For the purposes of drawing on this month’s theme “Calling,” I want to jump ahead just a little to Mark 3:13-19.
The previous few verses speak about the throngs or the crowds that were ministered to by Jesus. Consistently He was displaying what the Kingdom had to offer. Those who were marginalized were now included. Those who were sick would be healed. Those who were possessed of evil spirits were delivered. The Kingdom is peaceable, full of love, joy and righteousness. These characteristics were being offered and evidence of a Kingdom that was both ‘here and now’ and ‘yet to come.’
Jesus was now tasked with calling a few to Himself, not because there were inherently more worthy, but because He was to invest in a small group who would be the carriers of the DNA of this new Kingdom. They were the raw material of the human experience without the power of God’s Kingdom moving them forward, accepting of His invitation and placed into transformational moments that took place in His presence.
Our view or perspective of any given thing shapes how we react and respond. Many of these who were called had a political agenda—overthrow Rome! Others were taken by the fact that no Rabbi would have invited them to learn under him if they had asked—but now it was Jesus asking them to be His apprentices! Prestige!! Some, like Judas, were opportunistic; others were curious in various ways. But, here’s the common thread: people called by Jesus still have personal agendas, hopes, and preferences that will be set right when in His company. Little by little, this call became understood for what it really was. It was (and is) far weightier than could have been understood at first. This Kingdom life and Kingdom calling first means relationship with the Trinity through Jesus, and then personal transformation. My mind must be changed (repentance)! My understandings and actions will be challenged! My attitudes will be found short of those exhibited by Jesus!
It is only in the company of Jesus and the community of sojourning disciples that we change. Jesus prayed for wisdom in choosing the very first disciples. Jesus sits at the right hand of God our Father interceding for those who respond today to the call to be His apprentices—those totally immersed in the Trinity and in the culture of the Kingdom of God in the here and now.
He called the first disciples from the mountainside and they came to Him. He’s calling to you! It may be, metaphorically, that you will feel like you’re climbing the mountain in response. With Jesus, the view changes from the heights and the heart changes in its depths!
Pass me not, O Loving Savior
Hear my humble cry
And while others Thou art calling
Do not pass me by!