“But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest.”
Mark 9:34, New Living Translation
As the disciples walked they talked. There was a casualness as they followed Jesus, it was a warm day and they walked, and sometimes even stopped–keeping up in a relaxed way. They finally meander their way slowly into Capernaum. There was a safe-house there, and a place of peace. It is here that Jesus confronts His followers.
He wants to know what they were talking about as they walked. “What did you say to each other?” The disciples looked at each other, and then down at the floor. No one spoke. I think they were ashamed. No one would reveal what they had thought about, and then had spoken out loud.
Did Jesus really need to ask this? I honestly don’t know, but as I think about these verses, I say yes, and no. Jesus was bringing His disciples to a place– an opportunity for them to be critically honest, perhaps even a bit reflective and thoughtful. And yet He knew exactly what they had been discussing.
Even though the disciples knew what they had discussed on that dusty road; they don’t know that Jesus knows. Awkward. At this point Jesus doesn’t confront. He shows. As they sit down, Jesus begins to reveal their hearts. A local street urchin, playing outside is brought into the house. The disciples look, and think. The child moves close to Jesus. Jesus pulls him close.
At this point, Jesus begins to say things that elevate. One of those crystalline moments that happen when His truth meets the human understanding. That child is transformed into a lesson of influence.
“Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.” v.37
This is a clear, and powerful statement of how things operate in the kingdom. The child is brought into ultimate significance and worth. The disciples are diminished into a lower status. It’s funny, but our treatment of a child describes our real relationship with our Father God, and our Savior Jesus. That little one has now become our “litmus test.”
I encourage you to seek out and develop relationships with the children in your life. Although this is a literal interpretation, it will adjust us to a broader application of our Lord’s lesson. When we are altered, we will be putting others first. Our desire for place, and the power that goes with it, is nullified and zeroed out.
- Ike Butterworth: Who is Jesus to you? (examiner.com)
- Only way to be saved is to believe in Jesus, So WMSCOG is false … Really !!!!!!! (ahnsahnghongandheavenlymothergivesalvation.wordpress.com)
- 7 Different Ways Jesus Showed Love (taulantbytyqii.wordpress.com)