I am always caught by the "Disciples inability to heal the boy with the unclean spirit" Jesus says "these come out only through prayer". I think that is a call to always be trying to move deeper in this faith. There are some battles that cannot be won except through disciplined spiritual practice. If we are to survive illness we need physical strength, if we are going to survive spiritual struggles we need to build spiritual strength.I always think of Mohommad Ali "I'm the Greatest!" when I come to the next passage in Mark 9 -- who is the greatest. Jesus teaches the principle of "Servant Leadership" here. As leaders we are to exercise due authority and do what leaders are supposed to do but we do this not for our sake but for the Kingdom and we do this not for our glory but for God's and we do this not for our power and control but to build authentic Christian community. Radical Discipleship does not permit distractions from keeping us from the goal of the "upward call of God in Christ Jesus".