What the Disciples Argued About on the Road

By: Dr Eliezer Gonzalez

They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest (Mark 9:33–34, NIV).

Mark went through a whole list of failures by the disciples. They didn’t understand the transfiguration. They failed to heal a deaf and mute boy, bringing discredit to Jesus. And they failed to understand what Jesus was teaching them, even when he took them apart to be alone with them.

What was the reason for their failure?

All along the road, the disciples argued about who was the greatest among them.

No wonder they weren’t able to cast the evil spirit out of the boy after the transfiguration. No wonder that they weren’t prepared to listen to what Jesus said about the Cross. Because the way of the Cross was the way of humble self-denial for the sake of others. It wasn’t what they wanted for themselves.

No wonder they had no spiritual power.

Here Jesus confronted this issue head-on, and that’s why he asked them the question, “What were you arguing about on the road?”

This issue of “who is the greatest?” has been the greatest curse of the church for more than two thousand years.

It causes the church to lose sight of Jesus and him crucified, and it causes the church to not understand the heart of his teachings. It’s the often the reason for the lack of power in the church today.


Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.

About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question. Sign up to his free online course called Becoming a Follower of Jesus to learn about Jesus and His message.

Feature image: Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

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