From Heaven With Love


Chapter 30—Christ Ordains Twelve Apostles

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

“And He went up into the hills, and called to Him those whom He desired; and they came to Him. And He appointed twelve, to be with Him, and to be sent out to preach.” RSV. HLv 192.1

Beneath the sheltering trees of the mountainside, a little distance from the Sea of Galilee, the Twelve were called to the apostolate, and the Sermon on the Mount was given. In training His disciples Jesus chose to withdraw from the confusion of the city to the quiet of the fields and hills, as more in harmony with the lessons of self-abnegation He desired to teach. And during His ministry He loved to gather the people about 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 to the natural. In the growth and development of nature, they could learn precious lessons of divine truth. HLv 192.2

The first step was now to be taken in the organization of the church that after Christ's departure was to be His representative on earth. No costly sanctuary was at their command, but the Saviour led His disciples to the retreat He loved, and in their minds the sacred experiences of that day were forever linked with the beauty of mountain, vale, and sea. HLv 192.3

Jesus had called His disciples that He might send them forth to declare to the world what they had seen and heard of Him. Their office, 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. HLv 192.4

The Saviour knew the character of the men He had chosen; their weaknesses and errors were open before Him. He knew the perils through which they must pass; and His heart yearned over 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 summoned them to meet Him. HLv 193.1

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 stood in still nearer relationship to Him, witnessing His miracles and hearing His words. The Saviour loved them all, but John's was the most receptive spirit. Younger than the others, with more of a child's confiding trust, he opened his heart to Jesus. Thus he came more into sympathy with Christ, and through him the Saviour's deepest spiritual teaching was communicated to His people. HLv 193.2