10 – Providing for the Demand
Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.
And he 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. 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.
- Peter: The meaning of the name is ‘rock’
- Zealot: The zealots were a political group who were opposed to the Romans. This appears that Simon was one of them before following Jesus.
- To betray: To be unfaithful
Have you ever wanted to speak to someone but have been unable to get near them because there were too many people around?
Do you have a nickname that says something about your character?
Previously, Mark has been emphasising how great the fact is that Jesus Christ has come to the world, by showing all the amazing things he was doing. But, although it is essential that the Son of God came into the world as a man, it caused a problem. Obviously only a certain number of people could come to Jesus at any one time. Once again in this story we have an idea of the number of people who needed help. This enormous crowd of needy people come to Jesus to be healed from different illnesses. This time, there are so many of them coming, that Jesus has to go out on the water, in a boat, a little way from the shore, to make sure that no one is hurt and in order to be able to see and speak to them all.
In order to help solve the problem Jesus calls twelve of his followers to him. He chooses this small group of men in order for them to spend time learning from him, and then for them to go out and reach as many people as possible with the good news. In another part of the Bible these men are called apostles, which means that they have been sent.
By doing this Jesus was making sure that more people than before could hear the message and be helped. But it is obvious that the apostles are all different from each other. Some of them had nicknames, which said something about their character, and certainly they had all types of different backgrounds. In spite of this, they are all called to the same work, and to use their talents and their different personalities to serve others.
In what way has God provided for your needs in the past?
How can you use your personality and your special talents to serve others?
for confidence to take opportunities to speak about Jesus Christ and his message.