Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 130

Christ Ordains Twelve Apostles

This chapter is based on Mark 3:13-35; Luke 6:12-16.

“And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach.”

Beneath the sheltering trees of the mountainside, a little distance from the Sea of Galilee, Jesus called the Twelve to be His apostles, and He gave the Sermon on the Mount. In training His disciples, Jesus chose to leave the confusion of the city for the quiet of the fields and hills, which was more in harmony with the lessons of self-denial He wanted to teach. And during His ministry, He loved to gather the people around Him under the blue heavens, on some grassy hillside, or on the beach beside the lake. Here He could turn His hearers from the artificial things to the natural. In the growth and development of nature, they could learn precious lessons of divine truth.

Jesus was about to take the first step in organizing the church that was to be His representative on earth after His departure. They had no costly sanctuary, but the Savior led His disciples to the secluded place He loved, and in their minds the sacred experiences of that day were linked forever with the beauty of mountain, valley, and sea.

Jesus had called His disciples so that He could send them out to tell the world what they had seen and heard from Him. Their task, the most important to which human beings had ever been called, was second only to that of Christ Himself. They were to work with God for the saving of the world.

The Savior knew the character of the men He had chosen. Their weaknesses and errors were open before Him. He knew the dangers that they must pass through, and His heart went out to these chosen ones. Alone on a mountain, He spent the entire night in prayer for them, while they were sleeping at the foot of the mountain. With the first light of dawn, He called them to meet Him.

John and James, Andrew and Peter, with Philip, Nathanael, and Matthew, had been more closely connected with Jesus in active labor than the others. Peter, James, and John had an even closer relationship with Him, witnessing His miracles and hearing His words. The Savior loved them all, but John’s spirit was the most receptive.

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