Intimacy precedes ministry

Mark 3:14-15 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

When Jesus chose his 12 disciples he didn’t choose them so he could throw them out into the harvest for them to “figure it out”. It says it was appointed that they might be with him before He ever sent them out to do anything in ministry. I’m sure He taught them things from the Scriptures and taught them about the kingdom of God. But they needed more than knowledge. Earlier in the same chapter we see several instances of the Pharisees, with their exhaustive knowledge of the Scriptures, having no real understanding of the heart of God towards a lost and suffering humanity. They didn’t care that the miracle working power of God was present to heal the tormented and afflicted…because the traditions couldn’t be broken.

Jesus knew that before His disciples could ever labor for Him, they had to understand His mission. So they watched Him touch lepers and heal Gentiles and forgive adulteresses and rebuke Pharisees who looked on disapprovingly.

All our ministry will deteriorate into brittle religious ritual if it isn’t motivated and fueled by intimacy with Jesus. We were always meant to work WITH Him and not merely FOR Him.

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