Then Jesus went home – Friday, 2nd Week in ordinary time – Mark 3:13-19
When Jesus chose his twelve, Jesus was at a critical point in his ministry. He had offended the traditions of the religious leadership, and they plotted his destruction. Responding to the opposition, He spent a whole night in prayer (Luke 6:12) and chose 12 disciples. Here is a point of reflection for us all; before we make any major decision in life, we need to spend some serious time talking to God about it. Seek His wisdom and His will about what you are going to do. Never be in a hurry when it comes to life changing decisions.
We are told that Jesus goes up a mountain. Mountains in the Scriptures are holy places associated with the presence of God. Sometimes named, at other times not named, “the mountain” is the location for events of great significance in salvation history, for example, the giving of the Law to Moses on Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, and the Transfiguration on Tabor.
Jesus’ choice of twelve apostles places them in continuity with the twelve tribes of Israel. The apostles are to be the foundation stones of the Church, the New Israel. Jesus did not choose people because of what they were. He chose them for what they could become under his direction and power. Our problem with following Jesus is we are trying to be a better version of us rather than a more accurate reflection of Him.
While there is no call without a corresponding mission it is interesting to note that the initiative is wholly that of Jesus. He summoned “those whom he wanted”. They were “to be with him” as disciples and friends “to be sent out to proclaim the message” and to preach as Jesus himself did “with authority to cast out demons.”
Within this calling, the Lord’s sovereignty is written all over it. He is in control of their calling. Look carefully at the language Mark uses to describe their calling: Jesus “called out” these men, Jesus “appointed” these men, Jesus gives them the title of “apostles,” Jesus would “send” them out to preach, and Jesus would give them “authority to cast out demons.” You cannot ignore the strategic, intentional, and divine nature of this calling. The same is true of us. God has called us, equipped us, and is sending us to accomplish important missions for Him and His kingdom.
The Lord’s choice of followers may surprise me, and at times I may have difficulties with them, but you and I are chosen, with our faults, just as we are. As you read this list of names consider how you name, too, is called by Jesus. He knows who you are, he loves you and believes that you are ready to work by his side. Ironically, there are also those called by Jesus, who betray him.
Finally, our text of today, having told us the list of the apostles and how the Lord called them also tells us that ‘he (Jesus) then went home.’ It seems that Jesus was able to trust the apostles to act in his name to do what he did. In the same way he trusts you and me, confident that his spirit is alive in us as I speak and act in his name.