Spiritual Practice


Nathan Mazzuca & Richard Lawton

Did you know that more than twelve people followed Jesus? At times, thousands of people were crowding around him and hanging on his every word. Mark 3 seems to say that Jesus had achieved rock-star status. He was casting out demons, healing the sick, and preaching up a storm. We can safely assume that what Jesus did at the height of his popularity is extremely important. What did he do? “He appointed twelve” (Mark 3:14).

He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach.
Mark 3:14 (NIV)

Jesus chose twelve disciples out of the throngs of people who followed him. We might imagine that he chose these men because they were amazing or because he intended to give them amazing powers. But the Bible says, “He appointed twelve that they might be with him” (Mark 3:14). Before Jesus commanded them to preach or to build the church, he chose the twelve to be with him. It was all about the relationship.

Christianity begins and ends with a relationship. We are defined not by supernatural powers but simply by our relationship with Jesus.

—Nathan Mazzuca


Jesus and the twelve
     living together
     traveling together
     teaching and learning together
     sharing a common mission
     willing to shoulder the load
     sharing at a deep, personal level
     being honest with one another
     trusting one another

—Richard Lawton

—from devozine (March/April 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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