13 He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. 14And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles,* to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, 15and to have authority to cast out demons. 16So he appointed the twelve:* Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, 19and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Then he went home;
Jesus went up on the mountain – he often went up the mountain to pray and spend time alone, with God. We see this pattern throughout the Bible – Moses went up onto Mount Herman, to meet with God; Elijah went to that same mountain and experienced God’s presence in the still, small voice. Jesus went up the mountain to be with God before making the important decision of selecting the disciples who would be his closest followers through his ministry.
Then Jesus called specific ones to come to him – everyone did not go up the mountain with Jesus on this occasion, but only those whom he called. Mark names the disciples who were included in the twelve: Peter (Simon), James and John (sons of Zebedee, whom Jesus renamed, Sons of Thunder), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Appheus, Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot – who would betray him. Mark lets his readers know immediately who will be the betrayer, but that is looking back with knowledge none of them had at the time (except perhaps Jesus).
There are some differences among the gospels about the names of the 12 disciples. Mark’s list and Matthew’s are the same – Luke calls the second Simon the Zealot, rather than the Cananaean, and adds a second Judas, son of James, instead of Thaddaeus, and this is the list he repeats in Acts 1. John adds Nathaniel. All include the first 4 of the disciples: Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Those 4 seem to be closest to Jesus throughout the gospels. That Jesus chose 12, not 11 or 13, to be his closest disciples is important – the number 12 is a symbolic number to the Jews of Jesus’ time, likely symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel.
These 12 were appointed – to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message. They would be the leaders, the core, of the church Jesus was building; they would be the ones to carry on after he left. He begins mentoring them and teaching them early in his ministry, preparing them.
Then he went home – at this time Jesus was making Capernaum his home.
The picture is the view from Mount Carmel –