You may possibly recall from our studies in the Gospel of John that Jesus took Himself away generally into the mountains before making major decisions and the choosing of the Twelve was one of these. Jesus had begun His ministry, came with a message and had preached and healed throughout Galilee and now He had to face two practical problems. The first was how to make His message an enduring one, especially if anything happened to Him. The second thing was to how His message was to be disseminated-in the days before printing and mass media. Both those issues could be resolved by choosing people on whose hearts and lives He could write His message and who would go out to spread it- twelve or thirteen are better than one! So, we can note that Christianity began with a group- it has always been something which had to be discovered and lived out in fellowship. Secondly, it began with a very mixed group. Right at the start, potentially warring factions were bound together by the love of Christ. Matthew was a tax collector and therefore an outcast, Simon the Zealot was so named because he was part of a group of fiery nationalists, a patriot willing to lay down his life to free the Jews from the Roman yoke. There were also fishermen and intellectuals, but the ones whom Jesus chose had no special qualifications in terms of wealth, social prestige or theology. However, they felt a magnetic attraction to Jesus and they were bold enough to show that they were on His side, even when the going got tough. That is all Jesus requires of any of His followers: to love Him and be prepared to tell the world about Him. So, why did Jesus call them to Him? Firstly, He called them to BE WITH HIM. They were to spend day and night for three years with Him identifying their lives with His life. Secondly, He called them to SEND THEM OUT. They had been called by Him to Him in order to tell others about Him. Jesus also equipped them with a message and He gave them power. Do you want to learn what following Jesus is about? Then let us learn from the disciples and the way Jesus worked with them as we study Mark!
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