Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Mark 3:13-19a (NRSV)[Jesus] went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. 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. So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
I have often wondered why the New Testament names so few of Jesus’ disciples. Even the lists of twelve named “apostles” vary. (Compare today’s reading with Matthew 10:1-4; Luke 6:12-16; Acts 1:12-14.) Clearly there were more than twelve who followed Jesus, more who accepted the challenge to spread the good news of Jesus. After the death of Judas, the eleven who remained were quick to seek God’s guidance in choosing a replacement. Paul counted himself an apostle, and we are not in error to think of Priscilla, Timothy, Lydia, and others as disciples.
Legend says that the twelve went throughout the known world to tell of God’s salvation in Christ—Thomas to India, Peter to Rome, others to Egypt and the inner and outer parts of Europe and Asia. Though Paul’s ambition to visit Spain may have been denied, later missionaries reached that land. Still in our time, disciples go to unknown, often dangerous places to fulfill the mission of Jesus—their mission.
Where do you belong in the lists of Jesus’ followers? Where are you willing to go? It does not matter if you cannot go far away. You can serve wherever you are.
Loving God, because you love us you call us to follow Jesus. Because we are Jesus’ followers, we are ready to go forth in his name. We are eager to share the good news. Amen.
Go with God.