Mark 3:13-21 (ESV)

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 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. 20 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

Jesus specifically called twelve men from those who were following him to be apostles. Typically, students would take time to ponder which rabbi they wanted to study under, and the student would then approach the rabbi for consideration. But when Jesus called the men he desired, the exact opposite happened. Jesus knew exactly whom he wished to be his twelve apostles, and he appointed them according to his command. He both chose them to be with him and to be sent. The twelve would be charged to do two specific things: preach the gospel and have authority over demons (v. 15). The apostles were commissioned to declare to others what they had seen and heard in and from Jesus. In this sense, these men were the initial representatives of all disciples who would follow the Lord, as the Christian is someone who is both with Jesus and sent by Jesus to do his will. After Jesus called the twelve, he went back to eat, but so many people pursued him that he wasn’t even able to eat a meal. At this point, his family thought it was “intervention time” for the religious fanatic. They believed Jesus had gone crazy, and they desperately tried to bring him back to his senses.

It is worth considering the fact that no one “does Jesus a favor” by choosing to follow him. Instead, if you are his disciple, you are indebted to his call on your life. Think about the moment when you came to the place of genuine repentance and faith. How did God orchestrate the details of your life so that you could respond to his summons? The honest heart will see that salvation is truly all of God from start to finish. If you are in Christ, spend a few minutes thanking God for his choice of you. The Christian is a living testimony to the sovereignty of God. And the Christian is a continual reminder to those watching, seen and unseen, of not only God’s sovereignty, but his goodness too. As God continues to unfold his timeless plan before even the angels in heaven, those who have been called out as believers play an important role in his grand demonstration. Allow your knowledge of his authority to encourage and strengthen you to further obedience and joy, knowing that he can and will complete what he sets out to do.