Jesus chooses a motley crew

Mark 3:1-19 is the passage we read today. Here is some help from Jeff Miller, “A Follower’s Calling” found at

Jesus chooses a motley crew of followers: Four blue collar fishermen, one hated tax-collector, one radical member of a violent political party, one doubter, and one betrayer (known to Jesus). We know virtually nothing about six of these men, whose names never appear again in Mark’s Gospel. Although the word “family” has not yet occurred in this chapter [3], Jesus has nevertheless established the pattern of a family with these disciples. This pattern has three components.

First, Jesus “names” them apostles. The text does not say that He “called” them apostles, nor that He “appointed” them apostles. It uses the specific Greek word meaning “name.” Furthermore, Peter, James, and John receive additional “names” from Jesus. Isn’t that the first step for a new member of a family? Isn’t that what happens when you enter a family? When we are called into God’s family, He gives us a new name. What name has God given to you? I like to think that when a person is born again the Father breaks open His book of baby names and states, “Ah, a new precious child. What shall I name this one?” I would imagine that book contains names such as “Patient One,” “Joyful One,” “Servant,” “Trusting One,” “Courageous One,” “Honest One,” “Faithful One.” What name has the Father bestowed upon you? Are you living up to that name?

Second, these disciples are called to “be with Him.” Isn’t this the next stage for a member of a family? A child is born, named, and then “with” the family for a period of time—usually about 18-20 years. During this time the children are taught, trained, and prepared for life. In the same way, Jesus seeks to teach, train, and prepare these disciples for ministry.

Finally, after a period of time “with Jesus,” these disciples will be sent “to preach and to have authority to cast out demons.” After receiving the training and preparation, the disciples will be sent out to accomplish ministry. In the same way, children are born, named, with their family for a period of time, and then sent out into life. While you and I are not apostles in a technical sense, our job is quite similar. Are you and I following that pattern within God’s spiritual family? We have been born again, named, and with Jesus. Are we now accomplishing the ministry we have been trained and prepared for? I wonder how many of us like the “be with him” part but not the “going out” part. You and I are irrevocably called into God’s family just as these disciples were.