The reading we hear this week from Mark’s gospel is said to be one of those great moments where the disciples struggle to understand who Jesus is and what following him means. Such a human moment and a reminder to each of us that even those who walked with him on a daily basis didn’t get it right all the time.
Jesus begins by telling the disciples about his fate and how he will be betrayed, killed and rise again but, of course, the disciples have no idea what Jesus is going on about.
The next scene is quite comical. Jesus and the disciples are traveling and it seems that Jesus may have been out in front of the group, not necessarily engaging in their conversations but still attentive enough to hear what they are saying. When he asks them what they are arguing about.
The disciples are like children caught whispering about something in a classroom by the teacher. They fall silent. It is interesting that Mark never says that they actually told Jesus what they were arguing about. They must know in that moment that Jesus heard them arguing about who was the greatest. So, Jesus takes this moment to try and get the disciples to understand his vision of the Kingdom of God.