High School Director Sean Duncan spoke on Mark 3:13-19. Continuing the series in the book of Mark asking the question “who is Jesus?” Sean shared on how Jesus is the new Israel and is re-deligating responsibility to the new humanity of Christ followers.
And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 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.
I don’t know where your mind went first when reading those 7 verses but for me, my minds first thought was I want to know more about these 12 dudes. why do some have nicknames and others don’t? were Simon and James popular names back then? or did Jesus have a name preference. What about the 12 made them the 12 and how can I emulate that?
So often we pick up our bibles with the intent to learn something about ourselves. “OK God, teach me about myself today.” When in itself that is not even what the bible is. The bible is the word of God, it is God revealing himself to us.
you can know a lot about your bible without knowing what your bible is about.
Its really easy to get wrapped up in the wrong thing and misunderstand. Just the same, we could sit down and learn a lot about these 12 disciples and miss what this section is trying to tell us. This section of scripture isn’t trying to tell us about the 12, its trying to tell us something about Jesus and who He is.
We can learn about the disciples but if you leave this text only with new understanding of the disciples you’ve missed the point.
Jesus is the priority, and Jesus is the point.
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.
Remember what Jesus has been doing so far.
– So far in The book of mark we have seen a lot of statements about Jesus.
– We saw that Jesus is the one prophesied about in Isaiah.
– The servant who would be numbered with sinners.
– The king who would have the spirit rest upon him, we saw that in the baptism.
– Jesus is the better adam as he defeats satan in the desert.
– Jesus has shown his power over demonic spirits, he has displayed his power over – sickness, we have seen Jesus as a teacher and one bringing the Kingdom of God into reality, just what the jewish people were waiting for.
But as we saw last week, the religious leaders are not all in favor of Jesus. In fact, after Jesus restored the mans withered hand, the religious leaders began to plot on how to kill him.
And just as we say Jesus restore the mans withered hand last week to its original image and purpose, we are also seeing Jesus restore something here in this text, which will only further the religious leaders fire to destroy him.
Jesus by taking 12 disciples is instating himself as the new Israel. He is restoring Israel and he is restoring the blessing to all the nations that would come through Israel from Abraham.
Speaking about followers of Christ, 1 Peter 2:9 says
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
That is the same language used to describe Israel in exodus 19:5-6
“you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
The role of Israel was to be this nation that was set apart. and they would be different from all the other nations because of how they lived. There social justice and moral uprightness, and care for the poor would then reflect the nature of God to the surrounding nations. But Israel failed miserably at that job if you’ve been reading through the bible with the bible project reading plan you’ve seen this.
Jesus is restoring Israel and restoring people to God who would live in a way and speak about God in a way that models God to the rest of the world.
In the abrahamic covenant there comes a promise that through the offspring of Abraham the entire world would be blessed. In the mosaic covenant it is through the nation of Israel that this blessing would come.
Jesus is the blessing to the world, and it is through Jesus and his followers (Christians) that the world continues to be blessed.
SO, how does Jesus intend for this restored Israel, the 12, to bring blessing to the world?
by Preaching and casting out evil!
And we also bring blessing by preaching the gospel to those around us, and the gospel is what casts out evil.
But here is the main point that I really want you to see.
It takes spending time with Jesus in order to preach Jesus. (v14)
It is our duty and our responsibility as Christians to be preaching and sharing Jesus and who he is and what he has done on our behalf. The great commission is to go and make disciples and the way that happens is by teaching Jesus, and then walking with those who accept Christ.
We talk about who we spend our time with. I can tell you so many stories about people in the High School ministry because I’ve spent quality time with y’all. We talk. I learn about y’all, you learn about me.
It takes spending quality time with someone to share them with others.
We need to be a community that spends time with Jesus so that we can share Jesus.
This high school ministry exist so that we can know, love, and share, Jesus, community, and scripture.
we have to be spending time with Jesus.
So what kind of people does Jesus call?
16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother 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.
Jesus calls normal people. broken people. hurting people. sinful people. humans.
lets not forget these people and broken and sinful just like you and me. They aren’t these untouchable perfect people. they recognized their sin. They don’t have strong morality, they have strong faith. thats whats special about them. and any one of you can take the step to place your faith in Jesus.
Jesus doesn’t call perfect people, He desires to make people perfect through his life, death, resurrection, and enthronement.
Jesus calls people who otherwise would be at odds with each other creating a diverse group of people. But He also calls family to come together, brothers, and enemies coming together to make a new family, the family of God.
Another thing to notice is that Jesus Christ, God incarnate, did ministry and life with other people. Why then should we think that we are exempt from community?
Discipleship is done together.
It is community that holds us accountable, encourages us, rebukes us, sharpens us, loves us, cares for us. we have to be with one another for success. You can go fast alone but you can go far together.
Preaching Jesus is about sharing His victory and His perfection, not trying to make yourself look perfect or like a conqueror on your own doing.
Jesus appoints these 12 and then sends them out with the task to preaching the gospel and we are commissioned with that as well, from the great commission.
God wants to share responsibility with his people
Jesus want so to share responsibility of the gospel. this is nothing new. In the Garden of Eden God creates a world of order full of life and shared that responsibility with humanity to oversee creation.
but through sin humanity destroyed that life and order and instead brought chaos and curse into God’s world. Jesus is restoring life and order and He’s doing so through His life, death, resurrection, and enthronement.
Bearing the punishment of sin for the many. And that is really good news. Giving that responsibility back to humanity to share God’s mission to bring life and order into the world. Eternal life and order. If you are a follower of Christ you are a part of the new humanity. And it is the new humanity that continues to share.