Mark 3:13-19 - The Carpenters Tools
this passage is primarily a list of the 12 apostles that the Lord chose to be with Himself. And it is interesting that the Lord Jesus Christ was a carpenter (Matt.13:55; Mark 6:3). If you were commissioned to build a house, you would want the best tools possible (2Tim.2:20-21). I myself do not have good tools for building.
Jesus Christ is the Master Carpenter Builder. Today He is building His kingdom and He is going to take tools that He wants to use to further His kingdom. However, unlike going after the best and choicest tools, the Lords choices are very unusual. He actually chooses the opposite of what we think should be chosen.
As you read this list and study these men, they weren’t the sharpest guys you would meet. They weren’t the shiniest & best tools for the job. That encourages me because I know that if God could use these guys He could certainly use me and our church, and God could use your life as well. He is not looking for the mighty and the wise.
A. The Choosing of the Twelve (Mark 3:13-19).
(Matt.10:1-4; Luke 6:12-19; Acts 1:13-14)
1. Jesus withdrew to be alone (v.13a).
a) Jesus got away & prayed all night (Luke 6:12).
(1) Tradition says that he ascended the Horns of Hattin, the most prominent point on the west side of the lake. That is possible, though we cannot be sure. The point is, he got away, by himself.
(2) The Gospels make it clear that though he was man and God, he still needed to be alone. Though he came to save man, at times he needed to be away from man.
As Vance Havner said, “If we do not follow Christ’s example to ‘come apart,’ we may, indeed, just come apart!” Too many of us wake up to a clock radio, shave to the news, drive through noisy traffic, work in the din of the office, listen to the rush-hour reports, relax to the evening news, and drift off to sleep surrounded by the base thump, thump of the family stereo. We need silence.
(3) Jesus Himself had private devotions Morning Devotions (Mk 1:35); Evening Prayer (Mk 6:46, 47); Solitary Communion (Lu 5:15, 16); All-night Prayer (Lu 6:12); Only the Disciples near (Lu 9:18); In the Garden of Gethsemane (Lu 22:41, 42)
(4) If Jesus had to do this, being the Eternal Son, how much more do we, adopted sons and daughters, need to follow his example.
2. Jesus called to Him those He Himself wanted (v.13b).
a) They did not choose Him, bur He chose them (John 15:16).
b) They came to Him.
(1) There is the idea that they left, forsook, went away from their former work and undertook the new work assigned by Jesus.
Peter said to Jesus “See, we have left all and followed You.”" (Mark 10:28, NKJV)
Jesus said to His disciples "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it." (Luke 9:23-24, NKJV)
The promise that Jesus gives "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”" (Luke 18:29-30, NKJV)
c) The Lord called us to Himself as well.
(1) It is amazing that the Lord would want us!
3. Jesus appointed the twelve (v.14).
a) To be with Him (v.14a).
(1) This was the first lesson Jesus wanted to teach men: that God wants man’s personal fellowship and devotion before all else. The disciples were to live in Jesus’ presence, learning of Him and drawing their spiritual nourishment and strength from Him.
Isaiah writes "You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me. " (Isaiah 43:10, NKJV)
Paul, writing to the Corinthians says "God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:9, NKJV)
I love what Paul says about knowing God. To Paul nothing else mattered: "Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ… "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death," (Philippians 3:8, 10, NKJV)
b) To be sent forth to preach (v.14b).
(1) To go forth as ambassadors for Christ (2Cor.5:19-20),
(2) To bear fruit (John 15:1-8).
c) To receive power (v.15).
(1) The Lord is going to take a rough bunch of guys and do the miraculous through. And the Lord will give you the power you need to whatever ministry He has called you to.
(2) If He has called you to a Healing Ministry He will give you the gift of healing; if He has called you to cast out demons & demonic forces He will give you the power; to teach the gift of teaching; children’s & Jr. High ministry patience; counseling wisdom and mercy.
Peter writes that God has "given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue," (2 Peter 1:3, NKJV)
4. The Calling of Uncommon Men (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).
a) God does not judge a book by its cover (1 Samuel 15:1-13).
(1) So often we want to promote people in the body of Christ that have the outward success. That is often the one that the Lord does not choose.
The Lord Jesus said "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (John 7:24, NKJV)
God had to correct Samuels focus. The Lord says that "He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. “ (Psalm 147:10, NKJV)
God is the one who raises up someone, not man: "For exaltation comes neither from the east Nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, And exalts another. “(Psalm 75:6-7, NKJV)
For the Ladies” Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. “(Proverbs 31:30, NKJV)
Luke writes in his Gospel saying, "Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:14-15, NKJV)
b) God takes the insignificant of this world (1 Corinthians 1:28).
(1) Have you ever been told: “you will never amount to anything?” God can use anybody in the kingdom of God.
B. The Men God Called (Mark 3:16-19)
1. The calling of the apostle Peter (v.16).
a) A man with self-determination.
(1) The night the Lord was being betrayed (John 18:8-11). In (matt.26:52) Jesus says, “Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?”
(2) Peter still is a little impulsive and thinks that He can produce the works of God. And this is one of the things that scar’s so many people from ministry, they think that they have to be the manufacturer rather than the distributor in the kingdom of God.
Warren Wiersbe On Being A Servant: The trouble with to many of us is that we think God called us to be manufacturers when He really called us to be distributors… the disciples were trying to be manufacturers. They thought that it was their responsibility to come up with the money or the food or some clever way to solve the problem. But all the while, “He Himself knew what He would do” (John 6:6). Jesus needed His disciples, not as manufacturers but as distributors. He took the lad’s lunch, looked up to heaven blessed the food, broke it, and put it into the disciples’ hands for them to feed the hungry multitude. The multiplication took place in His hands; the distribution was the work of the disciples’ hands… Once you accept yourself as a distributor of God’s riches and not a manufacturer you will experience a wonderful new freedom and joy in service. You won’t be afraid of new challenges because you know God has the resources to meet them. You won’t be frustrated trying to manufacture everything needed to get the job done; and when God blesses your work, you won’t be tempted to take the credit. Dr. Bob Cook used to remind us in our Youth for Christ ministry, “If you can explain what’s going on, God didn’t do it!”
(3) Usually when God calls you, you get fearful because you look at all your limitations and all of the lack of resources that you have. The disciples in John 6 wanted to send the multitude away but the Lord said you need to feed them.
(4) The disciples got together and tried to solve the problem, but the Lord already had an answer, He simply wanted to use them to give out the blessing the He provided. That is the difference between a manufacturer and a distributor the power comes from God.
(5) Peter had to be broken and I think that’s the only way that we can learn to be a distributor and not a manufacturer is through the breaking process, the Lord allows us to fail. Peter denied the Lord and He didn’t think that would take place (Mk 14:67–71).
b) Other Qualities of Peter.
(1) Naturally impulsive (Matt.14:28 17:4; John 21:7)
(2) Tenderhearted and affectionate (Matt. 26:75 John 13:9 21:15–17)
(3) Full of strange contradictions - at times presumptuous (Matt. 16:22John 13:8 18:10); other times timid and cowardly (Matt. 14:3026:69–72)
(4) Self-sacrificing (Mk.1:18) yet inclined to be self-seeking (Matt. 19:27)
(5) Gifted with Spiritual insight (John 6:68) yet slow to apprehend the deeper truths (Matt. 15:15, 16).
(6) Made two great confession of his faith in Christ (Matt. 16:16; John 6:69); and also the most cowardly denial (Mk 14:67–71)
(7) Was courageous and immovable (Acts 4:19, 20 5:28, 29, 40, 40)
2. The calling of the apostles James and John, the “Sons of Thunder” (v.17).
a) Men who were exclusive (Luke 9:49-53).
(1) Denominationalism kills the church. Denominationalism causes churches to start competing against one another when we are actually on the same team.
(2) We can’t be devoted to Calvary Chapel; we need to be devoted Jesus Christ. Anyone who is serving the Lord we are working and laboring together.
(3) The Apostle James. If there is a key word that describes the apostle James, that word is passion. He was zealous, thunderous, passionate, and fervent. He reminds us of Jehu in the Old Testament, who was known for driving his chariot at breakneck speed (2Kings 9:20).
b) Men who had tempers (v.54-56).
(1) James and John were upset, fiery and angry over such rejection. They asked Jesus if they should destroy the village by calling fire from heaven to consume the people. Note three points.
(a) The faith of James and John in Jesus was strong. They believed without question that Jesus had the authority to control the power of heaven, either through Himself or through them.
(b) The wrong understanding of Jesus’ mission was also strong. They thought in terms of a Messianic Ruler on earth, subjecting men and forcing them to worship and serve God. They saw the Messiah judging those who rejected Him.
(c) James and John were guilty of the same error that the Samaritans had just committed. They were full of bitterness, wrath, and vengeance, reacting against the Samaritans just as the Samaritans had reacted against the Jews and Jesus. They wanted to destroy the Samaritans because the Samaritans were not willing to worship (Jesus) and live as James and John wished.
(2) Our Lords mission was not to destroy men’s lives but to save them.
In talking with Nicodemus, Jesus said "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:17, NKJV)
In John 12 our Lord said "And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world." (John 12:47, NKJV)
Luke writes "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”" (Luke 19:10, NKJV)
The Lord does not want anyone to come into judgment:” Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." (John 5:24, NKJV)
The Lord wants to give abundant life: "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10, NKJV)
The apostle Paul said "that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." (1 Timothy 1:15, NKJV)
c) Men who were changed by God.
(1) By God’s grace these men are transformed and used greatly by God. John was later known as the apostle of love. James was martyred for his faith in Jesus.
(2) Maybe you started out prejudice, having animosity toward a certain race of people, however there is no room for that in the body of Christ (Gal.4:28; Col.3:11; James 2:1-13)).
3. The apostle James the son of Alphaeus (v.18).
a) Little is known about “James the less”.
(1) If he ever wrote anything, it is lost in history. If he ever asked Jesus any questions or did anything to stand out from the groups, Scripture does not record it.
(2) He never attained any degree of fame or notoriety; he was not the kind of person who stood out.
(3) It may be that he was a quiet person who stayed mostly in the background, with a low profile.
b) James sought no recognition.
(1) This in itself is a significant fact. He displayed no great leadership that Scripture records. He asked no critical questions. He demonstrated no unusual insight. Only his name remains, while his life and labors are immersed in no recognition.
(2) He reminds us of those unnamed people mentioned in Hebrews 11:33-38:
The writer of Hebrews says about these people that "who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth." (Hebrews 11:33-38, NKJV)