Mark chapter 9 is our text, and we'll be looking at verses 30 through verse 41...Mark 9:30 through 41.
I told you last time that we are now embarking over the next couple of chapters, chapters 9 and 10, on a series of lessons that the Lord taught His disciples. His public ministry in Galilee has ended, essentially, and now He has a private ministry a little while longer in Galilee with the disciples. And then He progresses to travel down to Jerusalem. Through these months the final months prior to His death, the focus of Mark is on His instruction to the Twelve. He repeats to them continually about His death and resurrection.
But in addition to telling them that and trying to prepare them for that coming event, there are things they need to know. And so He is their teacher and the lessons are private, not public. We have the privilege of joining those lessons.
One of them is on humility and that is the one before us in the text here. Now at first reading, from verses 30 to 41, you might think that these are somewhat disconnected, but the whole passage actually fits around the theme of humility. So let me read it to you and then we'll look more closely at it.
"From there, they went out and began to go through Galilee and He didn't want anyone to know about it, for He was teaching His disciples and telling them, 'The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men and they will kill Him, and when He has been killed, He will rise three days later.' But they did not understand this statement and they were afraid to ask Him. They came to Capernaum and when He was in the house, He began to question them. 'What were you discussing on the way?' But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. Sitting down, He called the Twelve and said to them, 'If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.' Taking a child, He set him before them and taking him in His arms He said to them, 'Whoever receives one child like this in My name, receives Me. And whoever receives Me does not receive Me but Him who sent Me.' John said to Him, 'Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.' But Jesus said, 'Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name and be able to soon afterward to speak evil of Me, for he who is not against us is for us. For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.'"...