Year 2 Day 74
Read - Mark 3:13-19
Message - Alan Burke
If we are familiar with the history of the people of God then we know big things happen on mountains, and the number twelve is significant. Think of Moses on Mount Sinai, how had formally constituted the old covenant community and there were twelve tribes of Israel (Ex 19:1-25; 20:18-20). Here in Mark’s gospel, as we move from the chaotic, intense, emotional scene of the crowds crushing Jesus beside the lake as those from all over the Israel of old coming to Jesus (7-8, Isa 43:5-6), we have Jesus on a mountain with those whom he wanted and from them he appointed twelve. Another mountain, another twelve, Jesus here is starting a new age and a new community, fulfilling Moses’ work and stepping into His role as mediator of the new covenant and a new community who are united in him.
Those whom Jesus calls here have nothing in common except the call of Jesus on their lives, apart from him they cannot have community. Jesus chose these twelve men for the specific purpose that they might be with him and that he might extend his mission through them, that they could go where he could not because of the crowds and his fame. The promise of a future ministry is fulfilled initially in the mission of the Twelve to the Galilean villages (Ch. 6:7-13) as they went out to preach and drive out demons, but it finds its wider significance in the apostolic mission after the resurrection.
I want to pick a few of these names out, Simon to whom Jesus gave the name Peter meaning little rock. Think about him, the story of Peter in this Gospel reveals one who is anything but rocklike. He wrangles with Jesus about his messianic role (8:32–33) and when things get rough and there is hostile scrutiny he’s like a feather (4:5–6, 16–18) and goes on to denies his Lord three times (14:66–72). Think of James and John, sons of thunder. They are shown hankering after glory and riches that they think should abound when Jesus ascends his throne, they want the best seats in the house, to sit on the king’s left and right, who cares about the other apostles, the other ten. Then there is Judas, he comes last in the list, his name is not the name Jesus gave him but the church.
Ideal poster boys, legends they are not. What they were is flawed, failures time after time. In spite of the failures of the Twelve, there was a purpose in them being called, for they were called according to the plans and purpose of God. Nobody forced Judas to become a disciple, he chose to follow Jesus; he made his own decision to become a learner disciple, to enter the school of Jesus, and he stayed with our Lord during His earthly ministry for three years. Ultimately he would just like the Pharisees, just like the crowd reject Jesus. Judas was not genuinely converted. That ought to give us pause as we consider the states of our own souls.
These along with all who follow Jesus, were and are united together through Jesus Himself. There was nothing but the effectual call of God in hearts and lives that gives them common faith in the Savior drawing such people together. The same is true today, Jesus alone can unite people of varying backgrounds and who hold varying opinions into one body in service to the Creator. I may not know the difference between Boyzone or Westlife, I may not speak or understand Spanish or German, but I know that if you are united to Christ then these things are not important for you are my brother or sister and what unites us is not these things but Christ who brought about a new community in him through faith.
Q80 What is required in the tenth commandment?
The tenth commandment requireth full contentment with our own condition, (Heb. 13:5, 1 Tim. 6:6) with a right and charitable frame of spirit toward our neighbour, and all that is his. (Job 31:29, Rom. 12:15, 1 Tim. 1:5, 1 Cor. 13:4–7)