Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.

The Teacher reveals to His students a shocking fact - the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.

Unbelievably, one of His closest students will be the agent of His betrayal to death. Immediately, His students begin to look around and discuss which of them it might be.

It is in the context of this impromptu investigation that an argument takes place. Interestingly, the controversy is not over who is the traitor - a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.

At first they are focused on what is going to happen to Jesus. They want to expose their Teacher’s traitor. Who could it be? The Teacher has said it is one of us, but which one?

How does it happen that their focus turns so quickly from the concern Jesus has placed before them – His betrayal – to an argument about number one status?

They got sidetracked. Turned their attention from the Teacher to themselves!

The Problem shows up right on cue. It nearly always does. This pride that turns away from the critical work Jesus wants us to care about. Moves back to concern for self!

How many students of the Teacher continue to be distracted by The Problem?How many good works suffer because of it? How many dissentions and divisions are created by it?

But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.

Focus on what the Teacher is saying or The Problem always shows up!

1 comment:

  1. Dr Larry Crabb once wrote something to the effect that "99% of all marriage problems stem from selfishness."

    I think 99.9% of all sin results from selfishness.

    The Problem is exactly what you mentioned, Denny - turning the focus to self instead of Jesus.

    This, scares me. 31"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat."

    We know of the discussion about Job. God actually brings Job up, and Satan then goes and inflicts tragedy and physical harm to him. Job stands up under the load, and doesn't dishonor God in what he says.

    Here, Satan apparently has asked God - Let me put Peter under some pressure. Let me have a shot at him.

    I hope Satan never asks that of me. I think one of the most overlooked requests from Jesus' example prayer is "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." Mt 6:13

    Jesus prays in John 17:15 "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one."

    Satan is real, and he's strong. He will attack, and he's good at what he does. Unfortunately - we all stumble and fall. And so will Peter - as Jesus predicts. So the next instructions are important.

    "32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

    When we do fail, and when we turn back to the Teacher, then we are to strengthen our brothers.

    Don't let Satan fool you into thinking that because of your sin you cannot be effective in the Kingdom!