The Fragile Mission

I’ve been reading and re-reading Mark 3:13-19 in which Jesus appoints the Twelve “that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.”


I recall wandering through an airport bookstore and flipping through a book titled something like “Leadership Lessons from Jesus.” One of the “lessons” was that Jesus was a great team-builder. Just look at the team he put together! He was the model CEO! You, too, should look out for people who are effective and take initiative! Like Jesus!

How foolish.

As Mark’s narrative proceeds, the team is a near-disaster. In listing their names, and taking the whole context of the Gospel into account, Mark hints at their fragility. There’s Simon, the violent revolutionary; Peter, who denied him; Thomas, who doubted him; and Judas, who betrayed him.

Mark is indeed a mysterious Gospel, and Jesus’ “calling” and “wanting” (v. 13) these people is surely an instance of God’s mysterious grace rather than the disciples’ effectiveness.


6 thoughts on “The Fragile Mission

  1. Tim Cole

    Herr Professor: You must have anticipated our Elder’s Meeting last night. I’ll explain in a minute. But, first, thanks for posting. Your observations about what we find on the shelves from Christian authors is, alas, typical. So, your task, Herr Professor, is to help stop the interpretive bleeding. Keep up the good work there in western Michigan.
    But—back to last nights’ Elder’s Meeting: The opening devotional, taken from a book written by a well-known Southern Calif Pastor-Teacher, entitled, “Called To Lead,” focused on the leadership lessons from Paul’s stormy voyage to Rome in Acts 27. Bit my tongue for the entire voyage. Looks like, even after almost a 1/4 of a century here, there’s still more equipping to be done. And, I thought I was done here!

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