Max McLean Audio Bible, English Standard Version
30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.
33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”
38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, [who does not follow us] and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.
Jesus has returned from the mountaintop, acclaimed in Glory by His Father and enjoying fellowship with Moses, Elijah, Peter, James and John. Surely Jesus would like to rest, have a meal, a celebration. Jesus pressed on, teaching them along the way. Breaking up a quarrel as they arrive - imagine having the disciples discussing who is greatest after the Transfiguration has occurred - unknown to 9 of them. Human judgement must often sound silly to the LORD, even from the men sitting at the feet of Jesus.
Lets look at the parallel of Jesus' life the day after the Transfiguration occurred.
Max McLean Audio Bible, English Standard Version
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Obviously, Jesus would have more confidence in all things than Paul, being the Son of God -
Jesus pressed on, in righteousness from God that depends on faith, to the suffering and to the power of His resurrection.
Isn't it amazing Jesus did press on instead of calling a Press Conference of Joy. Or even a Disciple Conference.
Did Jesus rest on the celebration of God's Glorious Acclamation in the Transfiguration - no, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.
The upward call of God in Jesus dealing with the disciples arguing over glory - maturely expressing the truth He has to give. Does Jesus tell them they are like dogs fighting over a bone for power? No, He gives them an analogy of a childlike faith and belief, but tells them not to be so eager to rush in the condemnation of others in the result of works.
Jesus did not say to the disciples to join the works of one who does not follow Christ, just not to be so eager to condemn. The Holy Spirit in both passages urges us to observe the workings of the Spiritual, to be led by Christ in upward growth - to imitate Christ. Both passages urge Love and Growth. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. In order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
What Jesus is telling us, in Light of God's Glory of His Perfection is this - something I heard repeated several times at Church this week - "we are not perfect, we are a work in process." A child of God seeking to imitate the Love of Jesus Christ. Like Peter, going back and forth in faith - before Jesus died - and after. Paul going forward in faith and breaking fellowship with Barnabas and John Mark or arguing with Peter. God using difficulties to raise up Timothy, to strengthen and redirect ministries - God in all our phases, using us for His good purpose. Alleluia!
Father God, in You, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Father God, strengthen feeble hands and weak knees, help us run in such a way as to get the prize -to spread the Love of Jesus Christ.
Father God, we are fully known to You. Jesus knew the heart of mankind - selfish, self-serving and yet You chose to live among us being salvation, grace and truth. We are a poor reflection of Your mirror; please forgive us for our sins in the mercy of Jesus Christ. Just as You did for Your early Church, let our imperfection disappear and Your perfection come in Great Glory. We ask for Your help, each day. To You be all the Glory and Honor. To the Only One Who is Good. Jesus Christ. Amen.