Mark 3, Choose To Be The People Jesus Calls

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Jerry Simmons shared this Verse By Verse Bible study from Mark on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 using the New King James Version (NKJV).

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Here we are in March and we're. In March Chapter 3 for today, it's. Pretty lengthy chapter, we got 35 verses. We're not going to try to cover every single verse, but what the Lord really stood up on my heart for us this evening to walk through in this chapter we will kind of walk through it section by section but to really kind of consider the people here. And their relationship to Jesus and his relationship to them, and it really centers around verse 13. So just take a look at verse 13 with me here in March, Chapter 3, verse 13, it says. And he went up on the mountain and called to him those he himself wanted. And they came. To him, one of the things that we see happen here in this chapter is the appointing of the 12 apostles and it's founded there. It begins there in verse 13, but it really caught my attention as it says that he called to him those that. Wanted and and so you get the picture here of Jesus gathering his disciples to himself. But but it's not just anybody. It's the ones that he wants and it just caused me to begin to think about that. Who are the ones that Jesus? And so I've titled the message this evening choose to be the people Jesus calls, and I want to encourage you to be thinking through that. We're here on a Wednesday night, the Wednesday night gang has, Roman says. Of course, we're the ones who, you know, know Jesus and want Jesus and love Jesus. We're the faithful few who show up, right? And yet, at the same time, I find myself encouraged and strengthened and renewed as I consider these things and remind myself to continue to be making the choice. That we will see evidence here that that that we need to continue to put ourselves in that place where we're choosing to be the people, the kind of people that Jesus wants to spend time with the the kind of people that Jesus would call to him. Self the the kind of people that Jesus would draw near and desire fellowship with and and there is a part of course that he is working in us to do that. But there is also our part in the the choosing and the responding to what the Lord is doing and the call that he is. Extending the invitation that he's extending in our lives and so as we kind of dive into this, I'm going to break it up a little bit. It's a little bit of a different type of message and before we kind of dive into our part, I want to take some time and observe. The people that Jesus did not call as you walk through this passage, let's dive into a couple of verses here in Mark Chapter 3 verses one through 6. It says this and he entered the synagogue again and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched him closely. Whether he would heal him on the Sabbath so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, step forward. And he said to them, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill? But they kept silent. And when he had looked around at them with anger. Being grieved by the hardness of their hearts. He said to the man, stretch out your hand. And he stretched it out and his hand was restored as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the herodians against him. How they might destroy him. In this chapter, we're going to see a few different groups of people interacting with Jesus and amongst all of those different groups, Jesus zeroes in on certain people that he calls to himself the ones that he wants. And here in verses one through 6, we first of all see a group of people that Jesus did not want, that he didn't. They weren't part of the group that he called to himself because he wanted them to be near and, and who is this group that we find here in verses one through 6 while I put it this way, Jesus does not call. Those hardened in religious tradition. What we find here is the religious leaders in church, in synagogue on the Sabbath, and Jesus is there and they're there and they see a guy with a withered hand. And they are. Immediately paying close attention because it is offensive to them. When Jesus works miracles on the Sabbath. And so they're. Hoping that he does this so that they have reason to accuse him. They're wanting, it says in verse two so that they might accuse them they're they're looking for that opportunity to come against Jesus because he is healing on the Sabbath and violating their Sabbath laws. And so they're looking for an excuse. And they're they're so upset with Jesus, as Jesus does actually heal this man. In verse six, it tells us the Pharisees team up with the herodians. Now the Pharisees were a religious group. The Herodians were a political group. These were typically enemies in their society, but to get rid of Jesus they'll team up with anybody. They don't care. Democrats and Republicans will join forces on this one pro-life. Pro-choice will join forces on this one. Let's get rid of Jesus that that's kind of the idea here. And so they join forces, and they're figuring out they're trying to decide how they can destroy him. But it's all based on their own religious tradition. Jesus is not breaking the law of God and healing on the Sabbath. But he is breaking the traditions that they've established and the traditions that they uphold within their society. And so they're looking to accuse. Jesus, because their hearts are hardened. In their religious traditions. I think it's interesting to note, as you look at these verses that these guys believed in Jesus. Maybe not believed in Jesus the way we might usually intend when we say those words, believe in Jesus, right. But they believe that Jesus could heal. They saw a guy with a withered hand and they saw Jesus and they immediately connected the two. Is a miracle worker. He has the power of God to heal. They believed that Jesus could heal that guy. They believed that Jesus was probably going to heal that guy. They believed in Jesus to some degree. But believing in Jesus in that way, believing in his existence, believing that he can work, believing that he has power to work, that that is not sufficient to be the kind of people that Jesus calls to himself. In fact, Jesus, it says, looked at them with anger. You don't see that very often. It's not a picture we often imagine or see in the scriptures, but there is a righteous indignation. He is upset, angry over the religious traditions that would prevent this man from receiving this healing from God. This motivation and and position of their hearts, he looks at them with anger. Being grieved, it says in verse 5 he's grieved. By their heart and hearts. Their hearts are hardened. It grieves him and makes him angry. These are not the kind of people that Jesus is calling to himself. Now, how did their hearts get hard? You know, things get hardened by repetition. If you ever want to learn how to play the guitar, if you don't already, you'll learn that the tips of your fingers need to get hardened, and the way that you do that is you push them on the strings until it hurts, and then you hold them there and then you push them again and again and again. And you keep doing it and you keep doing. It eventually you develop calluses. And your fingertips become hardened. In a similar way to have a hardened heart is a well pushing against as the Lord is presenting his word and his truth and his will and his plan. And we're saying no. And the more we say no. I don't want to believe that verse. I don't want to obey that verse. I don't want to walk. In that way. I don't want to do what it is that you're telling me, Lord. The the more that we say no to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, the more that we say no to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, the more that we say no to the word of God, the more that we say no to Jesus, the more our hearts are becoming hardened and calloused as we push against. And push against and push against and develop. This layer of hardness upon our hearts and tradition has a. A A tendency to do that for us where we stick to what we want and our ways in order to say no to God's ways and so tradition. Religious tradition oftentimes is. Coupled with a hardened heart. So we need to be not this kind of people, but the kind of people who are responding to the Lord, not resisting the Lord, causing him to be angry and grieved at the hardness of our hearts. Well, the second group of people to consider is in verses 7 through 12. And I'll put them this way. Jesus does not call the multitude seeking signs versus 7 through 12 says this. But Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judea and Jerusalem, and Idumea and beyond the Jordan, and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude. When they heard how many things he was doing came to him. So he told his disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for him because of the multitude, lest they should crush him. For he had or for he healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about him to touch him. And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, fell down before him and cried out, saying you are the son of God. But he sternly. Warned them that they should not make him known. Here in verses 7 through 12, we get this second group and here we get to see this multitude that has gathered and we could look at this and see it very favorably that there are so many people coming out to hear Jesus and receive from Jesus. But notice that there is a distinction made here in verse seven. He says Jesus withdrew with his disciples. So there is a group with him that are his disciples, and then there is a separate group that is a great multitude and this great multitude is comprised of people from all over Israel. People from Galilee, which is where Jesus is hanging out these days around the Sea of Galilee and Capernaum, as as his kind of headquarters as central base. So people from Galilee, those are the ones who are closest to him, probably have heard the most about his ministry, but then also from Judea. Now that's the southern part of Israel where Jerusalem was. And so again, it makes sense, as Jesus was attending feast in Jerusalem and such that that there would be that kind of back and forth and so. People from Galilee and Judea would hear about Jesus and be interested in learning more and finding out more Jerusalem. But now you do imea beyond the Jordan, and so now people are crossing the. Jordan River to get. To Jesus Tyler inside. And that's far north. Actually above Israel. And so it tells us all these regions from. North-south, east, West. They're all coming. And now it's a great. But although it's a great multitude. Thing that is provoking them. Is when they hear. How many things he was doing? And so it's not necessarily. The words of Jesus that they're interested in. The person of Jesus, it's not necessarily that they understand him to to be the Messiah yet. But they have heard there's some spectacular things. And they want to be spectators of those spectacular things. Some of them are ill and infirmed in some way. And so they've heard that this guy can heal. They want to go experience a healing. They want to go experience something amazing. They want to experience a life change. They they're they're looking for an experience. Now if you feel like I'm being a little bit too hard on this multitude we find in John Chapter 6, after Jesus fed the 5000. That he departs, he goes across the sea, kind of in secret, and then the crowd wakes up and realizes they're not there. And so they go searching for Jesus and and they're trying and they go all the way around. They try to find Jesus. They finally find him. But Jesus tells them in John Chapter 6. Verse 26. Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek me not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. That that you're not responding to you and believing in who I am. But you're responding to and reacting to your physical satisfaction and and the the physical aspects of this is what is appealing to you and desirable to you. And so we can make a distinction between the disciples and the multitude, because the multitude is there for the exciting stuff, but they're not there. To become disciples necessarily now some of the multitude, of course, will make that decision and become disciples. But but then they kind of transfer their membership and they're they're out of the the multitude crowd and they're in the discipleship crowd where where they are seeking. To follow Jesus. The multitude that's seeking signs that are looking for an awesome experience, something spectacular, something amazing. That's not the group that Jesus calls to himself as we. Get into verse 13. When he calls to himself, the ones that he wanted. It was a different group. It's not the multitude. It's not the. Or the religious with their heartened hearts that Jesus calls. It's not the multitude that is seeking science. Well, another group that we can consider is found in verses 20 and 21. I'll put it this way. Jesus does not call those who think they know better. Jesus does not call those who think they know better. Verse 20 says then the multitude came together again so that they could not so much as eat bread. But when his. Own people heard about this. They went out to lay hold of him. For they said he is out of his mind. Here this is after Jesus appointed the 12 apostles, and so we kind of skipped a couple verses. We'll come back to those. But as the ministry continues, the multitude is still around and and the multitude is so pressing and so demanding. That their time is expended completely on the multitude. So much so they're they're not even able to eat bread. They don't even have time to sit down and have a meal because the multitude is demanding and pressing and pushing. And you know, there's more people to heal. There's more people to to set free and be delivered. There's there's more work to be done, more ministry to be done. Really intense schedule, intense time, and so even having a meal is difficult for Jesus and his disciples. And so his family hears about this in verse 21. It talks about his own people. His mom and brothers and sisters, they're gonna show up in a few verses down the to the. End of the. They hear about this and they set out to go do something about it. And then they show up in verse 31. So there's the the decision that's made here in verse 20 and 21 and and the calculation that they make the the consideration that they have is that. Jesus is crazy. He doesn't know what he's doing. He's gonna hurt himself. You can't be so busy that you can't eat. That's not good for you. Surely that must not be what you're supposed to be doing. We need to go bring Jesus back to his senses. And so they set out. Remove Jesus from this situation. In essence, they think they know better. He's lost it. He's lost all perspective. He doesn't know what is. Don't you know what a healthy work life balance is? And and you should have you know, these kinds of things in order and this cannot be appropriate. And so they're convinced they must intervene and they're about to to to try to call an intern. Mention to remove Jesus from this thing that they think he's blinded to and crazy and. This ongoing work to that degree. This is not part of the group that Jesus calls to himself. In verse 13. The people that think ohh, that's crazy. I think I could do it better. I think I know better. I think I have a better idea, a better plan. I think I have better ideas and a better way to go about things. Those are the not the ones that Jesus said I really want to call those people to myself and spend some time with them that that was not the group. And so if we want to choose to be the people that Jesus calls. We should be considering and thinking about are are we the hardened religious tradition kind of people? Are we the multitude that's seeking signs that we're just in it for the exciting things, the adrenaline rush? You know, the the powerful things, the the big things, the supernatural things that we want to see and and be entertained by. Are we the group that thinks that we know better that we've got? A better grasp of the situation and what is necessary and what is needed and what is appropriate. Well, finally we can look at verses 22 through 30 for the 4th group that Jesus does not call. Jesus does not call those who reject him. Let's read verses 20 through 30 here it says or sorry 22 through 30. And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said he has Beelzebub, and by the ruler of demons he cast out demons. So he called them to himself and said to them in parables, how can Satan cast out Satan? If a Kingdom is divided against itself, that Kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. No one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house. Assuredly, I say to you. All sins will be forgiven. The sons of men. And whatever blasphemies they may utter. But he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness. But is subject to eternal condemnation. Because they said he has an unclean spirit. Here we see a group of people, scribes, religious leaders from Jerusalem, and they come to check out this. Situation they've heard all the hubbub. What is going on here? They're seeing the miraculous work and they declare that Jesus is possessed by Satan. That he operates in the power of Satan and so they're declaring, in essence, this is all just. A fake show. This is not reality. He has no real divine power or authority. Demon possessed by the Prince of Demons by Satan himself. Now Jesus counters this and challenges them. The logic is not very great in their accusation here in their declaration, but the issue here is not so much their logic. The issue is that they don't believe. And and so that's why he works his way into this idea of the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. And Jesus says all sins will be forgiven. But here is that one that famous unpardonable sin, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. And what is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? The Ministry of? The Holy Spirit. Is to testify of Jesus to testify that Jesus is the Christ, that he is the son of God who became men who died upon the cross for our sins, that the Holy Spirit is. The one who testifies of Jesus. And to reject the ministry to reject the message, to reject the working of the Holy Spirit is to reject Jesus and and it tells us they're in verse 30 because they said now he. Entered into this subject of the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit because they said he has an unclean spirit and and we can understand from this that that they're not deceived. They're not doing their best calculation and you know they were just ignorant. And so that was the. Best they could come up with. No, the the issue is like going back into the first part of the chapter, the religious leaders. They knew who Jesus claimed to be. They knew that he had the power to back up his claims, but they refused to believe and receive his word and his authority. And so they couldn't stand silent. They couldn't just let it go. They were the religious leaders. They were the authorities of the day. And so they had to come up with a message. So what do we say? Remember when the religious leaders were testing Jesus? And he says, well, let me test you back. The Ministry of John the Baptist. Where did that come from? From man or from God? And the religious leaders were debating back and forth privately, like, Oh no, he's got us. Because if we say that it was from man, well, all of the people believe that he was a prophet of God. And we're going to be in hot water with the people if we say that it was from man. But if we say that John the Baptist was from God, oh, man, then he's got a slot. Because then why didn't we submit to him if he was from God? And So what they cared about was not the truth and submitting to God what they cared about was their reputation, their position, their authority, and and maintaining the power that they had in the society. And so they had to come up with this. He's demon possessed. That's why he can do those things. Don't be so excited about Jesus. I mean, he's just he's got Satan in him, so of course he's going to do crazy things. That's not a big surprise. Still, follow us. Don't follow him. He's demon possessed. That's their message. And Jesus gives them a very stern warning, he says. He's not declaring here that they have committed the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, that they're beyond redemption at this point. He's not saying that he's saying watch out. Because that kind of rejection, again, that callous idea, you're hardening your heart. You're saying no. You know the truth, but you refuse to accept it. That's gonna harden you more and more and you will come to the point. Where you blasphemed the Holy Spirit. And you fully and finally reject. Jesus Christ as savior. And then there's no. There's no forgiveness. There is no opportunity for salvation apart from Jesus Christ. And so it's unpardonable, because the one source of life and forgiveness and redemption you've rejected. And so that makes it unpardonable. That's the source of forgiveness, and again, not that they've done that. But he's saying watch out, keep going down that path and you will find yourself. In that place. And so Jesus doesn't call these people. Those that reject him, he doesn't call the people who think that they know better. That's not the people he wants to to be with, and that he calls to himself there on the mountain. He doesn't call the people who is. They're just to see the exciting, to seek the signs to, to see something fantastic and something amazing and have some really awesome experience. Not that he's against awesome experiences, but those that that are shallow in that way, that that's all that they're in it for. That's not the people he's calling to himself here, and he's not calling to himself. Hard those who are hardened in religious tradition, so who does Jesus call? Who does Jesus call in this chapter? Well, there's two groups that we can look. At the first one. Is founded verses 13 through 19 and that's the disciples. Let's go ahead and read through that, but I'll put it this way. Jesus calls those who are following him, verse 13 says. And he went up on the mountain and called to him those he himself wanted. And they came to him. Then he appointed 12 that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have power, to heal sicknesses and cast out demons. Simon, to whom he gave the name Peter James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom he gave the name, bonus bonuses, boanerges. I don't know how. To say that that is sons of Thunder, that one I can pronounce Andrew, Phillip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James. The son of Alphaeus. Thaddeus Simon, the Canaanites and Judas. Garrett, who also betrayed him. And they went into a house. So here it records for us the appointing of the 12 apostles the Gathering together of the disciples. Now what's important to understand here is that when Jesus calls the people to himself in verse 13. It's not just the 12. There's more people than just the 12 involved in these verses. Again, he went up to the mountain and called to him those he himself wanted, and they came to him. Then he appointed 12. So there's a group that he himself wants. That he calls that come to him. And from that greater group, that larger group he highlights 12 and those are the 12 apostles that are named here. This is found a little bit more clearly in Luke Chapter 6. Same passage or same? Situation, but just from Luke's perspective now it came to pass in those days that he went out to the mountains to pray and continued all night in prayer to God. And then when it was day he called his disciples to himself, and from then he chose 12, whom he also named Apostles. So we don't know exactly how many people there are in total in this group called the disciples. But they are this group that he called. They are the ones that he himself wanted. Notice like the really. Strong emphasis there in verse 13. He went up on the mountain. Called to him come to me, this is about time with me. Jesus is saying those he himself wanted. This is about Jesus spending time with people that he wants to. Spend time with. And who are the ones that he chooses to do that with? Those who are following him. Is a learner. You can really think about discipleship very similar to Apprentice apprenticeship. Yeah, one of those. With words today, apparently. To be an apprentice. It's on the job training you come alongside a master in a craft. And the master teaches you the craft while doing the job and teaches you all of the different situations that you might encounter by encountering all of those situations with you. And so the master walks The Apprentice through The Apprentice, is observing how the master is doing it. And then later on, The Apprentice gets opportunity to try with the Masters Guidance and oversight and this is the idea of discipleship. Jesus's disciples were the learners of Jesus. They would commit to hearing from Jesus sitting at Jesus feet, watching him do life and then saying, OK, Now we want to try and help us do life the way that you do life and and walk with God and follow God and seek the Lord and serve the Lord in the way that you do. That's what we want to learn. You want to learn how to be like you? Of a disciple. And that's a group that Jesus wants. To spend time with. Those who look at Jesus and say I. Want to learn? To do life like him, I want to learn to be like Jesus. I want to be instructed on how I should handle these situations and I want to do life with him so that as I encounter these situations I have the masters oversight and he can help guide me and direct me and all of those situations that I face. I want to watch him work and see what he does and what he thinks and his perspective on things so that I can adopt that same perspective. And put that into practice in my life that. Is the mindset, the mission of a disciple? And those are the people that says I want to spend time with you. Come up on the mountain with me. That's who Jesus calls. That he himself wanted the disciples who are following him. Well, the last group to consider here. Observing those that Jesus does call versus 31 through 35 to finish out the verses for the chapter. Jesus calls those who are listening to him verse 31, then his brother, his brothers and his mother came. And standing outside they sent to him, calling him. And a multitude was sitting around him and they said to him, look your mother and your brothers are outside seeking you. But he answered them saying, who is my mother or my brothers? And he looked around in a circle at those who sat about him and said here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and my sister and my mother. Versus earlier, his own people heard about it. They embark on the journey. We gotta go rescue Jesus. He's out of his mind. They show up finally. And Jesus is there in the midst of a multitude. The multitudes all around so they can't get to Jesus, cause they're pressing in. It's so concentrated. There's so many people they can't get there. So Mary whispers to someone on the outside. Of the crowd. Hey. Can you tell Jesus his families here? Pass it along. The next person says hey, tell Jesus his family is here. Along and they get it down and finally. Word gets to Jesus. And Jesus says well. My mother's here. I better respond right away. Because everybody knows if you Hail Mary, then Jesus responds. Now, that's not what happens. Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? Other gospel accounts also include the Sisters of Jesus in this group that has come to get him who are my brothers, who are my sisters, and and it says he looked around in verse 34 in a circle. You catch that? He looked around in a circle. Jesus is not just kind of like, OK. Real quick answer, dismiss that moving along Jesus is like. Hmm, let's think about this here. Multitudes all around him. Who are my mother and my brothers and my sisters? It's you and you and you and you and you, those who do the will of God, Jesus says. That's who my. Mother and sister and brother are. There's an allegiance. Spiritually, that is greater than allegiance biologically. I'm aligned with. Who are doing the will of. God those who are listening to Jesus. And doing what it is. He has called us too. And so this is who we want to be. This is the right group for us to be part of, right. If you want to be on the mountain with Jesus. Well, don't be part of the. Groups that Jesus does not call. The hardened religious traditions. The ones that are just shallow on the surface, just seeking signs, just looking for something exciting. Just looking for a momentary pleasure or excitement. Those who are thinking they know better have better ideas, better plans, better perspective than the Lord. And those who reject Jesus, of course, are not part of that group, but those who are part of the group, the the ones that Jesus wants to spend time with, are the ones who. Are saying I. Want to be a follower of Jesus? I want him to be my master. I'll be his apprentice. He will teach me how to live. He'll teach me how to talk. He'll teach me how to work. He'll teach me how to do everything and I'll learn from him and. Put into practice the things that he says. And I'm going to be listening to him. So that I can do the. Will of God. And there is the opportunity for. Those kinds of people. To have these. Unique and special times. With Jesus because he wants to spend time. With these kinds of people. He went up on the mountain called to him those he himself wanted. I want some time I I'm Jesus is saying I'm deliberately going out of my way. I'm initiating this. I want some time with some of my favorite people. My followers, those who listen to me. To do the will of the father. It encourages us to make sure to refresh ourselves and renew ourselves. In this group. Well, as we think about this, choosing to be the people that Jesus calls, I want to dive into a little bit more the calling of these apostles and the. Word that Jesus gives here. To those who are around him listening. And so we're gonna work our way now into the rest of the message. I know it's a little bit of a different type of message. I told you it would be right, observing those who Jesus did not call, observing those who Jesus did call now, what did he call them too? And what is it that he calls us too? If we choose to be the kind of people that he wants to be with and spend time with? What does that mean for us and what does that look like for us? What is it that we are to be doing and how do we make that choice to be the people that Jesus calls well? We're going to walk through. Respond to the call of Jesus to choose to be the people that Jesus calls is first of all going to involve us responding to his call. Look at verse 13. Again, it's my favorite verse for the evening. Right? We've read it a bunch of times. Let's read it a bunch more. He went up on the mountain and called to him those he himself wanted and they stayed home. And they came to him. Notice he extended an invitation. And they responded to the invitation. That's the kind of people Jesus wants to spend time with and hang out with. Those who respond to the invitation. Now we can understand, of course, the invitation is for all. Jesus said in John Chapter 12, if I am lifted. Up from the earth. I would draw. All peoples to myself. There there is a draw from the Lord he desires. He's not willing that any should perish. He he desires for all to come to him. Those who respond. Are the ones who get to receive and participate. And so respond, the invitation is for all, but not everybody responds. Not everybody responds when Jesus says, hey. I want some time with you. I want something special for you and for your life. I want to do a new work. I want to speak to you. Things I want you to encounter me in times of worship. I want you to sit at my feet and hear from me. I want you to have a time of prayer and and enjoy some real fellowship with me and cast your cares upon me. The the invitation is constantly there as Jesus is inviting us. But not everybody responds to the call and we individually don't always respond to the call. Even as disciples. Not to pick on Thomas too much, but you know that one Sunday when he wasn't there. Now you could say, but I didn't know there wasn't a clear invitation. Right. I didn't know Jesus was going to show up. If I would have known, I would have been there. But, but we all know how it is there. The neglect, sometimes of things that. We know the Lord would like us to. We know the Lord would want us to. But you know, I got some challenges, some stretching. I I kind of pretty much know what the Lord's going to say and I'm not really excited about hearing that from him anyways, so you know, I'm just going to skip over that one and. Kind of dip my toes back in the multitude instead of the disciples. Right. There there is the need for us to continue to choose to be the kind of people that Jesus calls. That is to choose to be the kind of people that respond. That when he invites. And anytime he invites and anytime he is prompting our hearts, anytime he is speaking to us. That we are reacting that we are responding. So when he goes up on the mountain and calls them to himself, they came to. They went up. It was, it was voluntary. It's very much. Like choosing a spouse. At least in our society, right? Jesus chose them and they chose him. That's the relationship that God wants to have with us. He chooses us and that presents some, you know, logical problems for some people because they take it to a greater degree. But, but the idea and to understand is that Jesus chooses us, he's inviting us, but but not removing our opportunity to respond and to choose him back. Respond to the call of Jesus. Even if up to this moment you've been. The heartened hearted religious. Or the shallow person who's just in it for the excitement and just wants to see the flurry and the fluff and and all the exciting things and the emotional things. And and you haven't really been a follower. A disciple being trained by the master, how to live life. But you just want to be around for. The good feelings and the exciting things. Even if up to this point, you've felt like you've known better and you have better ideas and better perspective than the Lord, even if up to this point you've rejected Jesus and and known the reality of him but not wanting him to be part of your life, the The thing is we have the opportunity now while we have breath to respond to the call of Jesus. So let's be the kind of people that Jesus calls the kind of people that. Jesus wants to hang out with. When he speaks. When he says jump, let's see how high. But let's say how high while we're in the air jumping already, like, let's let's react and respond. When the Lord speaks. Be sensitive to what he's saying and not wrestle with it. And him and ha and kind of no, no, let's be determined. The Lord wants me up on the mountain. Here I come. Lord, I'm there. I'm running to you. To be part. Of this time with you that you desire. Well, point #2 choose to be people. Jesus calls very closely related. But be with Jesus. Notice in verse 14 it says this. Then he appointed 12 that they might be with him. Now the 12 apostles, we can think about all kinds of things that they did and response were responsible for and you know the works that the Lord entrusted to them, and they were going to carry on the Ministry of Jesus after the the ascension of Jesus. Like great, powerful things entrusted to them. But the first thing listed, the first thing the Lord was interested in. The the thing that. He cared about most. He appointed these apostles. That they might be with him. The disciples had the invitation to be with Jesus, and there were many disciples who were always around Jesus, but there were also disciples who kind of came and go, and their level of interaction with Jesus varied. But the 12 apostles Jesus says OK, I don't want you coming and going anymore. I don't want a part time kind of interaction with you. I want you to be with me. Stay with me. We're gonna walk together. We're gonna work together. We're gonna talk together. We're gonna journey together. We're gonna feast together. We're gonna mourn together. We're gonna hurt together. We're gonna rejoice together. He appointed these first and foremost that they might be with him again. The idea of apprenticeship. They're going to learn ministry and life. They're going to learn theology. They're going to learn everything that they need to learn by being with Jesus. The kind of people that Jesus calls are the kind of people who respond to the invitation. And are willing to desiring. To be with Jesus. They're in it for the relationship. They're in it to know the Lord because he's in it, to know them that that there is this relationship that the Lord desires with all of us. It's not a matter of a checklist of things to do. It's not a matter of a work that needs to get done, and so I need some grunts and so would you come and grunt and do the things that I need that Jesus is saying. First and foremost, what the Lord desires. His fellowship with US relationship with us. Time with us. Be with Jesus. Pray without ceasing. Meditate in his word day and night. And nights and day and day and night while you pray without ceasing. Engage in and cultivate time with Jesus continually make him the center of your life. Say good morning to him when you wake up and goodnight to him as you go to bed. And talk with him all the time. Dream about him over a night like. Be with Jesus. Be committed to him. And your relationship with the Lord needs to be first and foremost above all else. Those are the kinds of people that Jesus loves to spend time with. Kinds of people he calls to himself. Those who responded the invitation. And are willing and are committed to be with them to prioritize the. With the Lord. Well then point #3. Choose to be people that Jesus calls and that means be willing to be sent by Jesus. To be with. Jesus, that's important. But also OK the relationship, but Jesus that parts cool. OK, but Lord, don't ask me to do anything that's uncomfortable. That's stretching that, you know that I don't want to do. Verse 14 again. Then he appointed 12 that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach. Jesus is going to give them missions. He's going to send them out by twos. Later on, he's gonna send out more. Later on, he's gonna send them out in a different way. Later on, they're gonna have different responsibilities in the church at Jerusalem. And later on beyond that, they're gonna have different responsibilities in churches all over the world. They're going to be sent out by Jesus. His agents, his ministers. On his mission. With his message. The people that Jesus calls, the people that Jesus gets excited about spending time with, that the ones that he wants and calls up onto the mountain with. Him are those. Who are willing to say here I am, Lord, send me. What is your will? What do you want? Not God I've. Got some really good ideas and I just need you to bless them so that they're successful. Because I know the theology, you know. I know without apart from you, I can't do anything. OK, so let me tell you the things I want to do. And can you be part? Of it so that I can do that. Not what this is. This is Jesus saying I have a message for you to give. I have a place for you to go. I have something for you to do. And I'm going to send you out. And I'm gonna be the authority here. And to tell you. Where you should be spending your time. How you should be serving what? You should be doing. The kind of people that Jesus calls are the people who. Are willing to say yes. Here I am, Lord. And so as I'm with you, hearing your voice and talking to you and receiving from you. When I'm your servant, you instruct me. Send me out however you want to. Whatever form or fashion that takes for me. It fits your plan. Let's do it. I'm willing to be stretched. I'm willing to do the mundane. I'm willing to do the exciting. I'm willing to do the scary. I'm willing to do. Whatever it is that you want me to do. Well, point #4 is we choose to be the people that Jesus calls be empowered by Jesus. Of course, in none of this are we. Meant to endeavor. To be sent by Jesus. To do all of these things. With our own strength and resources. Verse 15 I put the wrong verse on the notes. I apologize, but verse 15 it says and have power to heal sicknesses and cast out demons. He appointed them. First of all, to be with him. Also, after they're charged up by spending time with him, he can send them out. With his power. To accomplish the things that he has. Sent them forth. To do and it doesn't matter what obstacles are. In the way. Illnesses, demon possession, spiritual warfare. Doesn't matter the obstacles. There's no weapon that's formed against us that can prosper when we're empowered by Jesus. And how does Jesus empower us? He told the. He don't leave Jerusalem yet, and after he's resurrected descending up into heaven. Hang on, you'll be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Not many days from now. We're empowered by Jesus as he gives us and pours into us the Holy Spirit. To enable us to do whatever it is. That he calls us to. Choose to be the people that Jesus calls. Respond to his invitation. Actually be with him. Spend time with Jesus. Receive instruction from him and be sent out. Not relying upon your own resources. But relying upon the Holy Spirit, well, finally the fifth point to consider. We're just going to jump down to verse 35 and choosing to be the people that Jesus calls. We need to be those who do the will of God. Verse 35 again for whoever does the will of God is my brother and my sister and mother. Whoever does the will of God. Now many times we think about that and we think well, how can I do the will of God. Many people would say that it's hard to do the will of God because first of all, you can't even. Know the will of God. But it's not so hard, as we often think, or pretend that it is. In fact, in Luke Chapter 8, the parallel passage to this, when Jesus is giving the same instruction but recorded differently under Lukes authorship, verse 21, he answered and said to them my mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it. One of the ways that we know the will of God is very simple that. We hear the word of God. And so doing the will of God in that regard is not so mysterious and crazy difficult to figure out. It is to hear what God says. And then do it, and if you hear what God says and then do it, you will do the will of God. Now, if you're thinking about the will of God is in like, well, I know the next 50 years of my life and all the steps that are going to be taken and all the choices that are going to need to be made and and I know now the will of. God for my life. Cause I have all the details of the next 50 years, that's not. I mean, God has that and perhaps he wants to reveal that. I I don't know that anybody's ever had that kind of revelation of the will of God for them. But we all have access to the will of God for our lives that is contained in. The word of God. And hearing the word and doing it. Is what enables us to do the will of God. Remember what Paul said in Romans chapter 12, verse 2. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove. What is that good and? Acceptable and perfect will of God. In the other cases that are not clearly outlined in the scriptures, Paul says you need to keep your mind clear. You need to be renewed in your mind. So that you can prove. What is the will of God? You can test. Is this the will of God? And when you're not conformed to the world, but you're transformed by the renewing of your mind, you're able to identify that that means there are those things that are more personal, more specific, that are not necessarily going to be clearly in a verse somewhere. But there is the will of God that you can uncover that you can discover for yourself. When you stop being literally could be translated that way. Stop being conformed to this world. Stop being like this world and be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you'll be able to figure out. What the will of God is? I always like this passage here at the beginning of Romans Romans chapter one where Paul is talking about how much he's praying for them at Rome and he he wants to go and he says, look, I'm trying so hard. He says in verse 10 of Romans one making a request if by some means now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. It gives this idea right? Paul is proving that acceptable and perfect will of God. OK, Lord, if I get on this boat and get over to Rome, is that your will? OK, that's not God's will. OK, if I get on this other boat and. Get this route over to Rome, OK? That's not God's will. OK. If I take this journey through the, you know, land and and go around this long way and is that the will of is that so I've been trying hard, Paul says to find a way within the will of God. I'm not going to go outside the will of God. I want to do what God wants. But at the same time, I'm not just going to sit here. And just figure, you know, well, if God wants it, he's. Just gonna proof make it happen. I'm I'm finding a way. I'm testing it out. I'm seeking and exploring and discovering what is God's will for me. And so I'm finding a way within the will of God to get to you. Is the kind of people that we need to be. The people who hear the word of. God and do. It so that we do the will of God, but also the people that are like what I want to do your will. And it's not always clear. I'm gonna have to test things. I'm gonna have to try things. I'm gonna have to explore things. Put my feet in the water, try things out, take steps of it. I'm. I'm gonna have to. Work through things but but I want to find out what pleases you and do that. That's the kind of people that Jesus calls. Those who respond to his call and invitation. Those who desire to be with him. Those who are willing to be sent out by him in his power and his strength. Because they're seeking to do they desire to do their pleasure is to do. The pleasure of God. And so with that, I would like to just close out with a couple of worship songs. And let's just start right now choosing to be. The kind of people that Jesus calls. Choosing to be the people. That responded his invitation that our. Looking forward to you and willing to sit with him and be with him. And are willing to be sent out empowered. Seeking out the will of God. The plans of God. What he has in store for us?