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Mark’s first-century biography – page 10

And he (Jesus of Nazareth, c.AD 30, Israel) 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. 

Up until this point in the life of Jesus, he has called several men to follow him. They have left their daily work and done just that.  Whilst following him they have heard him teaching, have seen him cleansing lepers and curing all kinds of sicknesses and, maybe in particular, have been present when “evil” people have been cleansed inside. Inside out – not outside in.
 
Now Jesus does something different. First, he goes up a mountain – as though to show that this is a high-level thing. Second, he calls to him those “whom he desired” – he wants these twelve “to be with him”. Third, he “appoints” them. Fourth, he calls them “apostles” (sent-out ones). Fifth, he sends them out to “preach” (teach) and to “cast out demons” (demons - inner intangible, harmful invisible stuff within human beings).

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. 

 
Twelve?  Jesus was from the family of descendants of Abraham through his grandson Jacob. Jacob (alive c. 1800 BC) had his name changed to Israel. 

‘Twelve Tribes of Israel, in the Bible the Hebrew people who… took possession of the Promised Land of Canaan… Because the tribes were named after sons or grandsons of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel… the Hebrew people became known as Israelites..’ (Encyclopedia Britannica) 
What on earth was Jesus doing? On the mountain and with nobody around, he calls 12 whom he “desires”, appoints 12, names 12, sends out 12, wants 12 to be with him, and gives 12 authority to teach and to deal with the intangible hurtful stuff inside people…

The two names which stand out in the list of those whom Jesus desired to be with him – the first (“Simon Peter”); and the last (“Judas Iscariot”).

Jesus wanted to have with him Simon Peter who would later deny on oath that he knew Jesus in any way shape or form – but who would, shortly after, be an outstanding witness for Jesus. He wanted him on board.

Jesus wanted to have with him Judas Iscariot who would give Jesus away into the hands of the leaders of Israel. In their turn they would give Jesus away into the hands of the Roman authorities for execution as one of the very worst criminals in the Roman Empire. 

 
He wanted Judas to be with him and to participate in the same way as the other eleven. Judas, who would later commit suicide in utter despair. Jesus desired Judas and therefore called him, appointed him and sent him out.

Why? Why did Jesus come here at all? Was it so as to die as a convicted, condemned criminal? Has this got anything to do with the harm and evil within me which must be awful in his sight? Was it to deal with the guilt over what my intangible insides have caused me to do when I’ve cast hurt on others?

‘When it was evening, he came with the twelve, and as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me”.’ (Passover night AD 30)
Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 

“He went home.” “Home” was probably Simon Peter’s house in Capernaum on the edge of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus is overpowered by the crowd again. They are desperately seeking some power which Jesus has not passed on to his apostles – they want to be healed, to have a longer life without any change within – or with their present way of living their lives.

And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” 

It’s very difficult to know what motivates our brothers and sisters. Mark records that Jesus’ family was saying “He is out of his mind” and that they came to him so as to stop him, by persuasion or force. Were they anxious to stop him harming himself? Or were they anxious to stop him before they were caught up in what appeared to be his (kind of) coup d’etat? If you were them, what would you have done?

 
Sinner Syvret

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