30. So they went on from there and passed along through Galilee, but He didn't want anyone to know where they were, or where they were going.
31. His reason for wanting to keep such a low profile was that He was particularly focused on teaching His disciples at this time. As they travelled He said to them, "I want to prepare you all for something...you need to know that the Son of Man is about to be betrayed and delivered into the hands of enemies, and they will put Him to death...but after He has been killed...in fact, three days after he has been killed...He will rise from death."
32. But even though He spelled it out for them like this, they had absolutely no comprehension of what He was saying, and for some reason were afraid to ask Him to explain it further.
33. Eventually, they arrived at Capernaum, and when they were all together in the house, He confronted them about something, asking them, "What were you boys discussing and arguing about on the road?"
34. But they all froze, and didn't say a word, because on the road they had argued and debated with one another as to who among them was the greatest.
35. So He sat down and called all the twelve of His disciples together, and He said to them, "Look...I want you to understand this Kingdom principle...the bottom line is this...if anyone desires to be first, he must be last of all, and servant of all."
36. And to drive home His point, He took a little child who was there in the house with them, put him in the center of the group, and, taking him in His arms, He said to them,
37. "Remember this...whoever in My name and for My sake accepts, receives and embraces a child like this also accepts and receives and embraces Me. And, it follows, that whoever receives Me receives not only Me, but Him Who sent Me."
38. Then John said to Him, "By the way, Teacher, the other day we saw a man who does not follow along with us...You didn't appoint him or sanction him or approve him...You don't even know him...but he was driving out rebel spirits in Your name, and we told him that he was completely out of line to do that, and commanded him to stop it immediately, because He is not one of us... and not one of Yours!"
39. But, to their surprise, Jesus said, "Oh...you really shouldn't have done that. Don't ever restrain or forbid someone like him from doing something like that; for no one who does a mighty work in My name will soon afterward be able to speak evil of Me.
40. But that's not even the point...what you must realize is that he who is not against us is for us. It's just that simple!
41. And, furthermore, the truth is that whoever gives you a cup of water to drink just because you bear the name of Christ...just because you are making a difference in the world through His power and authority...will be guaranteed a sure reward. A basic act of kindness like this is, in the big picture, an important contribution to the Kingdom...driving out spirits...giving a cup of water...it's all the same, and it's all valid."