Mark 3:13-21

Talks for Growing Christians

Jesus Calls the Twelve Disciples

Mark 3:13-21

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Lesson Number 13

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God's call to discipleship is based on character - not on credentials.
  2. There are three basic qualifications for effective Christian service: A. To be with the Lord B. To preach C. To be empowered

Practical Application

  1. Don't be surprised if a Judas turns up in your ministry.
  2. Don't be surprised if people label you a religious fanatic.


  1. What kinds of disciples did the Lord Jesus choose? This diverse group of disciples - what does it tell us about Christ?
  2. Who were the two Simons?
  3. Who were the Zealots?
  4. How did John change after he had been with Jesus?
  5. What was Christ's three-fold purpose of calling the disciples?
  6. What are the three basic qualifications for Christian service? (Based on parallels in the three-fold purpose of calling the disciples).
  7. By whom was the Lord labeled a religious fanatic? (Have you ever been called a religious fanatic?)


  1. Mostly young men, probably in their twenties. Christianity emerged out of Judaism as a youth movement. Jesus began by calling Peter and ended with Judas. They included a number of professions and there were unknowns. What does it say about our Lord? That He can bring people from the most diverse backgrounds and characteristics together for a common purpose.
  2. Simon Peter, the stone or rock, so-called because of his role in the early church; and Simon the Zealot.
  3. A political group in Palestine; fanatical nationalists. See Luke 6:15.
  4. He was called, along with his brother, "Boanerges," a Hebrew idiom for thunder. Later, John was known as the disciple of love.
  5. a) that they might be with Him, b) that He might send them out to preach, and c) that they might have power to heal the sick and cast out demons.
  6. a) to be with Christ (spending time in the Scriptures and prayer), b) to preach (a willingness to verbalize the gospel and to see spiritual needs), and c) to be empowered (to use whatever spiritual gifts the Lord gives for His glory).
  7. His own family thought He was losing it, and couldn't handle the pressure. It seems to be OK to be fanatical in the area of sports or business, but not in the faith. Don't be turned off by a label.


  1. On what does God base His call to discipleship?
  2. Are you proud or ashamed of the gospel of Christ? See Romans 1:16


  1. Do you qualify as a disciple? Check it out: Are you spending quality time with the Lord? Are you ready to speak a word for Him? Are you ready to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to use your spiritual gift for God's glory?

Key Verses

  • "He went up into a mountain, and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him." (Mark 3:13)

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