The Life of Christ - Developing an Inner Circle of Followers (1) - Monday, February 5th

The Life of Christ - Developing an Inner Circle of Followers (1) - Monday, February 5th

And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, and to have authority to cast out the demons. And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter), and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, “Sons of Thunder”); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot; and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him. Mark 3:13-19

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

We are in our fifth week of our Devotionals on the Life of Christ as seen in the Gospel of Mark. We will be looking at a number of passages in chapters 3 and 4 of Mark throughout the week. In our considerations this week we are dealing with a significant shift in the ministry of Jesus. Today’s passage tells us that he went up on the mountain. Luke’s account tells us that Jesus went up on the mountain to pray and that he spent the whole night in prayer to God. So, it is in the morning that Jesus “summoned those whom he himself wanted, and they came to him.” We have seen how large numbers of people have been coming out to see Jesus. Out of all those who had been coming to check Jesus out, there are a smaller number who stick with him and follow him as he travels around.

It is not hard to imagine that while Jesus is up on the mountain praying all night, this group of followers is camped out and asleep at the base of the mountain. It is out of this group of followers that Jesus “summoned those whom he himself wanted, and they came to him.” Our passage tells us that from out of this select group, Jesus then “appointed the twelve.” This selection process of determining this smaller group and appointing the twelve was the product of an entire night of Jesus seeking his Heavenly Father’s face in prayer.

The Gospel of Mark told us previously that when Jesus began his public ministry, he said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.” Jesus came to establish and build the kingdom of God. It is not enough to preach to the multitudes and to demonstrate his power and authority through healing and deliverance. Jesus knew it was necessary to reach and build a team of followers who would be equipped to perpetuate a cycle of reaching and building a team of Christ-followers that would keep on going for centuries to come.

So, Jesus began developing a inner circle of followers. Regarding the twelve he says this: “so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, and to have authority to cast out the demons.” What wonderful words, “so that they would be with Him.” This is the key to everything. We like the idea of hanging out with Jesus and letting him build us into all that we need to be. Well he is still at work letting us “be with him” and building us into devoted disciples. We have an inner sanctuary of prayer in which we can hang out with Jesus and let him build his life into ours.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, I come into the inner sanctuary of prayer to be with you and to let you build yourself into my life more fully and completely. Help me to become a more devoted disciple who you can use for the sake of your kingdom that is still going forward sure and strong all these centuries later. Thank you for my connections with other disciples (teams) who are following you in this same way. Amen!

Be sure to check out the special posts from this past Saturday and Sunday.

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