February 2. Mark 3:1-19

As we read this passage, it becomes obvious that Jesus’ initial call on John and the others to follow Him was a first step in the process to their becoming His closest followers. They observed Jesus healing on the Sabbath. They watched Him heal. They saw the crowds pressing and swelling in their attempts to be near the Lord. They got to know what it would be like to follow Jesus and Jesus got to know them.

Then, the time came for Jesus to select out of the many who followed the twelve who would be constant companions and who would, after His death and resurrection, found a church and faith that would still be vibrant and active all these thousands of years later. Luke tells us a little bit more about how Jesus made His choices: “One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles” (Luke 6:12-13). I love that Jesus prayed all night first! He constantly modeled to us that prayer matters. Jesus met with His Father and then He chose the twelve.

I also think it is significant that Mark records what they were to do: ” …They were to accompany him, and he would send them out to preach, giving them authority to cast out demons” (Mark 3:14-15a). John and the others would now always go with Jesus. They would also be given authority to act in Jesus’ Name in miraculous ways, and our John, the fisherman, would be called upon, like the rest, to become a preacher! He wasn’t just going to follow, he was going to do the work that Jesus did of preaching and casting out demons. This was a huge assignment when you think about it. It’s one thing to hang out with the amazing miracle worker and teacher. It’s another thing entirely to be told to go and do the work yourself! John and the others were being prepared to lead the new church even then. His training had begun.

What verse did you choose, today, friend? What struck you about this passage? Comment below and let us know. Here’s what stood out to me:

My verse: Mark 3:17 “James and John (the sons of Zebedee, but Jesus nicknamed them ‘Sons of Thunder'”).

My response: Hmmm. So Jesus renames Simon and ends up calling him Peter and he nicknames James and John. New names for the three closest to Him! So fascinating to try to understand why. Was there humor involved in this? Was it because they were big and loud? Or angry and intense? How alike were James and John? Could they have been twins? Usually a nickname is because something is distinctive about a person. These two are listed together with one shared nickname. Peter and his brother Andrew were not linked like that, so perhaps there was an extra close connection between James and John? In any case, Jesus noticed them and singled them out in a special way. Lord, thank You for the way you see us. You are El-Roi: The God Who Sees and I worship You!




2 Comments. Leave new

  • There is so much packed into these verses. But I love the contrast between the three sets of events. The first in verses 1-6, we have a group of people who claim to be the religious elite. They are seeking out tension to elevated their own selves. They had hard hearts that grieved Jesus. Verses 7-12, there are crowds who were pressing for their own needs, and unclean spirits who recognized Jesus, yet were not able to testify to who He was.
    Finally, I come to verses 13-19. I take a sigh of relief, breath easy. Yesterday, we read that He called to a few. And today we read again that He called some more. He desired them, and they came to Him. I mean, wow. Many will come to Jesus, many will claim to know the Bible, but there is a group that is called. The God of creation knows my name and He desires me. And I… I know His name, and I desire Him.

    • Sharon Gamble
      February 2, 2021 8:45 pm

      Oh Melissa,

      Great thoughts. What a stunning blessing that our God knows our name and calls us to Him! Thank you for sharing.


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