Sister Norma and I have been studying
the Gospel of Mark recently. (We try to have a Bible study project
for each month of the year. For example, in January we studied
James. And in March we studied Mark.) Some of the material was so
helpful to us that we decided it might bless you as well.
I fully plan to preach some of this as
God leads me. It all points to Jesus, the Saviour of the world!
If anyone objects to that Title for our Lord, I point you to John 4:42
--- "And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not
because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know
that this is indeed the Christ, The
Saviour of the world." Better yet, read 1st John
4:14 --- "And we have seen and do testify that the
Father sent the Son to be
the Saviour of the world."
THESE ARTICLES APPEAR IN THE ORDER THEY
WERE WRITTEN. TO REACH TODAY'S COLUMN ... SCROLL DOWN THE PAGE.
(THERE ARE FIVE SHORT BIBLE STUDIES NOW POSTED HERE.)
March 20, 2004 (Saturday Evening about Dark ... 7:05 PM)
I saw this
earlier in the year while Sister Norma and I were studying the
Gospel of Mark. (We spent the month of March in the Gospel
In the first
chapter of this Gospel (and even in the first 11 verses of that
chapter) we are given some "WITNESSES" that Jesus Christ is the
Son of God!
Look at Mark 1:1
--- "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus
Christ, the Son of God." Mark does not hesitate a second
before calling Jesus the Son of God! There MARK himself is our
Then notice Mark
1:2 and 3 --- "As it is written in the
prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which
shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in
the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths
straight." The Prophets here (both Malachi and Isaiah)
declare Jesus to be the LORD! They constitute a second group
whop witness to Jesus' Deity!
Next see Mark
1:4-10 where John the Baptist is a witness to Jesus! (Especially
verses 7 and 8!) And if these aren't strong enough for you ...
try John 1:29 as a parallel text! "The
next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the
Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
Fourthly is the
Holy Spirit of God! He's found in Mark 1:10 at the Baptism of
Jesus: "And straightway coming up out of
the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove
descending upon him."
is God the Father Himself! Mark 1:11 ---
"And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." It couldn't be
made any clearer, could it?
in eleven verses!
And five just
happens to be the number of GRACE!
I want to
quickly make it six witnesses though. I believe He is the Son
make it seven?
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
(I just believe
this brief Passage will help someone who is "hungry" for a
little spiritual thought to develop. May God use it to His
Glory! After all, it was His idea first!)
April 1, 2004
The Bible is
important for many reasons. After all, God wrote it!
It is not only
of utmost significance for what it says ... but also for what it
does not say!
Let me show
you what I mean.
describes Melchizedek (Genesis 14) it does not give us his
parentage! It mentions no father or mother. (Usually the Old
Testament will do so.)
would not think much of that ... but Paul (thus the Holy Spirit
Who inspired Paul) does!
For in Hebrews when Melchizedek is being
discussed we are told that he was ...
"Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither
beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son
of God; abideth a priest continually." (Hebrews 7:3)
Here is a Bible doctrine in Hebrews built
partially upon a Bible omission in Genesis 14! (Wow!)
Today let me focus this principle on the
Gospel of Mark. What did Mark omit in His story of Jesus?
He leaves out the complete genealogy of
Nor does he give birth details! (No wise men
In fact (amazingly) the Virgin Birth is not
even detailed in Mark!
He omits the Sermon on the Mount (3 whole
chapters in Matthew)!
In fact, Mark gives no lengthy messages of
Also you will find few parables in Mark. (He
just does not emphasize Jesus' teachings!)
There are no "woe" passages in Mark either!
(Plenty in Matthew and Luke though!)
As Jesus dies in Mark there's no mention of
His being able to call the legions of angels to help Him!
Neither is there any thief calling on Jesus
to remember him in the kingdom!
What's the point of all this?
(The Bible teaching by its very omissions!)
Mark presents Jesus in a special way.
Not as the King (that's Matthew)!
Not as the perfect man (that's Luke)!
Not even as the Son of God with eternal
credentials (that's John)!
BUT ... as a lowly servant!
Mark's key verse:
"For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to
minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
And with a servant ... even the Servant of
God ... there's no need for a genealogy or a detailed birth
record or a long record of his words or any mention of angels
being at His command! That's just not necessary for a servant!
Everything Mark omits ... is compatible with
his presentation of Jesus as God's Perfect Servant!
Learn to read the Bible not only for what it
says ... but also for what it does not say!
Did you ever stop to think that David's
terrible sin with Bathsheba is carefully (and shamefully)
recorded in 2 Samuel but is left out in the parallel Chronicles
material? Why? There must be a reason!
Because Chronicles emphasizes God's GRACE!
And in God's grace ... David's sin had been forgiven ... and
Glory to God!
(Another lesson from the omissions of the
Hope you got a "nugget" today! I sure did!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
April 6, 2004 (Tuesday after from Myrtle
Baptist Church in Myrtle, Mississippi)
The little Gospel of Mark is so interesting!
Let me share with you three or four unique features it has.
In these ways it differs from all the other Gospels ... even
including the other Synoptics (Matthew and Luke).
* Mark loves to use the word "and." Of Mark's 16
chapters ... the vast majority of them begin with this
little conjunction! Chapters 2,3,4,5,6, 7 (in
Greek),9,10,11,12,13,15 and 16 all start with "and!" What
does this mean? Jesus, as God's Servant in Mark, works and
works and works ... without a break! It's just one
continuous story of miracles and good deeds and actions offered
to the glory of God His Father! It is a living
illustration of of a Servant of the Lord being "instant in
season and out of season!" (2 Timothy 4:2)
* Next Mark enjoys using the Greek word "eutheos."
Now this simply means "straightway or immediately or forthwith."
I counted it 40 times in Mark's brief chapters! How very prompt
Jesus was in His service! How urgent was His mission!
There are no signs of His holding back or being reluctant in any
way! I might could even say He was nearly always in a
hurry doing what His Father had commanded.
* Also Mark seems to love the word "Gospel!" Matthew
uses that word 5 times. Luke another 4 times in his
biography of Jesus. And John not at all! But Mark
(shortest of the four) uses it 8 times! (When you count it
as a singular noun and as a possessive too.) Mark is HEAVY on
his emphasis of the Gospel. The word appears in his very
first verse! "The beginning of the gospel
of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." Mark 1:1 In
Mark Jesus the Servant of the Lord is busy taking the Gospel to
all who will listen! Jesus was the Bearer of Good News!
He was the Herald of glad tidings!
* Lastly, in the temptation account of Mark a unique
little fact is added that all other Gospel writers omit. Mark
1:13 --- "And he was there in the
wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild
beasts; and the angels ministered unto him." Notice
the part about the "wild beasts." Just as the servant of
the Lord David overcame the lion and the bear before reigning on
the throne ... so did Jesus the Greater Servant of the Lord live
with tame (at least in His Presence) wild beasts before His
public ministry of service ever began. It is a classic
example of "boot camp" ... training before service!
I enjoy seeing the little differences between (and similarities
among) the Gospels. It's like holding a diamond
under bright light and admiring the way it reflects (and
refracts) light in dozens of beautiful patterns!
Lord willing, more about Mark later.
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
April 7, 2004 (Wednesday)
As Sister Norma and I studied the Gospel of Mark, I remembered
something from years ago. Jesus in Mark, as God's Perfect
Servant, is pictured using His HANDS a great deal!
Let me show you what I mean.
In Mark 1:31 Jesus healed Peter's
Wife's Mother. "And he came and took
her by the hand,
and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she
ministered unto them."
In Mark 1:41 watch how Jesus healed a leper. (No one would
touch a leper in thise days!) "And
Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his
hand, and touched
him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean."
In Mark 5:41
Jesus raised a little girl from the dead! "And
he took the damsel by the
hand, and said
unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I
say unto thee, arise."
Occasionally Mark makes summary comments as
is in Mark 6:2. "And when the
sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and
many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence
hath this man these things? and what wisdom is
this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are
wrought by his hands?"
Only their rank unbelief kept Him from doing
more with His powerful hands!
Mark 6:5 --- "And he could there do no
mighty work, save that he laid his
hands upon a few
sick folk, and healed them."
In Mark 7:32 and 33 He heals a deaf man! Watch how He does
it. "And they bring unto him one
that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they
beseech him to put his
hand upon him. And he took him aside from the multitude,
and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his
Again in Mark 8:23 with a man who could not
see. "And he took the blind man by
the hand, and led
him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put
his hands upon
him, he asked him if he saw ought." Remember he
then could only see men as trees walking. Then Jesus:
"After that he put his hands again
upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and
saw every man clearly." (Mark 8:25)
In Mark 9:27, after Jesus had cast an evil
spirit our of a young boy who was thrown to the ground (by the
departing wicked spirit) ... "But Jesus
took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose."
Jesus must have used His hand to lift the little boy from the
Notice how He blesses the little children in Mark 10:16 ---
"And he took them up in his arms, put his
hands upon them,
and blessed them."
Surely we see the Servant of God faithfully
and tirelessly working with His hands!
And what was His reward for "going about
doing good" (Acts 10:38)?
Wicked men laid their hands on Him Who only
did good with His hands!
According to Mark, Jesus said these words at
the end of His Gethsemane prayers. "And he
cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and
take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold,
the Son of man is betrayed into the
sinners." Mark 14:41
Here's how they arrested Jesus ---
"And they laid their
hands on him, and
took him." Mark 14:46
Even at His crucifixion we read:
"And some began to spit on him, and
to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him,
Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of
Some day all the "saved" of the ages will
look upon those dear nail-pierced Hands and thank Him for what
He's done (and still is doing) for us all!
Here's just one more thought!
John 10:28 --- "And I
give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish,
neither shall any man pluck them out of my
Here's Bible proof that right now you who are born again are
resting in His Hand!
In Isaiah 49:16 God tells us:
"Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms
of my hands
...." What a place to be! What security this
should produce in our hearts!
Thank God for His Hands!
(And thank God Mark wrote about them!)
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
April 9, 2004 (Friday
afternoon from Cumming, Georgia)
One of the most outstanding things about
"servants" in the Bible deals with their "eyes!" Look at
Psalm 123:1-2. "Unto thee lift I up
mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as
the eyes of servants
look unto the hand of their masters, and as
the eyes of a maiden
unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the
LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us." A
slave must look at his master constantly in order to know that
Since Mark is the Gospel that highlights
Jesus' Role as a Servant ... one would expect the Lord's Eyes to
be mentioned regularly. They are.
In Mark 3:5 when Jesus healed the man with a
withered hand we are told: "And when he
had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the
hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth
thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was
restored whole as the other." (Notice Jesus' look!)
Again in Mark 3:34 and 35,
"And he looked round about on them which
sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother,
and my sister, and mother." (What would His eyes
have "said" as He looked at them that day?)
Then notice Mark 8:33. "But
when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked
Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not
the things that be of God, but the things that be of men."
Or Mark 10:21 with the Rich Young Ruler, Mark
(and only Mark) tells us: "Then
Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou
lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the
poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up
the cross, and follow me." (Jesus is still
"looking.") Even as the young man departed, still lost in
his sins, we are told by Mark: "And he was sad at that
saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And
Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How
hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of
Then in Mark 11:11 ---
"And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when
he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide
was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve."
You may be sure that Jesus was not sightseeing here.
His "looks" meant something profound.
Let me just add this thought. I sure am
glad those precious eyes of Jesus looked my way one day!
He saw me drowning in my sin and reached out and saved my soul!
We, as followers of our Lord, should also be
"looking unto Him" at all times! Hebrews 12:2 teaches us
to be ... "Looking unto Jesus the author
and finisher of our faith."
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell