Learning to serve others rather than themselves was a difficult lesson for the disciples. At the start of Matthew 18, the disciples were arguing about who should be greatest in Christ’s kingdom. To them, as for us, a kingdom meant pomp and power, not a cross. They assumed Jesus was going to take over the throne of His father David, and they were vying to see who would stand closest to that throne, exercise the greatest influence, and receive the greatest honor.
“And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes and they will condemn him to death and will deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” (Mt.20.17-34)