Lesson 13

The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

3:7 Jesus withdrew to the sea with his disciples, and a great multitude followed him from Galilee, from Judea, 3:8 from Jerusalem, from Idumaea, beyond the Jordan, and those from around Tyre and Sidon. A great multitude, hearing what great things he did, came to him. 3:9 He spoke to his disciples that a little boat should stay near him because of the crowd, so that they wouldn't press on him. 3:10 For he had healed many, so that as many as had diseases pressed on him that they might touch him. 3:11 The unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, "You are the Son of God!" 3:12 He sternly warned them that they should not make him known.

3:13 He went up into the mountain, and called to himself whom he wanted, and they went to him. 3:14 He appointed twelve, that they might be with him, and that he might send them out to preach, 3:15 and to have authority to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons: 3:16 Simon, to whom he gave the name Peter; 3:17 James the son of Zebedee; John, the brother of James, and them he surnamed Boanerges, which means, Sons of Thunder; 3:18 Andrew; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James, the son of Alphaeus; Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot; 3:19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Today's Lesson 

Jesus had begun His public ministry with His baptism by John the Baptist. The New Testament scriptures tell that John recognized Jesus was the one who would follow after him. After this, there were forty days in which Jesus fasted and prepared. When He returned, John had already been imprisoned and Jesus began to declare that the Kingdom of God was at hand. He performed miracles and cast out demons. People came to see Him and came to bring people to Him to be healed. Everywhere He went there was excitement.


In Today's Scripture we see the culmination of what has gone before. Jesus was mobbed by the multitude. People came from far and from near to see Him and to watch for the next miracle. They did not want to hear His words about the Father so much as they wanted to see the latest attraction. They began pressing on Him so that He had His disciples bring a boat that He could escape the multitude in if need be. Even the unclean spirits tended to disrupt His teaching by falling down at His feet and crying out. Even though they were acknowledging His authority and power, their displays tended to increase the level of confusion surrounding Jesus.


It was at this point that Jesus called to Himself the Twelve and gave them authority to heal sickness and cast out demons. Instead of one person healing the sick and casting out demons, there were thirteen. In appointing the Twelve, Jesus was saying that the Kingdom of God was more than just one man. Christ may be the King in the Kingdom of God, but the power and the authority of God goes out from the center into the entire world. The Twelve were the beginning of rapid expansion of the church.


Jesus didn't wait until things had calmed down to appoint the Twelve. He did it during the time of greatest uncertainty and confusion. God works during moments of uncertainty. When God wants us to move in a certain direction, we do not need to wait for the "perfect moment." God works on His own timing. He does not wait until we are comfortable. He wants us to learn to trust Him under every circumstance.


And look at the Twelve that Jesus appointed. They had no formal religious training. They had diverse backgrounds, none of which really prepared them for what God would do with them in the future. They didn't even get along well together as a group. They would argue and bicker amongst themselves about who was the greatest among them until the end of Jesus' life.


God does not wait for the "perfect person" any more than He waits for the "perfect time." God uses what is available. These Twelve were near at hand. They made themselves available to Jesus and through them He built a church that has withstood the centuries since. God can create remarkable things from unremarkable people. These men were fishermen and tax collectors. Most of them were so non-descript that we know practically nothing about them. The authority and the power of the Twelve was not the Twelve, but the One: Jesus Christ.


Are you waiting for the "perfect time" to do something that God has put on your heart? Or do you think that God can't use you because you're just not right for the job?


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