"And He came to Capernaum: and being in the house He asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. And He sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all."
Yesterday: What Does the “Pride of Life” Mean to Me?
“I’m number 1!” has no place in God’s service.
Today: Jesus’ Response to their Sin of Pride
“And He came to Capernaum.”
Jesus and His disciples have been traveling through Galilee, from the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:30). They had now come to Capernaum, most likely to Peter’s home, where Jesus spent time when He was up in that region.
“And being in the house, He asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?”
They were gathered in the house with the Lord, and He wanted them to tell Him what they had been talking about. What must it be like to have Jesus, the Creator, the one who knows us best of all, ask us a direct question? He is eyeball, to eyeball with His twelve when He asked them this. Jesus had seen their demeanor and their intensity as they spoke to each other. Each one had been on edge and was trying to win the argument. No one had prevailed, and their spirits were not right with each other, Jesus knew.
“And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child and set him by Him” (Luke 9:47).
“But they held their peace.”
Jesus asked, but no one said a word! They knew, “The Master knows!” Their hearts must have skipped a beat. Their jealous struggle has caught up with them. The men were not debating some hypothetical idea. Still, it was a living, growing, gnawing gangrene that had infected each of their hearts. Even Peter had nothing to say. Why the silence? Could it be that each of them was profoundly embarrassed as they were brought face to face with their own sinful value systems? Was it the reality that they each had an ego big enough that they could hardly fit through the door of Peter’s home? They have been listening to Jesus teach the multitudes, have His words finally begun to sink in? Are they each beginning to make a personal application of Biblical truth? If this contamination is not removed from their hearts, they will never be fit servants to work for God!
“For by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.”
Here is their issue. This was not a one-time dispute, but it has been an ongoing “discussion” with the disciples. “Who will be the greatest?” (Matthew 18:1; Matthew 20:20-28; Luke 22:24). They knew that Jesus is the King and that His Kingdom will be established by Him. In their minds, that was settled. But their endless argument was about who will be the next in line in His Kingdom. No doubt they each had their own reasons to believe that they would be Jesus’ new personal assistant. Our wise Lord, knowing each of their hearts’ needs, did not chasten them but took the time to patiently teach them.
How will Jesus help these men with their “pride of life” issues? Come back tomorrow, and we will dig in further to see how Jesus can help us too.
Quote: “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2).