The Choosing of the Twelve, Part 1 | Mark 3:13
13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him.
Mark highlights a very unpopular topic—the sovereignty of our Lord to choose who He will. Autonomous free will—the ability for man to do what he wants when he wants without divine interference—is an idol. Movies and television burst with stories of those beating fate and paving their own paths in life. Even some Christians bristle at the idea of God making choices for our lives. Sinful human beings find more comfort in God’s lack of control because it grants them freedom to pursue their passions.
Unfortunately, Scripture presents a God creating the world and immediately saying, “Thou shalt not.” It tells of God judging sin time after time, condemning mankind under sin. To say this another way, it’s honest with us, and we need to come to terms with it.
Even so, the message of Scripture is doom and gloom, but hope in the gospel.
Jesus is sovereign. This essential message reminds us that, while we are weak and undeserving, our Master chooses us and determines the direction that we should take. Jesus reminds them in the Upper Room, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide” (Jn 15:16). This isn’t simply a call to service (though it is that), for so lost are we that He needed to love us first (1 Jn 4:19). His choice says that He’ll love us despite our sin.
Jesus is a better Moses. In calling them up and then sending them out, Jesus reflects Moses and the elders of Israel (Ex 24:1–11). Yet, that He’d send out disciples says that His message is superior and brings hope. Moses brought the Law of God, but that holy Law meets our sin and produces only death (Rm 7:5). Jesus is more worthy of glory (Hb 3:3), and because He’s the Son of God, we can be confident that He’ll be faithful over the spiritual house He’s building with us (v. 6). Law-keeping can’t bring us closer to God, but Christ’s calling us does.