Summary: Part 18:The Great Commission - Who is the greatest among the disciples...they argue as Jesus listened.

The Great Commission

Part 18 – Who is Greatest?

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –

“Seminary Students will be preaching”

May 11th – Lori Ulman

May 18th – Lynnette Higgins

May 25th – Walker Spriggs

June 8th – Deacon Kurt Ulman

June 15th – Grace Steadman


† Jesus Pays the Temple Tax

† Jesus visits Martha & Mary’s home

† The Ten Lepers

† Who is Greatest?


Mark 9:33-41

33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the road?" 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.

35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."

36 He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."

38 "Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us."

39 "Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.


Traveling to Capernaum, more than likely Peter’s house, where on the way there the Apostles argued about who was greater, and Jesus heard them.

a. Disciples arguing which of them is greater

As they entered the house, Jesus asked them “what are you arguing about on the road?”

But the kept quiet because they argued about who was the greatest.

Either ashamed or afraid.

Jesus called the twelve aside and rebuked them privately, just as scripture dictates the leaders of the church are supposed to do.

Sometimes an open rebuke is needed, such as in the case of blasphemy.

Jesus explains to them the way the Kingdom of God works, because it is backwards from the way the world operates.

Jesus states, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be last, and a servant to all.”

Can you imagine running a race, coming in last place, and receiving the biggest prize?

A Pastor at Bible summer camp told the kids to line up for ice cream on the last day of camp.

As the line formed you could see the kids pushing their ways into the pecking order.

After they had determined where everyone would be in line, the Pastor instructed the children to turn 180, and for the ones serving the ice cream to begin at the opposite end of the line.

Thus, those who had pushed their way to the front, ended up at the end of the line.

If you want to be great, be a servant to all.

Jesus wasn’t the world’s greatest leader because He lived the life of a tyrant.

But because He served the lowliest and those most in need.

Dictators come and go, and how many continue to follow them unless another comes along to continue the tyranny?

Yet, over 2,000 years, millions still follow the one who came in utmost humility and servitude.

“Whoever welcomes a child in my name, welcomes me…and whoever welcomes me, is really welcoming the one who sent me.”

Jesus is saying that when we do things in the name of Christ, we are really serving Christ Jesus.

And when we serve Christ, we are not serving a man, But God Himself.

We must be humble and child-like, trusting our Father in heaven for everything, serving others, it is then we are serving Christ.

It is when we serve “self” that problems begin.

Jesus, the perfect example of selflessness, and we are the perfect example of selfishness.

Why are there disputes, discord or lack of unity in a church?

Because someone is being selfish.

And if that selfishness is met with selfishness, then discord will grow and there will be disputes.

It isn’t lack of unity that causes discord, it is lack of selflessness.

Discord in the last church was caused because of pride and selfishness in a handful of people who wanted to rule the church and the Elders.

Disputes are nothing new…

b. Disputes within the church

Arguing in the church about who is greater.

We have seen this attitude in the Sadducees and Pharisees. About tithe, about prayer, about the Law, etc…

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