What Jesus Did! 'The Purpose of the 12' — Mark 3:14-15

Friday, February 19, 2016

Jesus chose twelve men and called them apostles. Jesus wanted these twelve men to be with him, and he wanted to send them to other places to tell people {God's message}. And Jesus wanted these men to have the power to force demons out of people.
— Mark 3:14-15
Illustration of Mark 3:14-15 —  And Jesus wanted these men to have the power to force demons out of people.

Key Thought

Jesus selected the 12 for several clear purposes. First, they were to be his companions—they would learn by being with him. Second, he sent them out to do what he had been doing—preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. Third, he gave them authority and power to serve. His plan for the development of these disciples, most of whom became leaders after his death, is a good one for us to follow. If we want leaders who can make a huge difference in the world, we need to train them, task them, and trust them. Training means that we don't just give them a manual or a book, but that we help them learn by serving as an apprentice to a proven leader. Tasking means that we give them a clear mission or task to perform and hold them accountable to fulfill that task. Trusting means that we actually give them authority and power to do what needs to be done. Unfortunately the whole Body of Jesus is not turned loose to work as it could because we are afraid that some leaders won't live up to the holy task they are to perform. So let's be honest with Jesus' example. Did these 12 all live up to their holy task? How long did it take for even the best of them to get it right? How many of them failed at some point? How many of them failed completely? Get the point? Let's prayerfully call more people to serve and then follow Jesus' example.

Today's Prayer

Father, forgive us. We have limited your people because we have not called more to lead; and the few whom we have called to lead, we often limit because of our lack of faith in them and our lack of direction and accountability given to them. Dear Father, please raise up more leaders and open our eyes to their presence. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Then Jesus went up on a hill. Jesus told some men to come to him. These were the men Jesus wanted. These men went up to Jesus. Jesus chose twelve men and called them apostles. Jesus wanted these twelve men to be with him, and he wanted to send them to other places to tell people {God's message}. And Jesus wanted these men to have the power to force demons out of people. These are the names of the twelve men Jesus chose: Simon (Jesus gave him the name Peter); James and John, the sons of Zebedee (Jesus gave them the name Boanerges. This name means "Sons of Thunder"); Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot. Judas is the one that gave Jesus {to his enemies}.

Mark 3:13-19

Related Scripture Readings

More and more people were becoming followers of Jesus. But during this same time, the Greek-speaking followers had an argument with the other Jewish followers. They said that their widows were not getting their share of the things that the followers received every day. The twelve apostles called the whole group of followers together. The apostles said to them, "Our work of teaching God's word has stopped. That's not good! It is better for us to continue teaching God's word than to help people have something to eat. So, brothers and sisters, choose seven of your own men. They must be men that people say are good. They must be full of wisdom and full of the Spirit. We will give them this work to do. Then we can use all our time to pray and to teach the word {of God}." The whole group liked the idea. So they chose these seven men: Stephen (a man with great faith and full of the Holy Spirit ), Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus (a man from Antioch, who had become a Jew). Then they put these men before the apostles. The apostles prayed and put their hands on the men. The word of God was reaching more and more people. The group of followers in Jerusalem became larger and larger. Even a big group of Jewish priests believed and obeyed.

Acts 6:1-7

In the church (group of believers) at Antioch there were some prophets and teachers. They were: Barnabas, Simeon (also called Niger), Lucius (from the city of Cyrene), Manaen (who had grown up with Herod, the ruler) and Saul. These men were all serving the Lord and fasting. The Holy Spirit said to them, "Give Barnabas and Saul to me to do a special work. I have chosen them to do this work." So the church fasted and prayed. They put their hands on Barnabas and Saul and sent them out.

Acts 13:1-3

Each of you received a spiritual gift {from God}. God has shown you his grace (kindness) in many different ways. And you are like servants who are responsible for using God's gifts. So be good servants and use your gifts to serve each other. The person who speaks should speak words from God. The person who serves should serve with the strength that God gives. You should do these things so that in everything God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Power and glory belong to him forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:10-11


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.