Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mark 3:13-19a

Jesus appoints the twelve

He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons. So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Comment: There was an understanding among the people of Israel that when the Messiah came, or a sign that the Messiah would come was when all of the Twelve Tribes of Israel were reunited. Ten of the original 12 had been dispersed in the 7th century BCE when the Assyrians had conquered the Northern kingdom. In Mark, Jesus appoints twelve disciples to prepare for the reunification of the Hebrew people.

Matthew and Mark use this list for the Twelve. Luke has adds Jude in place of Thaddaeus. The Gospel of John has a different list. The term ‘apostle’ means ‘one who is sent.’ Paul was called an apostle even though he had never met the living Jesus. So the title apostle is not always consistent in Scripture. By our baptismal vows, all Christians are apostles—we are sent out to proclaim the Good News that God loves us and that God is accessible to us.


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