I love the Gospel of Mark, it’s so “raw” and fast paced (as compared to the other Gospels). Listen to how Jesus calls the 12:
And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”
There is a lot here by way of example of how we choose whom we do ministry and live life with.
Jesus went away to see who’d follow and he called the ones he could see something in. He didn’t just put an announcement in the bulletin 😉
The point of their “discipleship program” was to spend time, but for a purpose. It wasn’t to “deepen their walk” but to prepare them to become disciple makers. They didn’t have a curriculum or a schedule to follow, they spent time with Jesus so they could become equipped to share the gospel with others. That’s the goal of any good discipleship program, not “deeper life” but witness, to draw others in. Any “discipleship” that doesn’t lead to more and more disciples, isn’t.
- Simon (Peter “Rocky”)
- James (Zebedee’s boy, the first Beaneries brother)
- John (the second of the “Sons of Thunder”)
- Matthew (Levi)
- Thomas (“show me”)
- James (Alphas’ boy)
- Thaddeus (also another “Judas”)
- Simon (even more intense than Peter)
- Judas (11 out of 12 ain’t bad)
What’s interesting is, Jesus does call many of them in pairs, friends, family, those who already live life together… this makes discipleship more natural. If Andrew wants to follow Jesus, it’s easter to get Philip as well…
I love how Jesus goes home and his family thinks he’s nuts. “You’re doing what!? Are you part of some cult?” It’s much easier to only follow the prescribed norm of faith, but really making a difference requires more, you’ve got to make intentional connections with people for a purpose. You’ve got to gather a group willing to reach others for Jesus, spend time with them, and spend time with him.