Mark Part XVI - The Israel of God (3:7-19)
As Jesus has gone about setting up his Kingdom, He has called various men to follow Him. He has called Peter and Andrew. He has called James and John. He has called Levi the tax collector. In chapter 3 the heretofore somewhat informal relationship with these men becomes much more formalized – and others are added to the mix whose names we see for the first time. In chapter 3 Jesus appoints the Twelve Apostles.
There are two issues that must be addressed in dealing with the establishment of the Apostolate. First, why Twelve Apostles? Why not three or four or fourteen? Why twelve? Second, why these particular men? Were they the only men available or did Jesus have some reason for choosing these men?
Answering these questions will lead us to one of the most important issues in biblical theology. What is the relationship between the people of God in the Old Testament and the people of God in the New? In other words, what is the relationship between Israel and the Church? While answers to this question vary considerably among Christians today, the New Testament is quite clear. And the clarity shows up in all kinds of unsuspecting spots, helping us to understand why we still print our Bibles with Genesis through Malachi attached.
Stuart Bryan is the pastor of Trinity Church. He and his wife, Paige, have seven children, four homegrown, two adopted from the lovely land of Guatemala, and one adopted from Ukraine. Stuart earned his B.A. in Religion from Whitworth College and his M.A. in Theological and Historical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.