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  • Writer's pictureDr. Roger D Duke

Has Christ “Appointed” You to Be “With Him?”

Has Christ “Appointed” You to Be “With Him?”

“With Him”

“And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, and to have authority to cast out demons” (Mark 3:14–15).

The calling of the Twelve from among the number of disciples following Jesus identifies the approach and ministry Jesus had with them. “And He appointed twelve,” that is, He set them apart for the unique apostolic work that would continue His ministry after the ascension and would bear witness to Him for all to know who Jesus is and what He has done to save sinners, and why He alone is the way to God. What a ministry! What a calling! Yet, Jesus didn’t visit the rabbinical schools to pick out the keenest students of the law. He chose twelve men who lived ordinary lives, who did common work, who experienced normal life of Jews living in Roman occupied Israel, and who brought no great fortune or social status to their number. They were ordinary men learning to live life with the extraordinary Savior whom they would follow the rest of their lives, with the exception of Judas Iscariot, the betrayer.

Jesus appointed them “so that they would be with Him.” What was their training regimen? They were with Jesus. What school and curriculum prepared them to be witnesses to the resurrection and apostles who would serve as the instruments through whom the authoritative word given by Jesus would be passed to His church and to the world? They were with Jesus. How would they learn the doctrines to clarify the Old Testament teaching with the new covenant promises? They were with Jesus. How would they understand the character and skills necessary to lead the fledgling gathering of followers through the opposition and oppression they would face? They were with Jesus. How would they be able to stand up and endure scourging, imprisonment, and death as Jesus’ disciples? They were with Jesus.

For all the sophistication developed in Christian circles—and thank God for it—that instructs and exposes the breadth of theological studies to prepare pastors and congregations to live and labor as Jesus’ disciples in a fallen world, nothing must replace or substitute for Jesus’ primary method for training apostles/disciples. “That they would be with Him.” It is “with Him,” living life in devotedness to Jesus, learning from Him, observing the way He spoke and treated others, seeing His dependence upon the Father, watching how He lived in the Holy Spirit’s power, hearing His doctrinal instruction, glorying in His love, mercy, kindness, faithfulness, and grace, focusing on His hope that kept Him enduring even the suffering of the cross, sharing in the depths of love for the redeemed: that’s what it is to be “with Him.” Can that be improved upon?

While Jesus trained the apostles in this manner, He continues to do the same with all who would follow Him. Through the corporate gatherings in worship and the systematic exposition of His Word, by the bonds of love and relationship within His body, through the kindred service and sharpening of one another in body life and ministry, by means of daily seeking Him through the Word and prayer, and through meditating upon Him, we’re “with Him.” In that “withness” (as Günther Krallmann calls it), He shapes, trains, matures, hones, and delights in those He has saved. “With Him.” Let that be our daily theme. While we’re not apostles, we are disciples who follow Jesus Christ. He calls us to be “with Him.” “With Him” happens corporately, as well as privately; both are essential as disciples. They function in tandem. They feed each other in the joyous life of being “with Him” in our daily journey.

From the “Leather Journal” of Pastor Phil Newton of the South Woods Baptist Church Memphis, Tn located at

This is edited and offered by Dr. Roger D Duke of The Inverted Christian located at

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