- Lesson 11 in the BaptistWay Press Connect 360 unit “The reMARKable Journey Begins” focuses on Mark 3:13-19.
The Twelve who would have a special relationship with Jesus were given specific tasks. According to the gospel of Mark, the disciples had two roles. The disciples two jobs were that they “might be with him and that he might send them out to preach.” Later in the Gospel of Mark (6:12-13) and in Luke’s Gospel (9:2), the Scripture informs us the third task of the Twelve was to heal the sick.
Spend time with Jesus
The first role of Jesus’ disciple was simply to be with Jesus and accompany him wherever he went. As any apprenticeship, the best form of learning is modeling. As the popular proverb teaches, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” By living with him every day, Jesus gave these Twelve opportunities to practice what he was teaching. Jesus knew sermons were not the best way of learning to do something. Disciples are made by hands-on training, and the training is not as easy as it might first appear.
The disciples experienced some of the greatest highs of Jesus’ ministry. They were with Jesus when he raised Jairus daughter from the dead (Mark 5:37), when he fed the 5,000 (Mark 6:32-44), and Peter, James and John accompanied Jesus up to the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:1-13).
However, they were also with Jesus when he was rejected at Nazareth (Mark 6:1-6), and they were asked to journey with him to Gethsemane (Mark 14:33). “The Twelve will have to learn that there is a difference between hanging around Jesus and truly being with Him.” (David, Garland, Mark, NIV Application Commentary) The same is true for Jesus’ disciples today.
Preach the Good News
The second role of the Twelve was to preach. The disciples were not only to be mere observers of Jesus. The Twelve were to be sent with the task of participating in the proclamation message of the kingdom of God. Furthermore, the disciples would have the same authority and power in their preaching as Jesus did. The proclamation by both Jesus and the disciples resulted in casting out demons.
It should be noted that the Twelve were not the only proclaimers of Jesus’ message. The Gerasene demoniac (Mark 5:19-20) was told by Jesus to go preach to his family after he was healed and in Mark 9:38-39, there was a report about a person being successful in casting out demons. The Twelve were not the only disciples given the task of preaching, and this is an important truth for today’s disciple. Each disciple of Jesus has the task of proclaiming the good news that the kingdom of God is now accessible through the work of Jesus Christ.
Bring healing and wholeness
While the command to heal others is not listed in these Scriptures, this would be the third role of a disciple. In Mark 6:12-13, the disciples ministry was summarized by preaching, casting out demons, and healing the sick. A disciple of Jesus should be involved in ministry that brings healing and wholeness to those who are sick and have broken lives.
The good news is the Twelve were not called because of any outstanding virtue. They constantly made mistakes and failed on the job. Peter denied Jesus (Mark 14:66-72). James and John, the Sons of Thunder, were reprimanded for not understanding Jesus’ message and asking for places of power (Mark 10:35-41). However, Jesus did not give up on these Twelve, and Jesus does not lose hope in today’s disciples either. Jesus is constantly calling those who have surrendered their lives to his kingdom, and he is actively sending them out on the Great Commission.
Compiled by Stan Granberry, marketing coordinator for BaptistWay Press.