Monday of 2 Lent – March 9, 2020

Read Mark 3:7-20

“He appointed twelve…that they might…have authority to drive out demons.”  And some early manuscripts add that Jesus designated them to be “apostles”.  The word apostle means, “one who is sent.”  Whether He gave them the title or not, Jesus did send them out, and most importantly, He gave them “authority.”  At the great commission in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (28:18-19).  “Therefore, go!”  They are sent.  And we, through the Holy Spirit given in baptism are also sent.  In the welcome of the newly baptized we say, “We receive you into the household of God.  Confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim His resurrection, and share with us in His eternal priesthood.”  To share in Christ’s eternal priesthood is to be endowed with His authority.  We were baptized into Christ Jesus.  Our ministry is in Him.  It is His ministry and authority made manifest through us.

You have to be with Him before you can be sent by Him.  This was a hard lesson that Mark learned through his misadventure in ministry.  Mark may have begun his ministry too soon.  He had not walked with Jesus during the Lord’s earthly ministry.  He had not spent time, like Paul, in the desert (Gal. 1:15-18), nor learned at the feet of the apostles, like Barnabas, but his later association with Peter may have helped him understand the importance of spending time with Jesus.  God does not call the equipped; He equips the called.  And to be imbued with Christ’s authority, we must be in Christ Jesus.

Jesus told His disciples, “he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father” (John 14:12).  To believe is to set our hearts firmly in Christ.  We believe “into” the Lord.  In Him, then, we are sent out to do His work.

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