But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. (Mark 9:34 ESV)
The disciples had just witnessed the miraculous transfiguration of Christ on top of the mountain. They had participated and witnessed many of his miracles. They had heard him teach with an authority that baffled lifelong scholars and students of the Law. Still, they struck up what might have been the most pointless argument in history. They were arguing about which of them was the greatest.
Isn’t that just like us sometimes? We are privileged to get to be a part of something pretty awesome and our ego rises up and tricks us into thinking that the cool thing we were part of was great because of us. That’s just silly.
The disciples argument was pointless on an epic level. Jesus was doing amazing things, saying amazing things, and being amazing—and they were following him around arguing over which one of them was the best. Dumb.
I find that most arguments that happen between religious people are a result of this kind of stupid thinking. The moment we stop thinking about Jesus, stop acknowledging him as the greatest, and stop putting all of our effort into giving him glory—we are in trouble. The moment we turn our attention to our personal agendas or our pet theologies we have become like the disciples in their silly argument.
Jesus is the greatest. Jesus is the one we must always point to, draw from, and lift up. Nothing and no one else compares.