And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach. — Mark 3:14
Our focus verse talks about Jesus choosing twelve followers to be His disciples. These men were not chosen because of their amazing abilities or potential; they were ordinary people. The attributes that caused them to be called were willingness and obedience. Their association with Jesus, His instruction, and God’s power were what qualified them.
Today, Jesus is still looking for followers, and the necessary characteristics are the same — willingness and obedience. One young mother tells how God prompted her to be willing and obedient regarding sharing the Gospel with her neighbor who was dying. She said, “They were new neighbors, and I had talked to his wife, but not to him. I wanted to help, and someone suggested I take him some of our Gospel literature. I thought, I can’t do that; I don’t know this man. But the idea did not leave me, and it put conviction on my heart.
“One day, I picked up a couple of Higher Way magazines and the booklet, Thirty Days on the Road to Eternity. Before I went over to their house, I got down and prayed. They took the material, and a while later, he passed on. I thought, Nothing came of it. I had really prayed hard for this man and his family, so I felt sad about that. Later, when I talked again to the lady, she told me, ‘My husband never was a religious man, but when you brought that material over, he read it. And he gave his heart to the Lord before he died.’ It really sank into my heart that we need to do what the Lord tells us to do!”
At times, we may feel unqualified to do what the Lord asks of us. Yet if we will spend time with Him, as this young mother did, He can instruct us and give us His power. We just need to be willing and obedient — attributes which are not out of reach for any of us when we ask for God’s help.
Just think what might happen today if all of us willingly and obediently follow the Lord’s promptings to our hearts!
After angering the Pharisees by healing a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath, Jesus and His disciples distanced themselves by withdrawing to the seashore. Although Jesus was being challenged by religious leaders, many of the people were happy to hear Him. A great crowd followed Him to the sea and then to the mountaintop.
These people came from a large geographical area. Idumea was south of Judea and was the area which had been occupied by the Edomites. “From beyond Jordan” referred to the localities that were east of the Jordan River. Tyre and Sidon were cities to the north in Phoenicia.
Those who followed Jesus had varying motivations. Some wanted to be healed; some wanted to see what was happening; some sought information to discredit Him; and some desired to know if He was, in fact, the promised Messiah. By getting into a boat, Jesus prevented the crowd from thronging Him.
Jesus directed the evil spirits “that they should not make him known.” The spirits recognized Jesus, but if they had been allowed to identify Him as the Son of God, the people could have been confused. Also, the Jewish people believed the Messiah would deliver them from the Roman government’s control, and these political hopes could easily be stimulated. Jesus’ words and the miracles He performed were meant to cause people to understand who He was and His mission, not to promote political unrest.
From the people who followed Him, Jesus chose, or “appointed,” twelve for intense instruction. The number twelve was familiar to the people of Israel because of their twelve tribes. These men were not specially educated, talented, or wealthy, but were ordinary people with varied backgrounds and personalities. However, they were all willing to obey Jesus. They learned by being with Him — watching and listening to Him. He commissioned them to preach and gave them the power to heal sicknesses and cast out devils. In time, these disciples (except Judas) became mighty witnesses for Jesus and were willing to die for their faith.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
III. The opposition to the Son of God
B. The consequences of the opposition to the Son of God
1. The separations of the Son of God
a. Separation from Capernaum (3:7-12)
(1) His vast popularity (3:7-9)
(2) His healing ministry (3:10-12)
b. Separation of the twelve (3:13-19)
God wants us to be His followers. Are we willing and obedient?