“Jesus went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him” (Mark 3:13).
This was no ordinary mountain and Jesus’ climb was no ordinary act. He wasn’t getting away on a mountain retreat with his buddies. Those who knew their scriptures would have immediately remembered in Exodus when Moses went up Mount Sinai to hear from God, and where God then gave Moses the Law, which provided the fledging, struggling Israel, a basis upon which they built a nation.
So here, Jesus was putting himself in Moses’ place. And instead of the 12 tribes of Israel carrying out God’s sacred mandate, Jesus calls twelve disciples who were given God’s authority to confront evil and bring God’s healing to the world; a “New Sinai.”
One bible commentator says that Jesus was creating a sort of “alternative government,” “government in exile,” or “community of resistance” (Ched Myers, Binding the Strong Man) where Jesus sought to replace the corrupt religious system that enabled the Roman Empire to oppress the people of Israel.