Markan Priority: The Power of "Being With Jesus"
I like Mark's Gospel for the little surprises that he provides about Jesus' life and ministry.
When Jesus selected the Twelve, Mark writes in 3:14, "He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach..." Do you see the surprise? It's there in the verse and neither Matthew nor Luke offer it. It's the first little purpose (hina) clause "that they might be with him" (ινα ωσιν μετ αυτου).
Ponder what Mark puts first as the purpose of Jesus' selection. Jesus wanted the Twelve to be with him. "Be---with---him." What a thought. Jesus, according to Mark, did not choose only "doers" who would preach the available kingdom and cast out demons and heal the sick. Jesus chose "be-ers" who would hang out with him. Not serve together first, but live together first.
I'd suggest, if Peter is really behind Mark's account, that we're getting a heads up, as Henri Nouwen contends, that intimacy with Jesus is a priority over ministry for Jesus. And the context for intimacy leading to ministry is community (he chose 12).
Intimacy. Community. Ministry.
"Peter, do you love me?" is a question of intimacy--being with Jesus. "Yes, Lord, I love you."
"Then, feed my sheep." That is ministry. "Peter, do you love me?"
Loving devotion to Jesus Christ is the basis of ministry for Jesus Christ. Sure, education helps; certainly skills and abilities help. But nothing replaces "being with Jesus."
Have you marveled at Luke's note in Acts 4:13? "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus" (οτι συν τω ιησου ησαν).
Uneducated. Ordinary. Unstoppable. Why?