Last year, my first major contribution of daily devotionals, a commentary on the Gospel of Mark, was published in The Journey. I have been rereading them this month as part of my morning voice exercises. I almost broke down reading this one.
Mark 3:13-21 THE TWELVE
Some TV channels, to save time at the end of a program, will speed up the credit list so that hundreds of names whip by the screen in a few seconds. Those people helped bring the story in various ways but we barely hear about them. Mark’s listing of The Twelve can seem like that. Some of the names on that list never show up again in any other stories about Jesus.
Still, Mark has an interesting description of why they were picked out by Jesus to become part of his team. Mark says Jesus “wanted” or “desired” them. Initially, his calling the disciples to “follow” looked almost cut and dried. Now we see a hint that real friendship has been growing.
Mark mentions nicknames for some of the men that probably grew out of watching their behavior and interaction. It’s what friends do. They aren’t perfect. But they are becoming a family. To a man they will abandon Jesus at his arrest in Gethsemane. But this doesn’t stop Jesus from sending them out now to preach. He even gives them authority to cast out demons!
Jesus is making them perfect but he’s not waiting for that before putting them to work. Jesus will give them plenty of second chances.
No wonder Jesus liked their company. For one thing, their attitude was quite different from Jesus’ “real family.” That family thought Jesus was out of his mind.
Of course, we may wonder why Jesus picked Judas, the one who would betray him. Someone said, “There’s an even bigger mystery than that: why did Jesus choose me?“
The answer seems to be, “Because he likes you.” Imagine that.
Can you believe Jesus would like you enough to want to talk with you, to ask you to stick around? Can you believe he would lay down his life for someone like you? Do you think that could possibly be the truth?
Prayer: Lord Jesus… I don’t know what to say when I realize you want me – me! – to stick around.