“Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons.” (Mark 3:14-15)
As I read these verses this morning, I was convicted by the phrase “that they might be with Him.” Stop and think about that for just a minute. What does it mean to “be with Him?”
In 1978, I took notice of a young girl in my 10th grade geometry class. I probably should have been paying more attention to geometry, but I was a 10th grade boy. I assure you I was much more interested in girls than math! But there was something special about this particular girl. When I was around her, my heart fluttered and my palms got sweaty and I just couldn’t stay away from her. Her name was EDNA.
Maybe my approach was different from the one you would take, but when I took notice of EDNA I did not visit the library to see what I could learn about her. I didn’t search the internet — I didn’t even know what an internet was. Al Gore had not invented it yet. But that’s another story.
My point? I didn’t want to know a few facts about EDNA. I wanted to know EDNA! I wanted to be with her…ALL THE TIME. And the more I was around her, the more I wanted to be around her. This desire to “be with” EDNA has led me to being around her now for almost 40 years! And my heart still flutters and my palms still get sweaty and I still want to be with her…ALL THE TIME!
In one little phrase, Mark records the focus of Jesus’ ministry with His disciples. And Jesus’ approach was quite different than the modern church. We seem to be caught up in highly programmed ministries and leadership seminars and church grow ideas to reach Baby Boomers, Millennials and now Generation Z. On the surface there is absolutely nothing wrong with those things. I’ve read books about all of that and have greatly benefited from them.
But Jesus didn’t disciple the twelve by meeting with them once a week on Tuesday night and reading a few books. Read the verse again…“He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him” (emphasis added).
The thing that makes my marriage to the beautiful Miss Edna wonderful is that I love BEING WITH HER. The thing that makes our relationship with Jesus so wonderful is when we discover that we don’t need more facts ABOUT Jesus. We need more time WITH Jesus. Read the New Testament and do a study of the number of times Jesus told His followers to “abide in Him.”
Discipleship is about being with Jesus and allowing Him to speak through His Word and to guide us in our lives. Don’t get caught up in the culture of growing churches man’s way. Let’s stick with Jesus’ way…make up your mind that more than anything else, you want the presence of Jesus in your life…all day…every day.