Jesus and his students left that place and went on through Galilee (121). Along the way, Jesus continued instructing his students: “I am going to be handed over to men who will kill me. Three days later, however, I will rise to life again.” But his students didn’t understand exactly what he meant, and they were a little afraid to ask him.
Nevertheless, as they walked on, Jesus’ students debated as to which of them would be the greatest, after Jesus was gone. Jesus was aware of this, so when they broke their journey in Capernaum, he asked his students, “What were you debating as we walked?” They were ashamed to answer him.
Then Jesus sat down, gathered the twelve witnesses, and taught them: “If you want to be the greatest from God’s perspective, you must take the lowest place from the world’s perspective. You must be a servant to everyone in the world.”
Jesus took a child in his arms and said to them, “You must even be a servant to little children. Anyone who welcomes a child in my name welcomes me. Anyone who welcomes me welcomes God.”
John said to him, “Teacher, we saw a man who was expelling evil spirits from people in your name; we told him to stop, because he’s not part of our group.” Jesus responded, “Don’t try to stop him. It is not evil to do such a miracle in my name. Anyone who is not openly against us is effectively for us. Anyone who simply gives you a drink of water — because you are my friend — will be rewarded by God.
“It is true that God will often use fire to purify your lives here on earth, even as you use salt to purify your temple sacrifices. But when the salt is bad, the sacrifice is impure. Be salt for one another; make each other thirsty for more of God. This is the way to avoid useless debates & live in peace with one another.”
Holy Spirit, please help us to love serving people in Jesus’ name.
(121) Matthew 17:22-18:14, Mark 9:30-50, Luke 9:43b-50