Monday, October 24, 2011

The Twelve

Mark 3:13-19 (ESV) And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. [14] And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach [15] and have authority to cast out demons. [16] He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); [17] James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); [18] Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, [19] and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Here Jesus commissions the twelve. He seems to have called them to follow him at different times, but now he calls them all together and commissions them to be apostles. Apostles, by the way are different than just disciples. Disciples are students. Apostles are ambassadors. The apostles were disciples, but not all disciples were apostles. There is a distinction. Just as pastors are, or at least should be, Christians, but not all Christians are pastors. And all Christians are disciples. Actually there is a big relationship between the pastoral office and that of the apostles. The Apostles were also commissioned to put in place pastors. You see this throughout Acts, where Paul appoints eldes, or leaves Titus on Crete to appoint pastors. Jesus sends the apostles, which is really what the word means, sent one, to preach, and cast our demons. And this is exactly why the church has pastors today, someone to proclaim God’s word. This office is needed to keep the church together, because the church is made up of believers gathered around God’s word and his sacraments. These are indifferent things. This is one of two places where the names are recorded of all twelve disciples. My parents once had wine glasses etched with the disciples and their names. No one ever drank out of the Judas glass.

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