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Daily Bible Readings

Hand-Making Apostles the Same Way Since 0027

Posted by Dan Sullivan on

[13] And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. [14] And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach [15] and have authority to cast out demons. [16] He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); [17] James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); [18] Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, [19] and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Mark 3:13–19 ESV Read More

Jesus didn’t have much trouble finding people to follow Him. Whether it was the awesome wisdom that He taught, or the amazing miracles He worked, to many, He was irresistible. But finding followers wasn’t the whole plan. To get a bunch of people to follow along and listen is a great thing, but when you stop talking, they stop listening. 

When He called the twelve, it says He appointed them to be with Him and that He would then be able to send them out to preach and that they would have authority to cast out demons. It’s so encouraging that the emphasis isn’t on them being with Jesus to learn anything. This isn’t about learning, it’s about being with Jesus. 

The thing that is really great about this wording and about the life they lived is that Jesus didn’t just pick these guys to be His recruits, He really wanted to be around them. There will be numerous times that He goes out of His way, interrupts His sleep or His prayers or even His breakfast (!) to be with them.  

In being with Jesus, they take on some qualities. For one, they are apostles. This was an old word for men sent out with a message on behalf of the sender. That message would be worked into them and shown off to them for the next three years. They would be sent out right away, though, because part of living out the life of an apostle is to learn from the proclamation of the Good News yourself. 

The other thing that Jesus gave them was authority over evil spirits. Horror movies and folk religions would have us think this is some crazy ceremony or magical power. The thing is, that wouldn’t line up with all of the ways that Jesus casts out demons elsewhere in the scriptures. Over and over again when Jesus begins to teach, a demon-possessed person says “I know who you are!” and Jesus silences them. Sometimes there is a shriek or yell, but then it’s over and the message goes on. 

This was not a street performance or an attention getter. Jesus wanted the message to go out, and He was going to stop anything that would hinder it. We know from the last few days, though, that Jesus wouldn’t overcome a hard heart by force. 

They had authority to cast out demons, but not to soften unwilling hard hearts of people that didn’t want to listen. 

They had an irresistible friend with an irresistible message, but they brought no force against the people that resisted. 

They spent time with Jesus, then they went out and cleared the way for the message of Good News that they were bursting to share. That was the technique and practice that would continue best for over 2000 years. 

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Tags: calling, devotion, discipleship, evangelism, following, mission