To be Chosen by Christ
PRAY: Humbly ask God to give you wisdom to understand this portion of the Bible and the faith to live out what He reveals to you.
READ: Mark 3:13-19
In this week’s, passage we read about the calling of the Twelve. On the surface, this passage seems pretty straight forward, and for the most part it is. However, there are a few particular points of interest.
First, these men were chosen by Christ Himself. There were many followers of Christ at this time, the previous passage even describes how Jesus wants the disciples to get a boat ready for him lest the crowds crush Him. But these were twelve men— specifically and sovereignly—chosen by Jesus for a mission. (that He had for them). The Greek word for “appointed” in verse 14 literally means “to make” – Christ summoned them, made them, and named them. The word “apostle” means “sent one.”
Second, they were called to a purpose. Mark lists three (things they were called to):
- To be with Him
- To send them out to preach
- To have authority to drive out demons
The second two, while certainly special, were not unique to the Apostolic ministry. During this time, many preached the gospel and became followers of Christ. There is even an account later in Mark where some men the apostles do not know are casting out demon’s in Jesus’ name (9:38-39).
The Apostles were not unique in any special power they had. What set them apart was being with Jesus in a way that not every follower had access to. This special access and appointment later gave them authority in the early church. Their writings still continue to be the sole authority in the church today. (Read 1 John 1, Hebrews 1, Galatians 1:12 to name a few passages where the Biblical authors and Apostles appeal directly to this kind of direct communication with Christ as being the authority of their writing).
Hundreds crowded around Jesus to see miracles, hear his teachings, or receive some healing. But the calling to be with Jesus meant more than that. They were to be witnesses to His work and ministry and spread the good news to the ends of the earth. They were there when the crowds dispersed, on the long journey between cities and during special times (like the healing of Jairus’s daughter, and the transfiguration on the mount).
They were to be with Jesus not only in the mountain top periods, which were defined by the crowds who adored and followed Him, but also during the worst of times in which he was abandoned, mocked, and rejected. Religious leaders rallied and plotted against him and eventually had Him crucified. Ultimately, they were with Him after the resurrection as eye witnesses of the risen Lord who had defeated death.
Finally, these were not necessarily the “super Christians” or wealthy and powerful that were being called. Matthew was a detestable tax collector, and many were uneducated fishermen. And then (of course) there is Judas, “who also betrayed Him.” Jesus called each of them according to His good purpose, He “summoned those He wanted.” Has Jesus called you to be his disciple?
- Has Jesus called you? To what? Do you hear him saying ‘follow me’?
- In what way are you invited to be with Jesus today? What does that look like?
Memory Verse: Mark 3:14-15
This week's devotional is written by John Wells. John is a City Church Owner who serves as a Redemption Group Leader and works for the IT Department of UF.