Saturday, January 2, 2010
1/2/10 Mark 3:13-19 Jesus Delegated and Multiplied
Appointing the Twelve
13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means "sons of thunder"), 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Calvin abridged: Luke says that Jesus went up to the mountain to pray. This example is a perpetual rule for us that we should pray before choosing pastors- otherwise we will not succeed so well. Jesus prayed not for his own sake, but to set down an example for us. Luke tells us that he spent the whole night in prayer. If he who was full of the Holy Spirit implored the Father with such ardor and earnestness to preside in this choosing, how much more do we need to do so? “He appointed”- Jesus chose them by his grace not because they were worthy to be chosen (“You did not choose me” Jn. 15:16; Paul’s choosing- Eph. 3:7; Col. 1:25). Why did he choose Judas who stained the church? In doing so, Jesus teaches us to not be surprised when unprincipled people occupy the highest ranks or professorships in the Church. This also teaches those of us in positions of responsibility to beware and not take our office for granted. We should also not be surprised today if the Church has corruption in it. The Church is weak in that it depends on sinful human beings to do God’s work.
Thoughts: Jesus was willing to delegate though he knew the disciples would fail over and over again. They could not do as good a job as he could do- preaching, teaching, helping. Yet Jesus also was concerned that the gospel spread and that laborers (however incompetent) would come into the field to help. Certainly Judas’s choosing is a reminder of the risks we take when we delegate- betrayal, failure. But out of the failure of Judas came our forgiveness and Jesus’ resurrection! Jesus wanted to make disciples. To do so he spent time “with them” (vs. 14), and sent them out, and told them to preach. Most of these men were uneducated, but most knew the scriptures and desired to serve God. They were not educated in Phariseeistic legalism, or is the Saducees sophisticated unbelief. This allowed them to be open to new thoughts, and to eventually change the world. Jesus sought to multiply his efforts. We should too.
Prayer: This year, O Lord, help me to be a person of prayer in making big decisions. Help me to be a true disciple and follow you. Help me to multiply the gifts I have into others.