Summary: In my opinion Mark 9:33-35 explains the complete plan of God since creation. Sin & death is dealt with in Jesus, and then every beleiver is a partner with God in doing good deeds, being servants. quote from: "Unseen Realm" Michael Heiser
In Jesus Holy Name September 19, 2021
“Who is the Greatest? A Child?”
Just two weeks ago we had our family reunion. We had a great time. We went to see the Elephant Seals lying on the beach at Cambria. We played games. Some of the family members took a tour of a near by college. Some took naps. We all fixed meals together, each family was assigned a specific meal. The house had 9 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms. There was one room which occupied our two granddaughters, Reagan and Ella the entire weekend. It was the laundry room with all the cleaning supplies, towels and washing machines, ironing board and bathroom supplies.
These two girls played the game of housekeeper all week end. They were the hotel servants, refreshing our bathrooms with supplies, making everyone’s beds, doing laundry. They were having a great time being servants to everyone.
We know what the Jesus told the disciples:. “If you want to be first then you must be the servant to all.” Here’s the question: Are you having fun being a servant?
After the healing of the child who was deaf and unable to speak, the disciples and Jesus were heading back to Capernaum. On the way Jesus overheard the disciples arguing. When Jesus asked…they admitted that they were arguing over who was going to be the greatest in the coming kingdom.
People grasp at greatness. So powerful is the desire to be great, or to own something that provides greatness, people are willing to do unusual stunts to grab attention. We grasp at greatness. We desire “likes” on our Facebook page.
It has, almost since the beginning of time been that way. The Bible tells us that Satan desired to be as great as God, and thus Satan rebelled against God’s authority. He was cast out of God’s presence. It was this same desire for greatness which led our first ancestors, Adam and Eve to take a bite out of the forbidden fruit. Satan told them they would be like “God” knowing good and evil. Believe me, they had no idea what evil was…. Their world was perfect. There was no death… they had no knowledge no experience of illness nor death.
So the temptation to know what God knew was enough. Their search for greatness introduced this world, and into our lives the sins of envy, greed, lust prejudice, and hatred. Behaviors which are displayed when trying to act greater than someone else. (notes from my sermon on Matthew 18)
Look through your bible. It is positively filled with people who got involved with issues of greatness. The brothers Isaac and Esau got into a family feud as to which would receive a special blessing. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery because they believed he considered himself to be better than they. King Saul struggled for supremacy over David.
Not even Jesus’ disciples managed to escape the ongoing debate over who would be the greatest. The disciples were jockeying for position… Jesus was on a mission, sent by the Creator of the universe, His father, to seek and save people who are alienated from the love of their Creator. Jesus knew He was living under the shadow of the cross to come.
Jesus kept telling the disciples that he was going to Jerusalem where he would be arrested, tried, crucified, and murdered, and then rise on the third day, in order to reestablish peace and forgiveness between human beings and our God. His life, death and resurrection is what provides an open gate into heaven.
They did not understand so their conversations, their arguments
centered around themselves. Rather than seeing Jesus as the only person worthy of the title “Great”, they fought and feuded over which of them would be #1 in the new kingdom Jesus was going to establish. They wanted to know who was going to drive the Tesla, who was going to sit behind the wheel.
Eventually Jesus had enough and asked them to tell Him what they were talking about. Shamefaced, “Well, Lord,… we were sort of wonderin’ which of us is going to be Your Right-hand man and which of us ought to be sending out our resumes? Jesus was patient. “unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven….
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
So, what is going on here in Chapter 9? Why does Mark include this conversation about servanthood and children, and then repeats again the invitation of Jesus to let the children to come to Him, in Mark 10?