Mark 9: 30 - 41
Mark 9:30-41 30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.
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, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child 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 someone 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. “For 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 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
The humble person knows no fear except the fear of God. You are never more like Christ then when you are humble. Humility isn’t natural to us – pride is. But Christ wants us to be humble and His crucifixion is the perfect example of humility.
Jesus and His disciples were going through Galilee and He didn’t want any one to know He was there. He was focusing His attention and teaching on His disciples. He was going over the information again and again. He was telling them He was going to Jerusalem to be delivered into the hands of men. They would kill Him and then after 3 days He would rise.
Jesus endured infinite shame in coming to earth as a man and to be killed that way. He did it for us. He had to keep telling the disciples it because it was so hard to get. That the Son of God would have to go through that.
In verse 32 “they didn’t understand this” – they were ignorant. But they were also arrogant because they refused to ask. They didn’t want to pierce beyond the surface of what they knew was bad.
They arrived at Capernaum and had been talking about which of them was the greatest. We love our pride! And Christ wants to deliver us from that.
They hadn’t been to Capernaum for 5 months and it would be the last time He was there. He had “set His face toward Jerusalem”. To die. What a contrast; the disciples pridefully talking about who was the greatest and Jesus walking to Jerusalem where He knew He would die; and in such a horrible way. He asks them what they were talking about not to find out what they said, but to point out the contrast.
Humility rejects the self promotion of man. Humility motivates the Christian to make disciples.
Jesus sits down to teach them why they need humility. For us, on this side of the cross, we’ve already seen His example. We need to love; to put people before ourselves. God wants us to be like Jesus and Jesus shows us how. “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” We should want to be great, but Jesus defines greatness differently to us. We are to be great servants, great disciples.
He brings the child in and puts him on His lap. His message was we are to embrace Christians with spiritual love. We must receive His spiritual children: Christians. We must make disciples. We must share the Gospel and encourage people to become believers. Support new believers. Serve and love fellow Christians. Take them into our arms. Make their hurts our hurts and their joys our joy. When we welcome a Christian we welcome Him.
In verse 38 John speaks about something that apparently happened in the past: 38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
Because Jesus was saying we’re to be a welcoming group John wanted to know if he had done it right. (The man was not one of them.) Jesus let him know he didn’t. Jesus acknowledged that the man was doing miracles and said he was doing it in Christ’s name. Jesus said, “Don’t hinder him.” He was honoring people in Jesus’ name and blessing others. John shut him down because he wasn’t’ part of their little band. Pride.
Jesus is saying we have big work. Don’t make yourself judgmental by something small going on by someone trying in Christ’s name. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
Humility will eventually give great reward. Be other oriented. Every sacrifice, every smile, every act for God, for others… Every invitation to church…every cold cup of water offered in His name…the book of Hebrews tells us He records it all.