And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?”
Mark 9:33, ESV
The Bible is full of simple life lessons, isn’t it? The story Mark recounts in the ninth chapter of his Gospel is a fun story and so like us humans. Jesus is traveling along the dusty road with his disciples. I can imagine that he was leading the way while this ragtag bunch of men were dawdling along, kicking stones and getting their feet dirty. The topic of their chatter? Who was the best. You know, like “Which of us does Mom and Dad like better?” I know. You’ve been there.
Now we know that God is all-knowing. And so Jesus clearly knew the essence of their conversation. But nevertheless, when they arrive at their destination, he asks them a question. I’m sure they were caught with their pants down. How did he know? Really? Did he hear what we said?
Family folklore tells a story of my aunt Sally. She was a rather mischievous young lady, and she loved to chatter to anyone about just about anything. One day, as the story goes, she was on the bus with her mom. Now, you need to know that the setting of the story is England—you know, where everyone speaks well and acts proper. Sally spied several interesting fellow passengers and would burst out in speech, “Mommy, look at that lady with the rather funny hat!” A few stops later she would shout out, “Mommy, do look at that man’s really big tummy!”
Naturally her mother was annoyed, and asked her to keep her voice down—they could discuss these things later.
A stop or two later a rather thin lady boarded the bus with a bright pink hat and a beak-like nose. Sally couldn’t help herself. “Mommy, when we get home we’ll talk about her, shall we?”
I’m sure we all can recall similar stories—situations where it would have been best for the discussion to have taken place behind closed doors. Perhaps it was a spat with your spouse that occurred when attending, of all things, a Bible study. Maybe it was an altercation with a child in the church foyer.
This one line of Scripture reminds us all, sometimes it is best to have these sensitive discussions when you arrive home—“back in the house.”