A Call to Discipleship {Mark 3}

6:44 AM

By Lisa Moore

Each week my son reads what I write before I post it. He gives it a quick scan for grammatical errors, and afterwards we have a great conversation. This week when I was giving him the "condensed version", (as he likes to call it), of Mark Chapter 3, he asked, "Why did Jesus choose disciples, why 12, and can you name them all?"

Jesus came to earth to restore our relationship with God by providing the perfect, and only, path to the Father. While here He began a traveling ministry focused on healing, teaching, and establishing His Church. Knowing that His time here was short, He needed to choose those who would take on the important task of continuing His work after He was gone. This was not a decision that Jesus took lightly. After all, He was purchasing this Church with His own precious blood. Before He made His choice, Luke 6:12 tells us that the first thing Jesus did was to pray. "It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God." Jesus trusted in the counsel of God in every decision He made. After praying, Mark 3:13-14 tells us that He, 

"...summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. And He appointed twelve so that He could send them out to preach."

Why did Jesus choose twelve? The number twelve is used 187 times in the Bible. In most cases it is represented as the number of perfection and authority. Some examples include Jacob who had twelve sons who were the fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel. (Gen 35:23). Jesus first spoke in the temple at the age of twelve. (Luke 2:42). He raised from the dead the twelve year old daughter of Jarius. (Mark 5:42). The miracle of the twelve baskets of left over loaves and fishes. (Matt. 14:20). In the new city of Jerusalem, there is a great high wall with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. (Rev. 21:12). 

And Jesus chose His twelve. "And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter), and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, 'Sons of Thunder'); and Andrew, and Philip, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot; and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him." (Mark 3:16-19).

There was nothing especially remarkable about these men Jesus chose. They weren't Lords or Princes. They weren't great scholars or high priests. They were average men who throughout the Gospels we see fail, struggle, and doubt God. Yet Jesus chose these men to witness the miracles He performed. To witness His power over nature, and His ability to raise the dead. They would be the ones to testify to the world that Jesus was who He said He was; the Lord of all creation, and the Source of eternal life for all who accept Him as their Savior.

Before Jesus transcended into heaven He gave what is know as the Great Commission to the disciples. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit...". (Matt. 28:19). This is the same command that He gives to us. We too are called to be His disciples. Jesus doesn't care about our past, our failures, or our social standing. What He wants is a close personal relationship with us. He wants us to love Him, and to tell others about Him so they too can know Him and spend eternity with Him. Won't you as a disciple of Jesus take a moment today to share the Good News of the Lord?

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