Mark 3:16
And Simon he surnamed Peter;
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(16-19) And Simon he surnamed.—On the list of the Apostles see Notes on Matthew 10:2-4.

3:13-21 Christ calls whom he will; for his grace is his own. He had called the apostles to separate themselves from the crowd, and they came unto him. He now gave them power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils. May the Lord send forth more and more of those who have been with him, and have learned of him to preach his gospel, to be instruments in his blessed work. Those whose hearts are enlarged in the work of God, can easily bear with what is inconvenient to themselves, and will rather lose a meal than an opportunity of doing good. Those who go on with zeal in the work of God, must expect hinderances, both from the hatred of enemies, and mistaken affections of friends, and need to guard against both.He ordained twelve - The word rendered "ordained" here does not express our notion of ordination to the ministry. It means, literally, "he made" - that is, he "appointed" twelve to be with him.

Twelve - The reason why "twelve" were chosen was, probably, that such a number would be deemed competent witnesses of what they saw; that they could not be easily charged with being excited by sympathy, or being deluded, as a multitude might; and that, being destined to go into all the world, a considerable number seemed indispensable. Perhaps, also, there was some reference to the fact that "twelve" was the number of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Mr 3:13-19. The Twelve Apostles Chosen.

See on [1412]Lu 6:12-19.

Ver. 16-19. Matthew nameth the apostles upon his relating the history of their mission, or sending out; Mark nameth them upon their election, or first choice. Both these evangelists agree with Luke in their names, saving that Luke calleth him Judas whom Matthew calls Lebbaeus, and Mark, Thaddaeus, so that he had three names. Christ changeth the name of Simon, whom he called Cephas, or Peter, John 1:42; we have the reason, Matthew 16:18; he also changed the names of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, calling them Boanerges, about the etymology of which name critics must dispute. The evangelists tell us it signifieth Sons of thunder, thereby minding them of their duty, to cry aloud, and to preach the gospel as on the housetops; or perhaps declaring what he knew was in the fervour and warmth of their spirits. We must not here inquire too narrowly into the secret counsels of God, in suffering a son of perdition to come into the number of his first ministers: Christ did it not because he did not know what was in his heart, for before that he showed himself a devil, by informing against his Master, Christ told his disciples that he had chosen twelve, and one of them was a devil; nor yet because he had no others to send, he had multitudes of disciples, and he who of stones could have raised up children to Abraham, could easily have fitted out a person for this service; nor yet did he do it to let in any sots and scandalous persons into the ministry, for we read of no scandal in Judas’s life. We ought to believe that God had wise ends in the permission of this, and that Christ did out of infinite wisdom do this, though we possibly are not able to give a satisfactory account in the case. What if we should say that Christ by this:

1. Instructed those that after his ascension should have the care of the church, not to pretend to judge of secret things, but only to judge as man ought to judge, according to the outward appearance, leaving the judgment of the heart to God alone.

2. God by this arms his people against the scandal of wicked ministers, such in whom corruption may break out after their entrance into that holy function, though before no such thing appeared, that they may not think the ministerial acts performed by them to have been nullities.

3. God by this also lets us know, that the efficacy of the ordinance doth not depend upon the goodness of the spiritual state of the minister that administers.

A bell may call others to hear the word, though itself receives no benefit by it. In the mean time here is no warrant either for people to choose, or the governors of a church to ordain, lewd and visibly scandalous persons. Judas was no such person; nor yet for people to own, or the governors of churches to continue, lewd and scandalous persons in the ministry, God ordinarily not blessing the labours of such. No sooner had Judas discovered himself, but he went out and hanged himself. Christ no longer allowed him his company, nor the disciples their fellowship. There is a great deal of difference with relation to our fellowship and communion, between secret wickedness concealed in the heart and open and scandalous sinning, though both be alike dangerous to the soul of the sinner. And Simon he surnamed Peter. Or Cephas, which signifies a rock, or stone, because of his courage and constancy, his strength and fortitude, steadiness and firmness of mind: this name was imposed upon him, not at the time of his mission as an apostle; nor when he made that noble confession of his faith in Christ, as the Son of the living God, at which time this name was taken notice of; but when Christ first called him to be his disciple and apostle; see John 1:42. And Simon he surnamed Peter;
Mark 3:16. καὶ ἐποίησεν τ. δ., and He appointed as the Twelve—the following persons, the twelve names mentioned being the object of ἐποίησε, and τοὺς δ. being in apposition.—Πέτρον is the first name, but it comes in very awkwardly as the object of the verb ἐπέθηκε. We must take the grammar as it stands, content that we know, in spite of crude construction, what is meant. Fritzsche (after Beza, Erasmus, etc.) seeks to rectify the construction by prefixing, on slender critical authority, πρῶτον Σίμωνα, then bracketing as a parenthesis καὶ ἐπέθηκεΠέτρον = first Simon (and He gave to Simon the name Peter).16. and Simon] We have in the New Testament four lists of the Apostles: (a) Matthew 10:2; (b) Mark 3:16; (c) Luke 6:14; (d) Acts 1:13. The position of some of the names varies in the lists, but in all four the leaders of the three groups are the same, Peter, Philip, and James, the son of Alphæus, while in all four Judas Iscariot is placed last. According to St Mark’s catalogue they may be arranged in three groups:

(i)  1  Peter.

2  James.

3  John.

4  Andrew.

(ii)  5  Philip.

6  Bartholomew.

7  Matthew.

8  Thomas.

(iii)  9  James the Less.

10  Thaddæus.

11  Simon the Cananite.

12  Judas Iscariot.

(a) Group i

i. Simon. The name of Simeon (Acts 15:14) or Simon, a “hearer,” the son of Jonas (John 1:42; John 21:16), whom our Lord surnamed Peter or Cephas, the Rock-man, stands first in all the four lists. He was brought up in his father’s occupation, as a fisherman on the Galilean lake, and lived originally at Bethsaida, and afterwards in a house at Capernaum (Mark 1:21; Mark 1:29). His earliest call came to him through his brother Andrew, who told him the Messias, the “Anointed One,” had been found in the Person of the Lord (John 1:43). His second call took place on the lake near Capernaum, where he and the other three in this group were fishing. He is specially prominent on various occasions before the rest of the Apostles. Sometimes he speaks in their name (Matthew 19:27; Luke 12:41); sometimes answers when all are addressed (Matthew 16:16; Mark 8:29); sometimes he is addressed as principal, even among the favoured Three by our Lord Himself (Matthew 26:40; Luke 22:31); sometimes he is appealed to by others as representing the rest (Matthew 17:24; Acts 2:37). After the Ascension he assumes a position of special prominence (Acts 1:15; Acts 2:14; Acts 4:8; Acts 5:29).Mark 3:16. Ἐπέθηκε, He put upon) It is a mark of Lordship to give a surname; this He gave also to James and John jointly, Mark 3:17; but to Peter first of all before them. So in the catalogue of the twelve spies of the land of Canaan, mention is made of Joshua receiving that name instead of Hosea; Numbers 13:4-16.Verses 16, 17. - And Simon he surnamed Peter. Our Lord had previously declared that Simon should be so called. But St. Mark avoids as much as possible the recognition of any special honor belonging to St. Peter; so he here simply mentions the fact of this surname having been given to him, a fact which was necessary in order that he might be identified. All the early Christian writers held that Peter was virtually the author of this Gospel. Simon, or Simeon, is from a Hebrew word, meaning "to hear." James the son of Zebedee, so called to distinguish him from the other James; and John his brother. In St. Matthew's list, Andrew is mentioned next after Peter, as his brother, and the first called. But here St. Mark mentions James and John first after Peter; these three, Peter and James and John, being the three leading apostles. Of James and John, James is mentioned first, as the eldest of the two brothers. And them he surnamed Boanerges, which is, Sons of thunder. "Boanerges" is the Aramaic pronunciation of the Hebrew B'ne-ragesh; B'ne, sons, and ragesh, thunder. The word was not intended as a term of reproach; although it fitly expressed that natural impetuosity and vehemence of character, which showed itself in their desire to bring down fire from heaven upon the Samaritan village, and in their ambitious request that they might have the highest places of honor in his coming kingdom. But their natural dispositions, under the Holy Spirit's influence, were gradually transformed so as to serve the cause of Christ, and their fiery zeal was transmuted into the steady flame of Christian earnestness and love, so as to become an element of great power in their new life as Christians. Christ called these men "Sons of thunder" because he would make their natural dispositions, when restrained and elevated by his grace, the great instruments of spreading his Gospel. He destined them for high service in his kingdom. By their holy lives they were to be as lightning, and by their preaching they were to be as thunder to rouse unbelievers, and to bring them to repentance and a holy life. It was no doubt on account of this zeal that James fell so early a victim to the wrath of Herod. A different lot was that which fell to St. John. Spared to a ripe old age, he influenced the early Church by his writings and his teaching. His Gospel begins as with the voice of thunder, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Beza and others, followed by Dr. Morisen, have thought that this distinctive name was given by our Lord to the two brothers on account of some deep-toned peculiarity of voice, which was of much service to them in impressing the message of the Gospel of the kingdom upon their hearers. And Simon he surnamed Peter

Mark relates only his naming and not his appointment, leaving his appointment to be understood.

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