I was struck by what I read in the 3rd chapter of Mark today.  Jesus had been ministering to the crowds, healing, delivering.  Verses 13-14 read,  "Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called the ones He wanted to go with Him.  And they came to Him.  Then He selected 12 of them to be His regular companions......"  I was struck by that because it's obvious that He had called more than 12 to Him on that mountain, and that more than 12 had come.  Yet He only chose 12.  Why just 12?  His Word says that they were to be His regular companions.  Did this make all the others "irregular companions?"  Did Jesus care for the 12 more than all the others?  What marked them apart?  What was it that Jesus saw in them?  
     When God sent Samuel to choose from among the sons of Jesse, Samuel and Jesse both believed that it would be one of the older, more impressive looking sons that would be chosen to one day become king.  Yet God chose David, the youngest and least of his brothers, telling Samuel that in His choosing, He saw not what appeared outwardly, but what was in the heart of David himself.  On that mountain, Jesus did the same.  Jesus said that "many are called, but few are chosen."  Here, Jesus has called many to Himself, and many came.  No doubt all of them desired to serve Him in some way, do ministry, even perform miracles, to be used, and used greatly by Him.  Yet, they were not chosen.  Could the reason be that it was because Jesus saw in them a great willingness to be active for Him, but much less so to be intimate with Him?  His call to them was not to ministry, service and activity, but to Himself.  So many of us are willing to work for Him, but not to be with Him.  I read not long ago that the average pastor spends less than 10 minutes a day in real communion with God.  If this is so for pastors, what is the state of the people?
It is so much easier for us to "do" than to "be."  Jesus calls each of us to come to Him, but only those with a heart to know Him, live with and in Him, to never consciously be out of His presence, to literally abide in Him moment by moment, will be the ones He chooses to be His regular companions.  Are you and I such?
     I think we see something that is key to why the 12 were selected in the following chapter.  Jesus and His disciples are crossing over to the other side of the lake when a powerful storm arises.  The disciples are in a panic, believing they are about to die.  They awaken Jesus, asking Him if He cared that they might possibly perish.  He quietly but powerfully stills both the storm and the surrounding waves, and then chastens them for their lack of trust.  Astounded, they exclaim, "Who is this man that even the winds and waves obey Him?"  I think that this is what will mark the life of one who is a regular companion of Jesus.  It is not that they will never struggle or question.  It is that in their heart is an unquenchable thirst to know Him, to know His ways, to learn ever more deeply, who He is.  A heart that constantly asks "Who is this Jesus?", and is willing to go with Him to and through anything to find out.  Having not just a strong desire to "do for Him," but an overwhelming yearning to know and be with Him.  The chosen.  I want to be among them.  Do you?  
 
Blessings,
Pastor O
 
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  June 2018  
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