Mk 3 Jesus chooses the Twelve from the Multitude
The Bible passage points out that Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him. Most of Jesus’ public ministry was in the region of Galilee. The summary of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee is mentioned in Mark 3:7-12, viz., his teaching, healing, and the faith of the people in Jesus who followed him, and his power over the unclean spirits who shouted and revealed the identity of Jesus, that he is the Son of God. The revelation of Jesus as the Son of God is gradually unfolded in this passage. Mark gives us an indication of the messianic secret that runs throughout the gospel; and that is the reason why Jesus sternly orders the evil spirit not to make him known.
The teachings and miracles of Jesus attracted many to him, and there were many who travelled with him wherever he went. There were people from those regions which Jesus had not even visited. It shows that the fame of Jesus had spread to those regions. If God’s presence and action is seen in the life of a missionary, people will naturally come to him irrespective of the fact whether he had visited their hometown or not. The bible passage says that all those who had diseases came to Jesus, because they believed that disease is the mark of suffering given by God. Jesus heals them who come to him with complete faith. Faith in Jesus is essential to receive healing.
Jesus climbs up the mountain to remind us of God’s call of Moses. Moses receives his call when he went up the Mountain. When Moses realizes that his mission was over and that he could not cross over the Jordan and take the people to the promised land, he chooses Joshua to lead the Israelites (Deut 31: 3). He told the Israelites that their Lord God will go ahead of them to conquer the enemies. In the book of Isaiah 41: 8-10, God tells Israelites that Jacob who is chosen by God is His servant. He says: “do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold with my victorious right hand”. This protection is assured to the disciples when Jesus chooses them to be with him.
The Master chooses those whom he wanted from those who followed him. When he chose the twelve, he names them apostles. He chose them with a mission, viz., to be with him, to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons. As soon as Jesus called them, they went to him. The number of 12 apostles is also symbolic of the twelve tribes of Israel (Gen 49:3-28). Jesus erects a new covenantal community through the appointment of the twelve (Mt 19:28).
Every call is for a mission. The primary purpose of the call is to be with Jesus, their Master. To be with Jesus means, to suffer with Jesus, to accept the humiliations and to work in communion with the Holy Spirit to establish God’s Kingdom.Thus, every disciple is called to share in the suffering and glory of Jesus. Every missionary, before being sent out to proclaim the messagemust be with Jesushis Master, who called him. Jesus appoints his chosen twelve with duties and powers. They are given a share in his suffering and in his mission. They are given authority over the evil spirits to continue the work of Jesus. The harvest is plenty, the laborers are few. The Master is filling the gap by choosing collaborators to establish God’s Kingdom on earth. The good Lord calls us to be with him and entrust us with his mission. He assures us of his constant presence and protection. Let us go to him and stay with him and learn from him to continue his mission of establishing God’s Kingdom on earth. Amen!