Jesus here was heading toward His death and resurrection, on the cross, and so now He needs to spend time with the disciples, to help them understand the things that will happen and to teach them the things they will need to sustain them when He won’t be there to instruct them face to face.
Jesus gives them an insight into what will happen to Him during that time and they answer with silence. Were they really afraid to ask Him what He meant or did they have enough knowledge from Him to realise that this was what He needed to do to bring about forgiveness for the world?
Sometimes people remain ignorant because they are ashamed to ask. When I was a student at school I wouldn’t ask questions because I thought that I should have known the answer and didn’t want to look like a fool in front of my peers.
Next we find Jesus and the disciples in Capernaum and He asks them what it was that they were arguing about on the way there.
I think that their silence to Jesus question shows that they were embarrassed and already realised that what they had done was wrong as it goes against everything that Jesus had been teaching them that to be last and a servant of all is to be first.
I have been a rhythm guitarist in bands, christian, rock and folk for the last 45 years and this type of discussion always rears it’s ugly head. The lead guitarist always thinks they’re better than the rhythm guitarist. Both of these think that they’re better than the bass guitarist and the poor old drummer always seems to take the last position in the band.
But without the drummer keeping a good, reliable and consistent beat the whole band seems to fall into decay. Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.