The Jeezmeister? Jeezikins?

Mark 3:13-19(CEB)

Jesus appoints twelve apostles

Jesus went up on a mountain and called those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve and called them apostles. He appointed them to be with him, to be sent out to preach, and to have authority to throw out demons. He appointed twelve: Peter, a name he gave Simon; James and John, Zebedee’s sons, whom he nicknamed Boanerges, which means “sons of Thunder”; and Andrew; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James, Alphaeus’ son; Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean; and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus.

Aaaaaaand we’re back in Mark’s gospel!  yay!  🙂

This blog (overall) is called “Little Things Please Little Minds”.  That’s because I am often distracted by small details that lead me up rabbit warren tunnels of random thought!

It might be that there is lots to be said about this passage – not least about “call” and how it happens and why this is up a mountain whereas Matthew and Luke have their “call” narratives by the lakeshore with fishnets (no… don’t go there!) and boats…

BUT…  the detail that caught my imagination this morning was the idea that Jesus gave some of his disciples nicknames.  Of course – that also makes me wonder how that made those who didn’t have nicknames feel – but let’s stick with the nicknames idea.

Jesus gives Simon the nickname “Peter” – which on the face of it doesn’t seem like a very good nickname – until you realise that it would have been better written as – “Rocky”.  And he also gives James and John a joint nickname – Boanerges – “sons of thunder”…

Those are disciples not to be messed with – it sounds like Jesus is hanging out with a boxer and a motorbike gang!

I’ve had various nicknames through my life – none of them given to me directly by Jesus.  I have been known as “revnev”, “bish”, “rev-the-bike”, and in less pc times, “chinky” because the other schoolkids thought I had chinese-looking eyes…  Some people try to adopt their own nickname to be in control of the process, but it rarely works – nicknames have to be bestowed upon you by others – you don’t get to choose.  “Studmaster Phil” never really took off despite all my best efforts!

I love the idea that Jesus gave them nicknames because it implies a closeness and an intimate knowledge of who they were and how they acted – and giving someone a nickname often (not always!) suggests closeness and affection.

So – using your imagination…  what do you think Jesus’ nickname for YOU is?  Why?

I suspect Jesus calls me “nearly Phil” because I am so often nearly there, but not quite, nearly faithful, nearly fruitful, nearly effective in ministry, nearly prayerful, nearly the Phil God wants me to be…. but not quite.

your turn…

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