Do we, in Mark’s Gospel passage, witness the most significant and important act of delegation in the history of the world? We see and hear it every day: “Can you assist me with this?” “Can you take something off my plate?” “I’m in the weeds – can you help me out?” It makes our lives – work and personal – more manageable, more tolerable, and perhaps more successful.
But if this is indeed delegation, it’s truly of a different order. Maybe divine delegation? Or is it a call to service? Whatever it is, it is momentous.
Here Jesus names his twelve apostles – and in doing so, makes his divinity more accessible to the world. But he does it, in part, as an act of self-preservation, as the multitudes are descending upon him, knowing his power, his gifts and needing him, craving him. He can no longer go it alone, and recruits the best team he can find, to go out and spread his message.
But he is tired and frightened and needs others to help him. Or maybe Jesus is giving others the opportunity to live in God’s word and deed – to be his messenger, to be of service. For in their responsibility lies a direct relationship to the Son of Man. And so their task becomes more. And the reason it is given unimportant.
For whatever the impetus, can you imagine a more fulfilling task? Bless those that take on such an overwhelmingly difficult and uplifting call to serve.