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Mark 9:33-37 – Who is Greater?

|| Matthew 18:1-5;[1] Luke 9:44, 45

MK9:33 Now Jesus arrived in Capernaum and when he was in the house he asked them: “What were you arguing about among yourselves on the road?” MK9:34 However, they were silent, for on the road they had been disputing who among them was the greatest.[2] MK9:35 Then Jesus sat down and called the Twelve, and said to them: “If anyone has a desire to be ‘first’ then he must be the ‘least’ of all, and the servant of everyone.”[3] MK9:36 Jesus took a little boy[4] and put him in the middle of them, and after he took him in his arms, he said to them: MK9:37 “Whoever welcomes such a little boy in my name, welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me, welcomes not only me, but also Him that sent me.”


[1] Matthew 18:1-5: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.

[2] Who among them was the greatest: Jesus already is aware of what is an ongoing problem among his apostles. It is known from John’s Gospel that Jesus preferred John. There are also other occasions where three or four apostles receive special blessings, as in the case of the transfiguration and the Mount Olive sermon. [Mark 13] The three apostles returning from the mount of Transfiguration to the other eight who had just failed in a healing effort may have laid the ground work for this debate. It is an unfortunate side to human nature that members of a group will try and curry favor with the obvious leader, and will struggle among themselves in jealous ambitions.

[3] The ‘least’ of all, and the servant of everyone: This goes directly against human ego-centricity where exactly the opposite is what most people seek. Jesus recommends remaining in the background as a quite servant who ministers to everyone else. This will be viewed as weakness by others and such a least servant will go largely unnoticed. But, not to the Master.

[4] Little boy: We can imagine the look on this young lad’s face as he is surrounded by so many eyes. We can see that once Jesus puts his arms around him he feels very important and the center of attention. Clearly, the family in the house where Jesus was staying had some young children in it.



Mark 9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 9:1-8 – The Transfiguration

Mark 9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 9:9-13 – Elijah Has Come

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: the Charge of Demonism

Mark 9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 9:14-24 – Help Me Where I Need Faith

Mark 9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 9:25-29 – Why Could We Not Expel It?

Mark 9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 9:30-32 – Foretells Resurrection

Matthew 18:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Children and Stumbling

Matthew 18:1-6 Reborn and pliable as a child



  1. Drawn In Sermon on Mark 9: 30-37
  2. Who Is the Greatest? Mark 9:30-37 Sunday School Lesson and Activities
  3. Sanctified Ambition?From the Greatest to the Welcomed
  4. Who’s the Goat?
  5. Humility
  6. Be Humble Like A Little Child
  7. Letting it Go
  8. The First and The Last: You choose
  9. Message of the Day: The Rule of Greatness!
  10. “Do you serve others, or prefer to be served ??” 2/27/2021 Written by Louis Mize, a Facebook friend
  11. Becoming Great!

Comments on: "Mark 9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 9:33-37 – Who is Greater?" (4)

  1. […] Mark 9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 9:33-37 – Who is Greater? […]


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