30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” (Mark 9:30-31)
This is the second time Jesus has predicted his death. The first time, he told his disciples that he would be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law (Mark 8:31). In other words, he would be opposed by the religious leaders.
But he doesn’t say that this time. This time he says that he will be delivered into the hands of men. In other words, he will be opposed by the very crowds that are coming to him.
Jesus is saying that if the crowds are your gauge of success, you will never achieve true greatness. Crowds are fickle and impossible to please. So don’t let the crowds define success for you. Because these same crowds that are praising you will very soon turn against you.
Crowds do not define success; greatness isn’t a popularity contest.