Mark 9:30-42

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord Jesus Teaches His Disciples Not to Have a Sectarian Spirit

Mark 9:30-42

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Lesson Number 39

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Understanding the meaning of the cross is of utmost importance.
  2. Greatness in the Kingdom of God is determined by humble service
  3. A sectarian spirit which causes stumbling is serious sin.

Practical Application

  1. Let's not be too quick to judge another's salvation.
  2. Even our cups of water will be rewarded.


  1. Why were the disciples afraid to ask the Lord about His coming death and resurrection?
  2. What prompted John to speak out as he did, in the midst of a teaching session?
  3. What was the focus of the Lord's teaching during these final days?
  4. Was Jesus referring to Judas when He said, "The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men"?
  5. What does the cross mean? That a good man was accused and crucified unjustly?
  6. What was the Lord Jesus teaching about greatness in the kingdom of God? Were the disciples quick to learn this lesson?
  7. Were the disciples ashamed? If so, why?


  1. The Lord had recently rebuked them for their lack of understanding.
  2. Perhaps because of the mention of "My name." Jesus said that no one doing a miracle in His name could speak evil of Him.
  3. His coming death and resurrection.
  4. No. This was God's plan of salvation.
  5. No. It means a perfect man, Jesus, was sent by God to die on the cross for us, and to be raised in victory over sin and death.
  6. That greatness is determined by humble service. No, nor are we.
  7. Yes. "They kept silent." They knew that they had the wrong attitude about greatness.


  1. Do you fully understand the meaning of the cross? Write out your thoughts.
  2. What does it mean to have a sectarian spirit? Have you ever had this kind of a spirit toward another believer?


  1. What do you understand about Jesus' teaching concerning greatness in the kingdom of God? How does this impact your life? When have you given a cup of water in Jesus' name?

Key Verses

  • "For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward." (Mark 9:41)

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