The twelve whom Jesus trained

Mark 3:14-19
14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,
15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
16 And Simon he surnamed Peter;
17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:
18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite,
19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.

When Jesus started His ministry He preached to the people first and at the wedding of Canna (which was His own sister's wedding - daughter of Mary), it is written He had His disciples attending the wedding with Him. But we see Jesus shows us how to carry the Cross thus He did not only preach about the Kingdom of God to the people but also make sure He would mould a select few to carry on the work. They were not His own close family members (although He did have James and John who were His cousin, children of His aunt Salome whom He lovingly called Mary). His own brother James (son of Mary His mother) was not included in the twelve but later when he came to believe in Jesus Christ (that is about the time of Jesus' crucifixion) he became very active in God's work so was selected to be the head of the Church in Jerusalem. Even Jude (Judas) His younger brother also was active but he is not known to be given any post in the church/churches.

Jesus knew about His death and did not want His ministry to end with His death so trained twelve of them to carry on His work. There are times when Jesus took the back seat and send His people ahead in pairs to minister. For Jesus it was not all about Him but it was all about His Fathers' business.

In today ministries we see more of family business and less God's business. Leaders will make sure certain parts of the ministry are in the control of family members, irrespective of the fact that they have a calling to do so, or not. The fact lies they do not consider other believers as family and do not trust them, their words and actions do not match. If they do not have a little also competent family member then we see their ministry tends to die a natural death along with them for they fail to groom others to carry on the ministry.

We also see Jesus knew Judas Iscariot was a thief and yet Jesus allowed him to hold the purse of the ministry, the money which people gave them as tithe. Jesus' action showed He did not depend on this money fully to do the works of the ministry unlike we see in today's ministries. The first factor that comes up at ministry meetings is finance and today's ministry leaders are better finance managers than preachers. And if any other member is handling the finance that person would be his or her closest or most trusted associate.

Another thing we see that not all these twelve whom Jesus trained headed the Church after Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given to the congregation and the true Church was formed. We see Jesus knew from the twelve He trained only Cephas (Peter), James and John Zebedee (His cousins) would be the main guides to the Church along with Paul and Barnabas who would join them later. That is why Jesus gave more attention to the three.

We also see Jesus knew from the start Judas Iscariot was going to fail Him yet He kept Judas as part of His ministry and taught him as He did to the others. For Jesus it was more important fulfilling the Will of God than the popularity of His ministry. This is also not what we see in ministries today. The moment they see a person shaky that person is degraded from his post or kicked out of the ministry. In fact we see without Judas Iscariot the ministry or Jesus would not have been successful, Judas played an important role in it even though it was negative role. That is why at the end Jesus told him to do quickly what he was set to do. Jesus did not rebuke the evil spirit / Satan out of Judas like Jesus did to Peter (Cephas) nor prayed for him like He did for the others.

There were not just twelve people in Jesus' troupe that followed Him everywhere. Jesus would have selected more people and that is our mentality, the more the merrier or better to spread the ministry. Tell a Pastor about more people joining his or her church or an Evangelist about people becoming supporters of his or her ministry and their eyes become like a child who is told he or she would be given lots of candy.

People lack direction and purpose of their mission in God therefore do mistakes in their lives and their ministries. Moses knew what he had to do, so also Jesus and Paul knew about their road ahead. When we are led by the Spirit of God, we are made aware of our mission and goal, it is only then we can walk with clear sight and take due firm steps towards our goal.

Let us not do God's work our way but do it the way God wants us to do. This is God's business and we are called not to be either slaves or servants or franchisees for this business but are called to be Associates of God in this business. We profit as this business grows, this profit is not worldly riches which are temporary but are spiritual riches that are forever. Worldly riches go when spend, but spiritual riches are different, use them and they grow in you; the more you use them the more they grow.

Let us learn from Jesus how to do our ministry in the Lord. Let us not be one of those people who did lots of work in the name of Jesus but whom on the Judgement Day Jesus denied and said 'I do not know You, for you have not done the Will of my Father'.

I would be harsh and hard in saying - it would be better to deny Jesus and live a worldly life then to acknowledge who Jesus is and do our own ministry in His name. God does not like His glory to be compromised or touched but another. So do God's work the way God wants it or just be a believer and worry only of going to Heaven, do not work for the crown or a position in Heaven, be one of the commoners in Heaven all your eternal life. But at no cost try to do your own thing taking the Lord's Name for you would get punished more than the unbelievers.

[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, many are doing ministries in your name, but are doing their own thing. The Kingdom of God is suffering because of such people. They disappoint more than build people in You. Lord, we pray people first come to You before reaching out to others. That they too like Jesus as man did, spent time being ministered by You and your Angels, and grew in wisdom and grace and then reached out to others. Lord may all things be about You alone and not us. May we find ourselves and in your glory...

This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.

[ Reference ]
John 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

John 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

John 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

Luke 9:49-50
49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

Matthew 7:21-23
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Matthew 23:15 - Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

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