19 September 2021Mark 9:30-37
‘Whoever wants to be first among you must be last of all and servant of all’ (v. 35)
Today’s passage subverts our customary scale of values. It begins with one of a series of passages in Mark in which Jesus predicts his death and resurrection. Given the general assumption at the time that the Messiah would be a victorious leader the disciples find what he says incomprehensible (compare with Mark 8:31-33). Later, indoors at Capernaum, they are arguing about leadership and pride of place. Jesus insists that humility and service are the true marks of greatness (compare 10:41-45). He then illustrates the point by reference to a child. In our dealings with the young and vulnerable we are dealing effectively with God who sent Jesus.
- What does verse 35 say to those on the career ladder?
- Does verse 37 idealise childhood?
- What does it mean to ‘receive a child in the name of Jesus’ (verse 37)?