“He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons . . .”
As we get to know the “cast of characters” named by Jesus to be his Apostles, we can certainly be impressed by their diversity and perhaps be surprised by their less-than-faithful performances. Peter’s denial, Thomas’ doubts, and Judas’ betrayal all remind us that the Lord did not choose perfect men without fault.
But in the brief line from Mark’s gospel quoted above, we are told of the common preparation that Jesus offered all of them before they were sent forth: Jesus called them “that they might be with him.” A period of apprenticeship preceded their missioning. It was necessary that they “be with” Jesus, watching him, listening to him, observing his way with people, before heading out on mission.
For us who desire to place our lives at the Lord’s service, this simple line from Mark’s gospel cautions us not to allow zeal for mission to pull us away from an attentive “being with” Jesus in prayer. We, too, need to “be with him” before going out to serve “in his name.”
We might ask ourselves today: how am I doing in that delicate balance between giving and receiving? Do I regularly listen in prayer? Do I take the time to “be with him” or do I too quickly run to do good in his name without waiting to learn how he wants me do serve him?
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