Summary: The new people of God, like the old, are called or chosen. He does the choosing. Whether you like it or not, He chooses you; you do not choose Him.
Harmony of the Gospels
Title: Twelve Apostles Selected After a Night of Prayer
Up to this point large crowds had followed Jesus, and among them was a group of men whom He called to discipleship. The disciples were at least seventy in number, because it says in Luke 10:1, “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.” Now, He will choose and ordain twelve to be His apostles.
And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. (Mark 3:13)
The new people of God, like the old, are called or chosen. He does the choosing. Whether you like it or not, He chooses you; you do not choose Him. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16) It is a real comfort to me, and I don’t think it is irreverent to say, that since He chose me, He is responsible for me. He will not let me down. He will be right there with me all the way to the end of my life, and then He will receive my soul. Notice also, that when He calls, they respond.
And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: And Simon he surnamed Peter; (Mark 3:14-16)
There may be some significance to the number of disciples, because there were twelve tribes that made up the nation Israel. The call here is to apostleship. The word apostle means, “Those who are sent”. Here is where they actually became apostles, and here is where they are sent out on a ministry, set apart for Him. This is a special group, that He will later call “friends”. Matthew records the message and method that Jesus instructs them to use at this time. “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.