Thursday 14 January 2016

Bible Book:

“He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him.” (v. 13)

Mark 3:13-19 Thursday 14 January 2016

Psalm: Psalm 10:1-12


The account of Jesus now moves from the lakeside, with him teaching the crowdsfrom the safety of a boat, to a mountain. Mountains are often usedas the setting for significant moments in the biblical narrative.It was where Moses encountered God in the burning bush (Exodus3:1-2) and later received the Ten Commandments (Exodus19-20), where Elijah heard the voice of God in the silence thatfollowed a storm (1 Kings 19) and was the setting for thetransfiguration of Jesus (Mark9:2-8).

Peter, James and John (who would be later described as havingwitnessed Jesus talking with both Moses and Elijah on the mountaintop (Mark 9:2-8)) wereamong the 12 men whom Jesus appointed apostles at this significantpoint in his ministry. From the previous description of themultitude of people following him and listening to him (Mark3:7-8), there were clearly plenty of people from whom tochoose, but we are given very little information to explain whyJesus chose these 12 people. There were no job application forms tocomplete and no CVs to be submitted. The only hint of an interviewprocess takes place in the briefest of ways on the side of LakeGalilee when Jesus passed by and called the fishermen Simon and hisbrother Andrew, and then a little later James and his brother John(Mark 1:16-20). This wasn't an appointmentprocess that followed modern HR procedures which many of us wouldnow expect and be familiar with.

Jesus appoints these 12 men firstly to be with him (verse 14).Being a leader can be a lonely activity, particularly if you comeunder attack because of what you are doing or saying. So, to havepeople close by who can offer help and support, act as a soundingboard and offer close friendship, can make a big difference.However Jesus is also looking for people who are able to carry hismessage far and wide, particularly when he would no longer be ableto do so himself. The emphasis on 12, the same as the number oftribes of Israel, underlines the intent that Jesus' message was forthe whole nation. In an age when knowledge and ideas are spreadprimarily by word of mouth, having 12 additional people who areprepared to go out in to the known world to proclaim the message isgoing to be very important.

To Ponder

  • Think about any places you have been where you felt God'spresence. What was it that made these places special?
  • Try to put yourself in the place of one of twelve who werecalled by Jesus. What would your reaction have been? And what mightyou expect to happen next? 
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