Read Mark 3:13-19
Jesus has just chosen His disciples and they’re not altogether sure what that means. But they are chosen and glad of it. Arriving at their resting place on the mountain, Jesus began to speak to the twelve:
I have a job for you; one that will take you to places far from here. I chose you because I see something in you. Something hungry for what I have. Something that cries out for purpose like only I can give. Something that yearns be loved and to love…generously and courageously. So for the next few years I want you with me. I want you to know how I do things, what my values are and what true love and hope look like. I want you to be very sure of your place with me.
That all felt wonderful. But then He started to talk about what we would encounter. Unlike some, I was intimidated when I heard Him say He’d give us power to banish demons. I’m really not sure I want to do that. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do that. What will it be like to come up against evil face to face? Will I be able to recognize evil masquerading as good? Will I know how to wield that kind of power? Will I really be able to do what he’s asking me to do?
And yet, Jesus said, “I’ll give you all the confidence and authority you need.”
For the disciples…and for us…a very steep learning curve began.
How easy it is to get caught up in perceptions of our own abilities. Is it any wonder that Jesus always begins His training with the words, “I want you with Me”? It takes time to learn to “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now! (Not to) get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. (To learn that) God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes” (Matthew 6:34 MSG). This is the backdrop for all that comes after…the confidence that He is really there, that we are well and truly loved, and that He will not fail us. Rather, He will change us into someone we never thought we could be: A child-adult, relaxed, free and trusting. It is from this place…this humble awareness that our place is with Jesus… that powerful movement toward people and the world originates and flows forth.
But in that moment the disciples had no way of knowing where they were headed or who they would become. They only knew that moment with Jesus. And it was enough to keep them following. Is it enough for us?
ACTION: What are your moments with Jesus like these days? How do you feel in being sent out? Confident? Scared? Ready? What hard thing worries you, distracting you from freedom to just be with Jesus? How does Jesus look at it? How is He looking at you?