Scripture: Mark 3: 7-19a
Key verse: (14) And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons.
Reflection: Many people followed Jesus and were disciples, but in today’s passage Jesus appoints twelve who will provide leadership in his ministry of teaching, preaching and healing. The disciples appointed were: Simon (who was given the name Peter), James (son of Zebedee), John (the brother of James), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon (the Cananaean), and Judas Iscariot. These were very different men. Sometimes we tend to lump them all together as if they were of one mind, one profession, or one personality. Some of these disciples we know more about than others. Peter would go on, after Jesus’ resurrection, to become a great preacher. Thomas would be remembered as the one who doubted Jesus resurrection until he could see and touch Jesus’ wounds. Philip would become a great evangelist to the Gentiles and Judas would forever be remembered as the one who betrayed Jesus to the authorities for 30 pieces of sliver. The other disciples are less known. We know very little about what happened to them after Jesus was gone. However, they each fulfilled the mission they had been given in the places where they lived and worked. They each, like many other disciples of Jesus over the centuries, quietly proclaimed the Gospel message of hope and forgiveness to everyone they met. These men, who we know only by name, made an impact for Christ during their lifetimes.
This story reminds me of the impact of all the men and women I have known who made an impact for Jesus Christ in my life — my second grade Sunday School teacher, my math teacher who prayed for me when I was sick, the saints who greeted me at church and made me feel like I belonged to a community. These and so many others faithfully served Jesus. The love they shared continues to grow. Whenever I get discouraged I think about the impact of their ministry. Most of us will never be remembered for what we did for God on a national or global scale. But, the people whose lives we have touched will never forget. We may not be Apostles like those first 12 who were appointed, but we are called by Jesus to serve others in his name. Let us do this with joy knowing how many saints have gone before us leading the way.
Prayer: Eternal God, we give thanks for the ministry you gave the disciples that has been handed down to us. Help us to live lives worthy of this calling. May others looking at us see something of you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].