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They didn’t go and ask permission from their parents.They didn’t take the time to sell the boats or even put them in storage.So Jesus begins to call to himself a company of preachers.He is going to prepare and empower them to expand his own ministry of proclaiming the good news of God’s realm.While we have traditionally thought of the company of preachers being limited to the twelve, there are reports of a group of seventy sent out preaching (Luke 10:1).

They will need to spend time with him, getting to know him, his message, and his methods.I was going to teach church history and preach on occasion, but not as a full-time pastor. My dreams of an academic career eventually gave way to a recognition of a call to preach the good news of God’s realm. First came John and he preached a message of repentance. He wasn’t the one who would inaugurate it, but he would pave the way. After his baptism and his temptation, he took up his calling as a preacher. Like John, Jesus called on the people to repent and believe. For preachers, there is always the danger of upsetting the people who pay the salary.The time had come for the Realm of God to be revealed. By using the word “believe,” Jesus wasn’t talking about signing a doctrinal statement. We’d like to be prophetic, but without job security that can be difficult. He knows that sometimes you have to step on toes to get the message across. It seems as if Jesus is always hushing those who recognize him.So, it’s no wonder Jesus wanted to keep things under wraps until the proper time.The start of Jesus’ ministry is linked to the calling of the first group of disciples, all of whom according to Mark are in the fishing business.They just dropped their nets and “immediately” followed Jesus.If that’s too fast for you, it’s surely too quick for me!He was talking about the need to entrust one’s life to the one who ushered in the realm of God. Scholars even have a term for it – the “Messianic Secret of Mark.” The kingdom is coming. He’s revealing it in his actions, including his acts of healing.But, he doesn’t allow those who “get it” to spill the beans.Are we not called as a people to share the good news that the kingdom of God is at hand?Is Jesus not gathering up a new cohort of Kingdom preachers?