Read: Mark 9:33-37
And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” (v. 33)
My son is an only child. This state of affairs means that his upbringing has been dramatically different in some respects than that of his friends with siblings. For example, my son is often amazed (and disconcerted) when he spends the night at a friend’s house and observes how heated sibling arguments can become. Wishing that he had a sibling, he can’t imagine what dispute could lead brothers and sisters to battle one another with such ferocity.
One day on the way to Capernaum, the disciples get into an argument over who is the greatest of the disciples. Jesus, wanting to reorient their misguided zeal, gives them an object lesson about greatness. He takes a child into his arms, declaring that the greatest is the one who serves and the one who receives those whom the Father has sent.
The Christian church should lament the ways in which the mission of God has been hampered by the historical record of infighting that has characterized generations of Christians. Hundreds of denominations, church splits, and political fault lines that have sundered the body of Christ are testimonies to the energy we have spent in tearing one another down. What a difference the church could make if we realized that other children of God—despite important distinctions—are our siblings, heirs to the same Father and sinners redeemed by the same blood of Jesus Christ. —Duane Loynes
Prayer: Let the church be one, even as you and the Father are one.