Discipleship in the Kingdom of God. This passage begins with Jesus still around the region of the Sea of Galilee (though it seems an expanded area) and Jesus does so still desiring secrecy. Yet again Jesus teaches His disciples about His future demise. This is the second time (of three) Jesus predicts this conclusion. Yet again the disciples fail to understand. Not only were they afraid to ask Jesus, but they were discussing who will be the greatest when Jesus' kingdom comes to power! To make His point more vividly, after His famous reversal the last and the servant being first, Jesus brings a child among them. Children were not viewed the way they are today. instead of a symbol of innocence, children were mouths to feed and dependent, selfish creatures. Jesus is highlighting those who receive the kingdom such as these dependent children are dependent for life, receive the King and Kingdom life.
Why are the disciples continuing to misunderstand Jesus? What is getting in their way? What gets in our way in trying to understand Jesus and His message about the Kingdom?
What does the disciples discussion tell you about the way they were thinking of Jesus' kingdom? How does Jesus' example using the child contrast that thinking?
What symbols of status get in our way in regards to thinking clearly about Kingdom living? From this passage how would you describe what a 'great' disciple looks like in God's Kingdom?