From there they went out and began to go through Galilee, and He did not 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.” Mark 9:30-37

Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:

We are told that when Elijah and Moses appeared on the mountain, they were talking with Jesus. The Gospel of Luke tells us that they were speaking of his departure which he was about to accomplish in Jerusalem. In other words, they were speaking about his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension back into heaven. This fits in well with today’s passage where Jesus says to his disciples, “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 in three days.” But, as our passage goes on to tell us, “they did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask him.” How special it must have been for Jesus to have the support of Elijah and Moses back on the mountain. They understood his mission and openly discussed it with him. Perhaps, referring to all that was about to happen to Jesus in Jerusalem as his “departure,” comes from their perspective that God the Son will soon be returning to the glory of heaven where they had been with him for centuries until he left for earth to become the Savior of the world in human form.

Our passage goes on to tell us that right after Jesus tells about the suffering he will endure in Jerusalem, the disciples had a discussion about which one of them was the greatest. They are definitely not on the same page as Jesus. They are thinking about glory, a conquering king and kingdom, and ruling and reigning with him. Jesus sits the twelve down and says to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” This is the page Jesus is on. Elsewhere and at another time, Jesus said, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life a ransom for many.” The disciples still have so very much to learn about suffering, sacrifice, and serving. It won’t be long before they learn all about it.

Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:

Lord, I want to be on the same page as you. Help me to embrace suffering in a more appropriate way. Help me to give myself to sacrifice and serving. Thank you for leaving the glory of heaven and giving more than I can ever fully comprehend. I choose to live sacrificially for the good of others as a servant who follows in your amazing footsteps. Amen!