The Master's Succession Plan

A Bible Exposition Of Mark 3:9-19

Several months back when we began our study in Mark I told you to prepare to be changed as we spent time studying Jesus. Of course, we know that He is the pinnacle of revelation, and in many ways the Scriptures point to our Savior or our need for a Savior. So, in this way we do gain insights about Christ from all of revelation.

But the Gospels (at least Matthew, Mark and Luke) function in a unique way to reveal the person Himself. It isn’t propositional truth—doctrinal statements and theological principles—like the ones we find in Romans, or Ephesians or Galatians.

Instead the focus is on the man. His life. His character. How He operates. I told you to except to learn Him more as we study.

And I have to say, I believed all of that when I said it. But now we are here and it has been such a joy. I am finding that as we learn about Jesus it impacts daily life in so many ways. My perception of His sovereignty, and His patience, His wisdom and His love results in worship and exaltation in my heart to Him for who He is.

And then it is strengthening and empowering to walk in newness of life. I pray that God would be working this in our hearts… a greater understanding of our Savior and His love for us, and then a response of worship and love for Him that changes us from the inside out.

Well this morning our message is titled, “the Succession Plan of Jesus.”

Succession planning, if you aren’t familiar with the term, is a vital part of protecting the long-term success of an organization. 

In business, for example, if you build a successful company to the point that you have a board, and a CEO, it is vital that the board who makes the decision on who the CEO is, has a plan for what happens if something happens to the CEO. 

The principle at work is this: regardless of how skilled or capable you are as a leader, at some point you will leave behind your life’s work and someone else will pick it up and carry on where you left off. And so, the preparing a plan for who will be the replacement is called succession planning. 

A good board understands this. And understand that you have to begin the preparation process before the leader is gone. If you wait until the CEO has a heart attack to figure out a succession plan, then you leave the business in a lurch. 

These fundamentals of succession are what we will see in our passage today. Jesus has a limited mission. He has a limited time on earth. He has a limited amount of ministry leadership. And knowing that the end is coming, He begins to execute his succession plan. He begins today to prepare for the day when He will no longer be leading in flesh and blood. He is starting the process of preparing the ones to whom He will hand things over when He departs.

This is a critical mission. Think of it this way, if something happened to all of us here at Cornerstone, nothing changes in the mission of the church. It is established worldwide, even in our community it is established. But for this stage. This is the first ever church plant that these men will be a part of. If it fails as the prototype then there is no backup plan. And so setting things up properly here is very important.

There is much here for us today:

  • Jesus’ blueprint for ministry is instructive for us. The apostles have since left us, but the paradigm, the framework, the principles out which we do ministry today is in their tradition. In that way, it is instructive for us.
  • Our calling is different. Our commission is different. We aren’t laying a foundation for the church. We don’t receive direct revelation from God. We can’t work miracles personally. And yet there is a great deal of overlap in how similar and related our ministry still is to that of the apostles.

Mark 3:13–19—13 And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. 14 And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, 15 and to have authority to cast out the demons. 16 And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter), 17 and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, “Sons of Thunder”); 18 and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot; 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.

Three Components of the Master’s Succession Plan (and the timeless truths that relate to our calling today)

  1. The mandate (13-14a)
  2. The mission (14b-15)
  3. The men (16-19)