“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve[a] that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”),18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.” Mark 3.13-19
Jesus called and the disciples came. These are two important and rather necessary steps to following Christ.
First, he calls. What does it mean for God to call us? I believe he calls each of us into a relationship with him. The God of creation who made all of us wants us to know him us personally. He knows us deeply but do we know him? And so, God calls us to him. We see it here with the twelve. Could they have said “no?” Certainly. But since they had said “yes” previously, some on the shore of Galilee, this second call was much easier. They were already committed.
Second, they came to him. When Jesus called, they came to him without hesitation. Now they were still sinners. We see this specifically in Peter and Judas. But they were redeemable just as we are. They were, as are we, a work in progress. So when he called, they responded. And once they came to him, he appointed them to do the work he had called them to perform for the sake of the Kingdom — 1) preaching the Gospel and 2) casting out demons.
And then Marks’ Gospel lists each of their names (see these above). These could have been omitted from the Gospel but arguably they mattered. They mattered because this is an historical account of God’s activity in the world. And next they mattered because these are human beings, made in God’s likeness, called for a purpose. Just like us, Christ calls us not simply as a group, but by name — Peter, James, John, Andrews, and so forth.
Today God continues to choose people to follow and to serve the Kingdom. When I am sleeping, he is selecting. When I am distracted, he is discerning. When I am sinning, he is saving. We have work to do in this world but it’s God who does it 24/7. I have a task before me, which is noble, but it’s nothing that can’t be completed by the Lord alone. The fact that he involves us in his work is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Have you heard the call of God? Have you responded? Regardless of your task, he will equip you for it. Regardless of your limitations, God will make provision. He who created the world with a word can surely accomplish his work in you this day.
Say yes to Jesus. Do not hesitate. Seek his face. Submit your life to the One who knows you best and wants to save the world with your help.
“O Lord God, that you would involve a sinner, like me, is amazing. But I am weak! However, you are strong. Fill me with the power of your Holy Spirit so that I might be all that you have called and created me to be. In my weakness, do your work. Reveal this weakness so I might see and experience the power of your Spirit. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen