We have two somewhat connected stories in today’s passage. We will learn some things that pertain to all who would be a ‘Disciples’ of Christ. We will learn somethings about being called to leadership of Christ’s body.
As followers of Christ we need both the healing & teaching of Jesus. As followers of Christ we all will be called to lead in some way, shape or form. Balanced discipleship prepares us to play the role God has for us, whatever that is. God’s Word guides us and points us.
Last week, during a visit to a synagogue, Jesus healed & taught…He healed someone, [no demonic component] & taught on the heart of the sabbath. He declared: “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” As Christ confronts the legalism of the Pharisees, they begin to plot with the followers of King Herrod to get rid of Him…
7 Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples; and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and also from Judea, 8 and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that He was doing and came to Him.
- Back to Capernaum: Home base
- Masses flocked to Him because He had been traveling, visiting synagogues
- They heard of what Christ had done, [healing] not so much the message
- Serious distances coved by seekers…
9 And He told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him because of the crowd, so that they would not crowd Him; 10 for He had healed many, with the result that all those who had afflictions pressed around Him in order to touch Him.
- He knew many were realizing a need for connection to God
- This is perhaps before He preaches from the boat..
- There were people who believed they would be healed if they touched him
- Christ wanted to teach as well as heal [long term spiritual healing vs quick fix]
- The implication is that not every affliction was the result of unclean spirits
- When demons were the cause, they were compelled to bow & confess
- Christ did not want the demons to communicate in any way to seekers
- Demons obeyed Jesus’ command not to tell better than some people
…Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. ~ Mark 1:43-45
13 And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. 14 And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, 15 and to have authority to cast out the demons.
- The idea of the mountain was similar to Moses going up on Mt. Sinai
- God called those He had a specific purpose to fulfill…He still does!
- When Jesus gives one of His followers a call to leadership they they come
- They would be with Him [Disciples] AND He would send them [Apostles]
- God gives people He calls to be His leaders some of HIS Spiritual Authority.
16 And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter), 17 and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, “Sons of Thunder”)
- ‘Appointed’ them to a place of leadership and Mission
- ‘The Big Three’ [Peter, James & John]
- They were called to be leadership for the leadership
- ‘Son’s of Thunder’ was tongue in cheek AND serious at the same time
- The other 9…Each had a special role
- Andrew was Peter’s support
- Philip was a disciple of John The Baptist [Sound Meta-Narrative]
- Bartholomew [AKA Nathaniel] was un-jaded and without guile
- Matthew / Levi was to one day write one of the ‘Spirit Breathed’ Gospels
- Thomas: We all have doubts God wants to address
- James the lesser: took the Gospel to Persia [Not Levi / Matthew’s brother]
- Thaddaeus [also called Judas / Jude] He questioned God the way we all should
- Simon The Zealot: brought radical religious cachet; following Christ is radical
- And Judas Iscariot…
- Always mentioned with Iscariot to distinguish him from Thaddaeus
- Judas is reminiscent of another character in Scripture… Saul
Our church wide 1st Samuel Study… Some heavy theology… often overlooked
Clear parallels between Saul & Judas: Both were selected by God for a specific role but it was not to obey and believe in God as God. Both appear to be part of God’s redeemed but end up proving they are not…
These two and others in Scripture do not ‘lose’ their place as belonging to God, they never did belong to God. Important theology regarding what the Bible teaches about salvation…We are all about what Scripture has to say about salvation / eternity
Biblical Gospel: ‘Once saved, always saved’
Jesus wants to connect us to God through healing and teaching; healing for now and teaching for on-going connection.
Jesus reveals Himself through His teaching and His healing, not through demonic proclamation.
God calls exactly who He wants to lead what He wants led. There are numerous roles in leadership of the Body of Christ, the scriptural model is a team of ‘role players’.
People can appear to be serving as leaders of God’s people when they have not fully surrendered their life to The God of The Bible. Such people, like Judas Iscariot and Saul, will ultimately betray the Lord.
Is your Christ discipleship a balance of Spiritual Healing and Scriptural Teaching? Do you see the need in your life for both? What adjustments could bring more balance?
What is your process for making certain there is no demonic influence in your relationship with Jesus Christ? Do you recognize the need to closely & biblically scrutinize influences?
Are you available to be called into some form of leadership in Christ Body? Are you willing to play whatever role Christ gives you as well as you can?
What criteria do you use to evaluate leadership of Christ’s Body? How much do you value consistent, time proven surrender to Christ’s Lordship, versus talent and style?