Jesus called the disciples to Himself. That is implied in the Greek verb “called,” and made explicit in Mark’s account: Then he appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sickness and to cast out demons. (Mark 3:14-15) Though we discussed the commission which Christ gave His apostles first, in reality His calling preceded the commission. First and foremost, He wanted them to come to Himself, to be with Him. That’s our call, too. “Abide in Me, and I in you… He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4,5) Fellowship with Christ comes before fruit-bearing. Prayer precedes preaching. Works must flow from worship. Before we can heal in His name, we must hear His words. Unless we imitate Christ, how can we lead others to Him? And how can we imitate Him if we do not have an intimate relationship with Him? So, for the next three years, the Twelve followed Jesus wherever He went. They listened to His teaching, witnessed His mighty works, saw His matchless manner of life, and (at least some of them) stood – though at a distance – silently as grieving onlookers at His terrible agony on the Cross. Then they waited until the promised Holy Spirit came upon them to thrust them out in the world with a power even greater than that given to them during their apprenticeship. May we follow their example, as they followed His.