No one wants to be just a number. Unfortunately, the reality is that in this world, you are one out of roughly 7.5 billion people. In the United States, the government knows you as a Social Security number amidst the other 325+ million numbers in the nation. Does God view us the same way… as a number in the crowds of people who worship him? He wants us to know him, but does he really care to know us as more than just a number?
- As people who often desire to stand out, to be known, to feel significant, and to be considered valuable, to whom or to what do you look to feel like you are more than just a number?
- Ask God to use this passage to show you how he views you.
Read The Word: Mark 3:7-21 (ESV)
7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. 9 And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. 11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.
13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. 20 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What verbs or phrases describe how Jesus responded to the great crowds?
- In verses 14 and 15, what privileges did Jesus grant to these twelve individuals?
- What would it look like for you to “be with” Jesus day to day? How can you do that practically? What decisions or changes need to be made in order for that to happen?
- How would your life be different right now if you truly believed that Jesus wants to be with you every moment of every day and that he wants to use you to represent him to this world?
Respond To God
Before these twelve men met Jesus, they were just numbers in the crowd. They were ordinary men living ordinary lives. Everything changed when Jesus, the God of the Universe, called them to himself. He called them so that they might simply be with him, to be known by him, and to be used by him to do great things. The great news is that, in the same way, Jesus has called each of us to himself that we might be with him and be sent out by him. In the eyes of the God of the Universe, we are not just numbers in the crowd. We are his children.
- Thank God for the truth that you are more than just a number to him.
- Ask him to take you to deeper places of intimacy with him this year, and invite him to use you for his glory.