For He taught His disciples and said to them, ‘The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day. ’ …. on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. Mark 9:31,34
Jesus here taught His disciples that He would die and then rise again. But because they were only familiar with death, their ears and hearts were completely deaf to the hope of resurrection. They understood only with their natural minds, and completely missed the greatness of the Kingdom of God. This kingdom is so powerful and positive, that all that appears to be loss is swallowed up in the great arms of resurrection. The disciples’ reaction was to miss the point and discuss the question of succession: which of them would take the place of Jesus after He had gone from the earth? All such disputes are based on the assumption of an absent Jesus. Jesus is not looking for a replacement, but for a yielded life through which He can manifest Himself. The greatest in the Kingdom of God is Jesus, and there is no-one who can replace Him in His ministry and His love, and no-one who is worthy to be worshipped even in the smallest degree. We have to offer up our lives to be filled by Jesus and His glorious life. Paul expresses this when he says: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” – Galatians 2:20. We are not to look at ourselves or compare ourselves with each other, but to look to the glorious risen Saviour who indwells us.
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