Mark 9:35

35 He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all."

Mark 9:35 Meaning and Commentary

Mark 9:35

And he sat down
As their master, as one having authority; and in order to examine into this matter, and pass judgment upon it:

and called the twelve;
all the disciples, who though they might not be all engaged in this dispute, nor equally criminal, yet were all, possessed of the same notion; and therefore Christ calls them all unto him, what he had to say, being pertinent unto them all:

and saith unto them, if any man desire to be first;
to have the pre-eminence, and be in the chief place in the kingdom of the Messiah,

the same shall be last of all, and servant of all:
his pride and vanity shall be checked; his ambitious views shall be frustrated; instead of being first, he shall be last; and instead of having superior reverence and respect, he shall be debased, and treated with neglect and contempt; and instead of being the master over others, shall be the servant of all. Some copies read, "let him be"; and so the Persic version, "let him be last, and minister to every one"; and the Ethiopic thus, "let him subject himself to all, and be servant to all"; for the only way to preferment in Christ's kingdom, or in the Gospel dispensation, is humility and meekness, and performing the lowest services to all, with diligence and cheerfulness.

Mark 9:35 In-Context

33 Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the way?"
34 But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest.
35 He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all."
36 Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them,
37 "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me."
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.