With Jesus – Called, Appointed, Sent
“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to Him those He wanted, and they came to Him. He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” (Mark 3:13-15, NIV)
The disciples were called, appointed, and sent, in that order.
With Jesus, the being always precedes the doing.
- He went up on the mountainside – separating Himself from the crowd – creating space and time to be with His chosen followers.
He called to Himself the ones He had chosen. Can you imagine the feeling of hearing your name called out from among the masses? Hand-picked by the Father to be on the original Team Jesus – what a monumental, wondrous, life-changing event! I wonder what thoughts and feelings flooded the disciples as they struggled to escape the crowd and panted, stumbling, up the side of the mountain to answer that call.
After Jesus had called the chosen ones to Himself, He appointed them and gave them authority, but sending them out to preach and to drive out demons was secondary. Did you notice that? Those exciting adventures come after the appointment to “be with Him.”
The Power of With
How often we lose the powerful simplicity of “being with”.
You may have noticed this isn’t the first time I have talked about being. That’s because I need to hear it myself, over and over again.
I don’t know WHY I need continual reminders that the doing always and only flows from the being, but I do.
Can you relate to that?
Those reminders ground me, pull me back to center, and reignite my desire to cultivate a Mary heart in a Martha world.
The power of with means we connect with the source of life, joy, peace, and strength.
It means we are never alone.
The power of with, of course, is the power of the risen Christ living in us.
You Are Called.
Are there parallels between the disciples’ story and ours? I think so. The image of Jesus calling His chosen ones out of the masses speaks volumes and applies to us in this century as well. His original followers had to choose to separate themselves from the group to answer that call. They had to say “no” to living hidden, safe, anonymous, and low-risk lives. They had to break away from the status quo to be able to follow Jesus.
We are not on the original team of 12, but God has chosen us too and sent as His ambassadors.
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. (John 15:16, NIV)
We too must struggle through the morass of mediocrity and separate ourselves to truly follow our Lord. While can worship in a congregation, we must follow on our own. To embrace a lifestyle of discipleship is a daily, ongoing, personal choice.
You Are Appointed to Be With Him.
Like the disciples, our first and foremost appointment is to “be with Him”. Jesus calls sitting with Him and listening to His voice the one thing that is necessary:
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.
She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’
‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’ ” (Luke 10:38-42, NIV)
Our primary job description and mission in life is to “be with”.
He is calling each of us up to the mountainside to be with Him. And it does seem like an uphill climb to choose seeming inactivity and passive verbs such as “sit” and “listen”, doesn’t it? Even so, what starts out as a discipline He soon transforms into the joy of His presence, life, and love.
You Have Been Sent to Go Share His Life With Others.
I am still immersing myself in Henri Nouwen’s classic, The Life of the Beloved. I absolutely love what he says about our being chosen by God. Yes, Jesus chose you to come up to the mountainside to be with Him; He chose me.
Henri Nouwen says,
“Instead of making us feel that we are better, more precious or valuable than others, our awareness of being chosen opens our eyes to the chosenness of others. That is the great joy of being chosen: the discovery that others are chosen as well.” (The Life of the Beloved, p. 63).
In accepting our position as specifically chosen and beloved, we see the value of all. We become joyful ambassadors to help others see that they, too, are the beloved. He goes on to say,
“It is only when we have claimed our own place in God’s love that we can experience this all-embracing, noncomparing love and feel safe, not only with God but also with all our brothers and sisters” (The Life of the Beloved, pp. 64-65).
We have much in common with the disciples, when you look at it that way. It’s the same struggle to extricate ourselves from the crowds so that we can be with Jesus. He then sends us back into the crowds with the message that He’s calling them, too.The power of with is the power to give what we have so freely received. Click To Tweet
Together, let’s embrace our calling and ask God to show us someone this week who needs His power and love.
With faith, hope, and love,