1. Exposition

How does Mark 3:13–19 contrast with the preceding?

Mark 3:13–19 (ESV)

13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him.

By focusing on this electing of Jesus’ own heralds, Mark presents a special contrast. He has just reported how Jesus forbids the demons to make him further known. They call out, “You are God’s Son!” Jesus does not deny this, but he does not allow them to say it (Mark 3:11–12). Doesn’t he want it to be known? Yes he does: the twelve are set apart to be with him at all times and to be sent out for the proclamation. They will receive proofs of Jesus’ divine power when he gives them the ability to heal the sick and drive out demons. Mark emphasizes that Christ chooses his own special body of men, after having rejected the cringing help of the trembling demons.1