the way – being Christ like keeps us safe and untouched.
    Thanks so very much. Your inspirations always come as answers to the issues we face in our day to day life.

  4. Thank you Evan. I recently had to state my position on a legal issue and then decide whether to let it stand. I wondered if I should do more but decided to leave it with God, which to me means my next action is to actively trust that all is safe in His care. Yesterday I was asked if I wanted to reconsider and take action. Again I felt safe in declining. I feel so blessed when I finally reach this point of action, which is spiritual stillness and not engagement and retaliation. I so appreciate your explanation today of the Christly way to respond and live.

  5. Bless you, Evan! You are offering to us so much of what we need to live as fully functioning human beings in the world. To be in the world, but not of it! Jesus was not naive, as you said. He didn’t sacrifice his well-being for others – he took care of himself and let others find their own path, following his guidance if they chose. When we take care of ourselves and let others go their own way…we care practicing something called, “Detaching with Love”. To do this takes having good personal boundaries – which just means having love and respect for ourselves, and not letting others’ opinions or tactics sway us off of our course. Christianity is not about giving up ourselves to please others, although some people practice it this way. When we take care of ourselves, and others don’t like it and try to accuse us of being selfish because we aren’t thinking of them first, we can respond: “I’m sory if what I needed to do to take care of myself hurt you, it wasn’t intended that way.” Thank you again for sharing your practical Christian wisdom with us! Much Love!

  6. Thanks for your explanation Evan. The comments have all been so illuminating.
    I so appreciate your daily lessons

  7. Very simply put; if someone says that ice cream is made by burning wood, do we argue with that? Do we become self-righteous? Upset? Of course not, it’s not argueable since it can’t be debated. So quite is our escape just as JESUS did with Pontius Pilate.

  8. It is often confusing when to act when there is truth to be told. I suppose if we know that the Truth is always in operation we will know or do not have to be so concerned about responding.

  9. Oh these Truths you reveal for us just keep getting better and better for my own situation here. the ” exist strategy”…not to defend one’s self , not to argue, not to one -up with self ego, but to meekly go forward as one is led upward to the Light. Thank you, Evan for your continuing love for God and the world in these poerful Truths that you ponder and share.—-Love, Merri

  10. So grateful for the Daily Lifts and your daily lessons Evan. Nergish and Bevi your comments today were also very helpful.

  11. How timely for me! I’ve had two separate occasions recently to stand or let it be after I gave my opinion. I chose to let it go & remain friendly with the persons. I feel blessed to know I did the right thing & give God the credit for helping me make my choice! Your post today certainly clarified so much! Thanks for all you are doing even though I don’t write very often I so appreciate these Daily Lifts!

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