Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Lent Devotional March 17, 2014

Scripture

Mark 3:7-19a

7 Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; 8 hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. 9 He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him; 10 for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. 11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, "You are the Son of God!" 12 But he sternly ordered them not to make him known.

13 He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, 15 and to have authority to cast out demons. 16 So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Devotional

We return to Mark this morning, and we find multitudes gathering around Jesus. The story has begun to spread, and people flock to Jesus, just to touch him and gain healing. It’s gotten so bad that Jesus has to seek refuge on a boat.

Jesus then climbs a mountain to call the disciples. These backdrops, the sea, the mountain, call to mind the stories of Moses, Elijah, and Jonah. As a storyteller, the narrator is letting us know that something important is happening. And Jesus then chooses 12 disciples, many of whom we’ve already encountered in Mark’s pages.

It’s also worth noting that even as Judas is first selected, we are introduced to him as a traitor. This is our first exposure to Judas in the book, and he is identified as a traitor. It’s something so painful yet truelegacy can be defined by a single action. We never know of Judas as anything but a traitor.

Message provided by the Miller Summer Youth Institute.