Friday, May 25th. Mark 9:30-37

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him. 

 

Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’  Mark 9:30-37

 

I have a friend who never goes to the doctor unless he absolutely positively has no choice.  His rationale?  “What I don’t know won’t hurt me.  If I go to the doctor, he will always find something wrong with me.”  Oddly enough, sometimes that is good advice.

 

The medical news this past week included a new recommendation that doctors cease doing routine PSA tests for prostate cancer.  Studies have determined that a positive result often leads to unnecessary interventions that are worse than a slow growing cancer.  As I have often found myself saying to parishioners in the hospital – That’s why they call it a “practice” and why they call us “patients.”

 

This was where the disciples wanted to stay.  They didn’t want to hear the bad news that Jesus would be betrayed and killed.  They couldn’t get past that.  They couldn’t hear “he will rise again.”  All they heard was the bad news and they didn’t want to hear it.  What they could understand they didn’t like and what they didn’t understand they didn’t want to know.

 

Have you ever gotten into an argument with your spouse or a friend and you just got stuck in it?  It isn’t so much that you agree to disagree as much as you just get stuck.  You can’t think.  You don’t talk.  You settle into an uncomfortable silence.  My sense is that is where the disciples find themselves at the end of the these verses.

 

They don’t like what they know and they don’t want to know more about what they don’t know.  So they settle for an uncomfortable silence.  They just don’t bring it up.

 

Unfortunately, silence doesn’t help.  Nature doesn’t like a vacuum so all sorts of unhelpful thoughts are more than ready to move into this silence.  So it is that Jesus’ announcement of suffering was greeted by an argument among the disciples about who was the king of their little hill.  But again, they remain silent.

 

The text closes with Jesus taking a child into his arms.  Suddenly his talk of suffering and their talk of greatness comes to focus on this little child.  All for the sake of a child.

 

Let us pray:  Dear Lord, you have promised that the truth will make us free.  Free us from our fear of the truth.  Free us from worrying about our positions in life more than worrying about life for all people.  As you were patient and forgiving of your disciples, be patient and forgiving with us.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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One Response to “Friday, May 25th. Mark 9:30-37”

  1. kirk129 Says:

    great devotion but why two posts of the same devotion, just asking

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