- Verse 33-37. How does Jesus explain the way to become spiritually great?
What especially ought we to learn from the examples of a little child? Cf. Matt. 18:4.
- Verses 38-41. What three reasons does Jesus give here why the disciples should not have acted as they did? Why did they fail to gain similar understanding about his teaching concerning what was going to happen to him (verses 30-32)?
- Verses 43-48. What spiritual truth is Jesus seeking to convey here? In what sense are we to cut off a foot, or pluck out an eye? Why may it be necessary to apply such drastic measures?
- Verse 43, 45, 47. ‘Hell’ or ‘Gehenna’ (Greek) is a reference to the Valley of Hinnom outside Jerusalem, where the refuse of the city was cast and burnt. It had become a synonym for the place of final ruin and destruction.
- Verse 49. ‘Salted with fire’: subjected to a fiery process of discipline to purge out cooption. Cf. 1 Pet. 4:17; Heb. 12:11.