Welcome to my Gospel of Mark Series. During 2012-13, each week, I will write a post about the Gospel of Mark as I review and explore each of the 16 chapters and how it may be applied in our daily lives. My goal is to understand and pray the Gospel of Mark. I hope you will join me on this journey as we travel through the liturgical season of Year B. In today's post, we explore chapter 3:13-19 which is Jesus appoints the twelve.
After the summary opening of the second part, Jesus called four disciples. Again, after a summary opening to this part part, He appoints from His disciples the twelve.
A mountain, from the time of Moses on Mount Sinai, is a place to meet God. There Jesus calls His disciples to Him, to come and share His experience of God. To come away to Him they leave something behind. Jesus makes twelve, a symbol of the twelve tribes of Israel, to be a new chosen people to work with Him for the Kingdom of God coming into the world. He gives new names to the first three disciples to signify a new identity.
The mission of the twelve is to preach, implicitly the gospel, although Mark does not directly say this. In Mark's Gospel, during his historical life only explicitly proclaims the gospel of the kingdom of God. The disciples and John the baptiser preach a radical conversion of heart or ‘metanoia’.
The preaching is confirmed by a second task of their mission, to drive out demons, or to free people from all that dehumanises them. This can include any kind of unwanted poverty, material poverty through lack of food, clothing or shelter, social poverty when people suffer discrimination or lack a voice in society; physical poverty: poverty from bodily illness, deformities, or old age, mental poverty through lack of education, crippling anxieties or mental illnesses and spiritual poverty through a lack of God’s Spirit enabling people to receive and give love.
The twelve chosen by Jesus are individually named. This naming reminds us of the deep biblical sense of naming. To be named by Jesus is to be personally involved with Him then as the human Jesus, now in our time as the risen Lord.
In our journal and/or our discussion group we may wish to reflect on this passage as follows:
- Name the key points that you have learnt about the person of Jesus in this passage of scripture?
- Reflect on the keywords in this passage for they contain the substance and purpose of all the things Jesus said and did-
- Consider my relationship with Jesus in the light of this Gospel passage.
- Reflect on how it must have felt to be one of the disciples who were called and named by Jesus.
- Try to feel Jesus calling you and naming you to continue His mission. Make a list of areas in my life that need a change of heart and develop an action plan on how this change of heart might occur. (eg name an area and name one/two changes that you will implement with God's help.
- What impact does Jesus’ teaching have on you (3:13-19).
- How has this passage spoken to you- what does it say to you personally?
It is important to remember that St Mark wishes us to know the person of Jesus.
What does this passage of scripture tell you about the person of Jesus?