But they remained silent, for on the road they had argued with one another who was the greatest. Bible

“greatest.” This is not “greatest” in the sense of who had done the most miracles, or had the greatest trust (“faith”). Jesus telling them that the one who is greatest must be the servant of all (v. 35), shows us that “greatest” refers to the person with the most authority. In the patron-client society of the biblical culture and Greco-Roman world, the “greatest” person was the one who had the most authority and ruled the others (cp. 10:42). Jesus was trying to instill in his followers that we must have a servant’s heart, and the greatest one of all must be the most willing to serve.

Commentary for: Mark 9:34