Friday, January 21, 2011

1/21/11 - Calling the Twelve

Mark 3:13-19
Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted
and they came to him.
He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles,
that they might be with him
and he might send them forth to preach
and to have authority to drive out demons:
He appointed the Twelve:
Simon, whom he named Peter;
James, son of Zebedee,
and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges,
that is, sons of thunder;
Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew,
Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus;
Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean,
and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
Recall the scene from yesterday. People had come to Jesus from all over the place, and the crowds were so large that he needed a boat just to protect himself. Unclean spirits had confessed him to be the Christ, and he reprimanded them and silences them.

He retreats from the crowd and commissions the men that he DOES want to preach his gospel. Two specific parts of their job description are stated here -- to preach, and to drive out demons. For them to perform this work, they will have to spend significant amounts of time learning from him. 

Several good points to be made here:
- He appointed the Twelve "so that they might be with Him, and He might send them forth."   He chose them.  He taught them.  He sent them. 

- This is the beginning of apostolic succession.  These men are known as the "Apostles" - those who were sent forth.  They passed on their authority to others, who became the first Bishops of the Catholic Church.   
- Ten of these men were martyred.  Of the other two, Judas Iscariot killed himself, and St. John was the only one to die a natural death.  . 
NOTE:   For more on apostolic succession, see this Link to a General Audience from Pope John Paul II in 1992: .

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