To e-mail, call or write the Bagwells, just visit our "Contact" Page.


LUKE 13:31-33

"The Boldness of Jesus!"

"The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem."


 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:1






LESSON 1 ... DECEMBER 28, 2004:

The first Lesson in this new Bible Study Series gives us a great example of interpretation based upon the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Let me show you what I mean. 

"The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee."  Luke 13:31

Luke's "time marker" here is the expression "the same day."  That would be (in the overall setting of this chapter) the day He preached His sermon on "the Last being First and the First being Last!"  (Perhaps directed at the Pharisees?)  See Luke 13:22-30, our immediate "context."

Then some of the Pharisees came to Him and suggested that He get out of town. They seemed to be concerned about His welfare.

Now, how do we interpret the Pharisees' action here?

Were they being friendly to Jesus ... actually caring about His life?

Or were they hypocritically pretending to be concerned about Him ... as a ploy to get Him out of their country?

This is a bit of a Bible study dilemma!

I have just read several great Bible teachers and preachers who disagree (politely) over this issue.

A few expositors believe that the Pharisees were sincere.  They mention to us that Nicodemus (John 3:1) and Gamaliel (Acts 5:34) and Joseph of Arimathaea (Luke 23:50-51) each loved the Lord.  And it appears they were all Pharisees too! 

Some of the theological "liberals" believe this too.  They say that the New Testament is way too hard on the Pharisees!  (This is historical "revisionism!"  It's rewriting Bible history!  It is also adding to and taking away from the Word of God!)  The Pharisees were ring leaders in the crucifixion of our Lord!  I believe I'll just accept the Bible for what it says!

Other Bible students believe that these Pharisees were "dupes" of Herod himself and had been sent to Jesus to scare Him out of town!  (If so ... that ploy certainly did not work!)  These folks are accused by some of being "prejudiced" against the Pharisees. I've even heard some people call them the "fundamentalists" of their age!  (I disagree.)

Who is right?

Where these Pharisees friends or foes of Jesus?

It is sure that Luke does not specifically say!

(By the way, your soul salvation does NOT depend on how you interpret this issue! There will be people in Heaven who believed both positions!)  This is NOT a central tenet of our Faith!

Let me share with you my viewpoint.

I think I see several "hints."

First remember the sermon Jesus just preached!  It lambasted the Pharisees pretty good!  That seems to emphasize ahead of time that they are encased in pride and so very sure of heaven ... a heaven they will never see apart from humble repentance and sincere faith in the Blood of Jesus!

Then note that the Lord Jesus in His conversation with the Pharisees tell them to tell Herod some things!  The suggestion is that Jesus knew they saw Herod regularly!  (Or at least had access to the wicked King at will!) 

Both these points argue negatively against the Pharisees actually caring for Jesus' safety!

Then, thirdly and lastly for today, the mentioning of the Cross to these false teachers is significant!  A prophet cannot perish outside of Jerusalem!  (And who will at Jerusalem try again and again to have the Lord arrested and tried and executed?  The Pharisees!

I'm convinced.

As I preach this text, Lord willing, I shall briefly mention the fact that some Pharisees got saved by God's Grace.  But then I shall teach that most of them by far hated Jesus and wanted Him dead.

I shall present this crown in the negative sneaky light the Passage suggest when read looking for such "hints!"

The Holy Spirit loves to plant little "nuggets" of truth and illumination within the verses of Scripture.  He expects us to go "prospecting" and "searching" for them too!

Maybe today we have better learned how.

If so, our time has been well spent.

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



LESSON 2 ... DECEMBER 30, 2004:

I was driving into Atlanta one Friday evening to preach.  Stopping by a well known used book store, I noticed the little volume.

Its whole "focus" was the world of invertebrates. Those are animals with no backbone!

Being a preacher, I found that topic interesting!

The term "backbone" has come to represent one's determination to stand for what he or she believes!  Not to drift aimlessly downstream on the river of life!  To withstand the flow of current godless thought!

A few days later, unable to get the book off my mind, I returned and purchased a copy.

Some of the facts it reveals are astounding!

For example, creatures with "no backbone" comprise 99% of the world's total animal species!  There are, some scientists believe, up to 30,000,000 (thirty million) species of them!

Thus, I make this statement.  To have a backbone on earth today is a rather rare situation! 

To be bold and really defend what one believes is rare too!

Preachers, of all people, we need "backbone!"

Jesus was that bold!

Watch His actions in Luke 13:31-33.  "The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem."

He would not "run," would He?

In fact, He sent word back to wicked King Herod that His schedule would leave him in the vicinity for three more days!  (In the conversation He called the deceitful King a "fox!")

Pretty bold!

Preachers, quit running!  (Stand and fight for the Lord!  Be a good soldier for Jesus Christ!)

Christians, no longer  "sell out" what you believe!  (Compromise, in this sense, is a bad word!  Conviction is a good one!)

Believers, stop acting like the world in your lifestyles!  (Be different!  Be a "peculiar" people!  Come out from among them and be ye separate!  Touch not the unclean thing!  Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers!)

Don't be a part of the "majority!"

I once heard an old preacher pray: "God, give me a backbone like a saw-log!" I've never forgotten those words! 

Paul maybe says it best of all!  "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."  Ephesians 6:13

And I say, "Amen!"

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



LESSON 3 ... DECEMBER 31, 2004:

These Pharisees told Jesus, "For Herod will kill Thee."  The verb they used there means "to murder."

I would like to make an announcement.  Herod did not murder Jesus!  No one else did either!  Jesus, God come in  human flesh, could not have been murdered.  That "murder" business shows shortsightedness on the part of the beholder!

Jesus Himself explains it to us.

"Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."    John 10:17-18

Jesus expressed it perfectly!

No man did (or could) take His Life from Him.  He was (and still is) GOD!

He laid it down of His own accord.

Jesus decided when He would die!

Here's how John words it:  "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."  John 19:30

Of whom have you ever heard who chose his very moment to die?  Who then bowed his or her head ... and breathed out their last bit of air?  Who determined theeir time of expiration?  (Luke 23:46 puts it:  "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost."  That Greek verb "gave up the ghost" translates "ekpneo" and means "to breathe out" one's last breath!

I am not saying that the men who crucified our Lord were not guilty.  They were! Peter says so in Acts 2:23 --- "Him (Jesus), being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye (the Jews) have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain."  No excuses here!

So ... when it was suggested to Jesus that Herod would "kill" Him, He had no fear! He knew God's Plan!  And that's why our Lord responded the way He did!  "And he (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox (Herod), Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.  Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem."  Luke 13:32-33

Jesus was absolutely fearless!

Indeed ... "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."  2 Timothy 1:7

And, truly, "Perfect love casteth out fear."  1st John 4:18

Jesus was a MAN.  He was and is The God-man!

His courage is amazing!

"The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion." (Proverbs 28:1)  And Jesus is THE Righteous One!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



LESSON 4 ... JANUARY 2, 2005:

Jesus said something quite unusual in our text today.

He called someone a name!

And it appears to be a demeaning name!

Here are Jesus' words ... directed at wicked King Herod.  "And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected."  Luke 13:32

Did you see that?

"And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox ...."


A fox lives in a hole in the ground, a cave or den of some kind.  He is associated with this earth.  So was Herod of this world!  Jesus talked about the "holes" where the foxes lived.

A fox is a sneaky animal.  He will even "play" dead to avoid danger.  So did Herod act the hypocrite again and again!

A fox is deadly to its prey.  So was Herod deadly to John the Baptist.  He executed him for preaching against sin!  Jesus never forgot this I believe.

A fox can't walk straight!  He zig-zags through the countryside!  So was Herod always politically dealing ... for his own benefit!

And foxes were so common in Israel that they had become rather insignificant! Jesus well may be saying to Herod ... "You're just another person to Me, Mr. Herod!" I have no fear whatsoever of you.  You're a nobody compared to the great Preacher you've slain!

And, oh yes, foxes "spoil" the little grape vines!  They are especially dangerous to the little branches!  (Jesus is The Vine.  We are the branches!  John 15)  Jesus, with His vast knowledge of the Old Testament, may have in mind the danger to the children of God this fox Herod poses.  Song of Solomon 2:15 says --- "Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes."  That verb "take" means to capture or to seize!  And "spoil" means to destroy or corrupt.

When we Believers see Jesus, I think we shall not hear names like "foxes" or "serpents" or "vipers" or "whited sepulchres!"  Rather, because of Calvary, we shall hear names like "servants" or "friends" or "children" or "good and faithful!"

That's a big difference!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



LESSON 5 ... JANUARY 4, 2004:

Look at something Jesus told Herod in Luke 13:32.  "And he (Jesus) said unto them (the Pharisees), Go ye, and tell that fox (Herod), Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." 

On the surface it is clear what Jesus is saying.

Our Lord is boldly telling Herod that He's not afraid of his threats!

Jesus planned to be "in town" for two more days and then, on the third day, His business there would be completed.  Presumably, Jesus would then leave the area. (Jesus just published His schedule to the murderous King!)  Our Lord was fearless!

In the same spirit of Elijah, Elisha, John the Baptist, and a host of other Christian men and women ... Jesus had not been given the spirit of fear ... but of holy courage and strength!

Paul said this to us all:  "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."  2 Timothy 1:7


But ... I think Jesus may have been saying something "deeper" here too.

The term "third day" triggers all kinds of thoughts for the Christian!

Here's what Jesus may be implying.

Herod, you can't "kill" me!  No one can!  I am God!  But ... one day soon (in Jerusalem) I shall lay My life down for sinners to be saved! 

You can't stop Me either, old Wicked one!

On the Third Day, I shall be perfected!   (The verb there, "teleioo," means to reach one's goal!  To fully accomplish!  To bring something to its proper conclusion!)

It sounds to me like "resurrection ground" on which the Lord here stands!

That expression, "the third day," occurs 16 times in the New Testament alone!

Preachers, these occurrences are worth the study time too!

However you may feel led to apply the "third day" statement of Jesus here in our text ... you must agree with this:  He was not afraid of Herod in any way!

I personally believe Jesus feared nothing ... but His Father's displeasure!

What a Saviour we have!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



LESSON 6 ... JANUARY 5, 2005:

It looks to me like the Pharisees are trying to use "scare tactics" on Jesus!

Trying to "frighten" Him out of town!

This has happened to many a preacher ... and some of them have rapidly retreated and fled!

For example, see Jeremiah 26:20-23.  The Preacher's name is Urijah.  It means "Jehovah is my Light" or "Jehovah is my Flame!"

Here's his story:  "And there was also a man that prophesied in the name of the LORD, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjathjearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah:  And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death: but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt;  And Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, namely, Elnathan the son of Achbor, and certain men with him into Egypt.  And they fetched forth Urijah out of Egypt, and brought him unto Jehoiakim the king; who slew him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people."

He got scared and ran ... and was killed as a result!

He, unlike Jesus, ran away!

Now ... here's another Preacher they tried to scare out of town!

His name is Amos and someone (the King's hired "Preacher" named Amaziah) has just met his "match!"

Amaziah has told Amos to "get out!"

And Amos, in his beautiful bold way, just said NO!

(I wish more Pastors would look some backslidden deacon in the eyes and say NO when told to leave!  It is not Biblical for a group of 3 or 4 or 5 men (with bossy women behind them) to "run a preacher off" ... while the church people sit idly by watching.

God help us!

Woe!  I'd better get back to Amos!

"Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there:  But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king's chapel, and it is the king's court.  Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:  And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.  Now therefore hear thou the word of the LORD: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac.  Therefore thus saith the LORD; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land."  Amos 7:12-17

Amaziah, the "politically correct" hireling, says to Amos, God's man: "Go, flee away! You don't belong here!"

Amos right back:  "God called me and sent me and I'm not leaving until HE says so!"

Furthermore ... Amos then went on the attack!  (Thank God for preachers who are willing to be stern and bold!)  "Amaziah old buddy, you've got troubles coming down the road!  Your children are going to be slain and your wife will sell her morality and you will die ... at the hands of an enemy you say does not exist!"


And it happened just like God's man said!

Jesus did not run ... and saved countless lost souls by means of the Cross of Calvary!

Amos did not run ... and has given courage to millions of preacher ever since!

Urijah ... feared and ran and died!

(By the way, Amos would not have run even if death had been the consequence!)

Thank God our Saviour was a MAN!

The God-Man!

Don't you just love Him today?

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



LESSON 7 ... JANUARY 6, 2005:

In the middle verse of our text Jesus even announced to Herod what He would be doing for the next few days.

One of those divine activities was casting our devils!

"And he (Jesus) said unto them (the Pharisees), Go ye, and tell that fox (King Herod), Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected."  Luke 13:32

"I cast out devils."

The verb here is "ekballo."

It literally means to throw ("ballo" ... what we do with a ball!) out ("ek" being a preposition that means out or away)!

Jesus went around throwing the devils/demons out of folks.  Folks who were poor victims of demonic cruelty!

The verb is in the present tense.  Jesus is going to continue doing these mighty acts!  It is also in the active voice.  Jesus is supplying the power behind these expulsions!

And the noun "devils" translates "daimonion," fallen spiritual beings inferior to God and superior to men!  (Ministers of the devil!  His emissaries or servants or errand runners!)

Using our verb here ("cast out" or "ekballo") let's check some New Testament references that employ it in some way or another.

In John 2:15 Jesus drove out ("ekballo") the wicked moneychangers from the Temple!  Positively, Jesus casts out hypocrites!

In John 6:37 Jesus tells us some folks He will NOT cast out ("ekballo")!  "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."  What a great verse!  Negatively, Jesus refuses to cast out repentant sinners!

And in Matthew 7:5 we are told (by Jesus) something that we all should cast out ("ekballo")!  The "beam," a big piece of lumber, needs to be removed from our own eye ... before we try to take care of a brother's sins!  "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."  Wow!  And theoretically, Jesus wants us to cast sin our of our lives!

All this is in addition to:  Habitually, Jesus cast out devils!  (Again and again!)

We have a victorious Saviour!

Oh, by the way, once Jesus was Himself "cast out" of a place!  He had just preached His first recorded sermon.  The folks got mad at what He said! "And rose up, and thrust ("ekballo") Him (Jesus) out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong."  Yet thank God for the following two little verses!  "But He passing through the midst of them went His way, and came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days."  Luke 4:29-31  They kicked Jesus out of town!

Well, I'm made up my mind!

I'll not be guilty of "casting" Jesus "out" of my life!

When I came to Him as an old rotten sinner ... He did not cast me out!  He took me in!

Therefore ... I want Him in the middle of everything I am and do and say!

Someone who agrees give me a good loud "Amen" please.

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



LESSON 8 ... JANUARY 7, 2005:

Here is part of Jesus' answer to the threats of Herod:  "And I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected."  Luke 13:32

The verb "I do" is "epiteleo" which literally means to accomplish or complete!  Jesus is working to complete a program, a schedule!  One that will lead Him to Calvary where He will die for the sins of lost mankind!

But the interesting word that has caught my attention today is "cures."  In Greek it's "iasis" (pronounced "ee'-as-is").  It is only used 3 times in all the Bible ... in the New Testament of course ... being a GREEK term.  (And all three times it flows from the pen of a physician, Dr. Luke!)

Here are the references for all three occurrences:  Our text in Luke 13:32 then in Acts 4:22 followed by Acts 4:40.  I noticed something yesterday about the sequence of these three occasions.

First (Luke 13) it is just JESUS doing the "cures."

Next it is done at the hand of the Apostles Peter and John.  They had performed a miracle of "healing" on a lame man!  (Acts 4:22)

Lastly it is done by our reigning Great High Priest Jesus The Christians prayed: "And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus."  Acts 4:29-30

Here's my point:  with each use of the word ... it's domain grows wider and wider! Its sphere of influence widens progressively!  First ... just the Lord!  Next the disciples! Then, prayer is offered for our Resurrected Ascended Saviour to work through all His dedicated followers!

We too can do great things for God ... by means of His Holy Spirit!  I am not now speaking of physical healings and such ... but of mighty spiritual feats of faith and stability and consecration for our dear Lord!

And, truly, yet today ... it is nothing we Christians within ourselves do that accomplishes anything to God's Glory.  It is all Him working through us!  (John 14:12 --- "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.")

Just think what mighty spiritual "cures" have been wrought ... sins forgiven and lives changed forever ... by the Spirit empowered preaching of the Word of God!

Lastly let me mention something else.  Jesus mentions here "the third day."  You can see that in the King James text the word day is italicized.  This is the way our Bible so accurately tells us that a word has been supplied for a clearer understanding.  And it is right.

However, Jesus here literally says "Go ye, and tell that fox (Herod), Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third ... I shall be perfected."

The third what?

Obviously ... the third day!

But Jesus just says ... THE THIRD!

I believe Jesus has long since known (eternally so) about His coming Death on the Cross ... AND about His ensuing Resurrection from the grave! 

He lived for those events!  He came to die and be resurrected!  He came to save sinners!

And He was positive that as sure as the Cross came ... so would THE THIRD follow It!

And, as sure as the sunrise this morning, the THIRD did come and Jesus came forth from the grave!

(Even on the THIRD day of creation, things started springing up out of the earth! And when Abraham climbed the mount to sacrifice Isaac, that Bible account is framed in "third day" terminology!  And the preacher Hosea uses the expression as he addresses Israel ... "After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.")

But when we get to the New Testament, it uses the expression 14 times in reference to Jesus' Resurrection!

I willingly say ... HE WAS PERFECTED ON THE THIRD!



And He prophesies that great fact in our verse today ... as He spoke to those hypocritical Pharisees and indirectly to Herod himself!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



LESSON 9 ... JANUARY 8, 2005:

Today we arrive at verse 33, the last section of our "text."

"Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem."  (Luke 13:33)

I was studying an old book.  The author (a preacher) had been dead many years. 

He simply said this.

"As far as can be told, Jesus walked EVERYWHERE He went during His public ministry ... with one exception, the day He rode into Jerusalem on a little donkey! (The last week of His earthly life before the Cross!)

He likely even walked to and from Jerusalem as a 12 year old Lad.

Thank about that!

When Jesus told Herod that He would "walk" for three more days in the King's territory ... then head toward Jerusalem, He meant it literally!

The verb "to walk" (in Greek = "poreuomai") means to travel from one place all the way through to another place!  It comes from a root word that means "to pierce," to go from one end of something to the other!

Another interesting feature of the word is that this "piercing" (to travel) is also the idea behind a group of Bible words that imply trials and testings!  To be "pierced through" with adversity! 

No wonder Jesus often used the word "walk" as a metaphor or word picture for the whole Christian life, our whole manner of behavior!

Luke 20:46 --- "Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts."  Their "walk" is their very lifestyle!

Or John 8:12 --- "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

And John 11:9 --- "Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world."

Again, John 12:35 --- "Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth."


Then the Holy Spirit gave Paul the word to use! 

Here's an example, Romans 8:1 --- "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

Or Romans 13:13 --- "Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying."

1st Corinthians 3:3 --- "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"

Here's a classic example, 2 Corinthians 5:7 --- "For we walk by faith, not by sight."

Galatians 5:16 --- "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."

Galatians 6:16 --- "And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God."

And Ephesians 4:1 --- "I (Paul) therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called."

And there are many more!

Colossians 4:5 --- "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time."  (I couldn't help it!)

Christian friend, how is your walk today?

Check ... and be sure all is acceptable to your Heavenly Father and dear Saviour His Son the Lord Jesus Christ!  Be sure your "walk" is not grieving the Holy Spirit of God.


                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



LESSON 10 ... MONDAY, JANUARY 10, 2005:

Notice that Jesus knew He was going to die ("perish" in our text).

Here's part of the message the Lord sent Herod: "Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem."  Luke 13:33

Herod, Jesus says, I will be busy serving God for three days ... then I'll be going. Going on toward Jerusalem ... where I will die for the sins of mankind! For it cannot be that a real Prophet die outside of Jerusalem!

Think what it would be like to know HOW you were going to die ... and when ... and why!

With the "pressure" of that knowledge on any one of us, we like would hardly be able to "function" in any normal way!

Yet Jesus did!

In fact, He seemed to "thrive" on the fact that He had come to die to be the Saviour of the world!

Mark 10:45 proves what I mean.  Jesus said:  "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."

Or Luke 12:50 where Jesus says:  "But I have a baptism (His death on Calvary) to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!"  Here He nearly says that He can't wait!

Constantly in the Gospel of John Jesus talks about the coming of "His Hour," the Cross!  He was nearly obsessed with it!  And little wonder, it is the greatest fact of all history!

Yet ... facing such information and such a death, He continued His life work and obediently (calmly even) did His Father's Will!

Who else could have done such preaching as is found in John chapters 12-16, facing imminent death?

Who else, on His death march to the Cross, would have taken time to heal a severed ear?  See Luke 22:50-51.

This quality is called BOLDNESS!

Jesus was a real Man!

He was fearless in the face of death!

He took on the forces of darkness and defeated them all ... even as He died on Calvary!

Listen to Jesus in Isaiah 50 as He "challenges" death the the devil:  "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up."

That is the greatest example of courage that I've even known in all my life!

What a Saviour we have!

I love Him today!

Glory to His Name!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



LESSON 11 ... TUESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2005:

The Pharisee thought they had "threatened" Jesus!

They no doubt sought to "scare" Him, maybe even alter His plans!

But, again, they failed!

Our Lord's "itinerary" was NOT based on Herod's whims or the Pharisees' plots.

It was based upon the Divine Plan, the Program of Calvary!

Jesus was on a Journey! 

Luke, who has given us our text here, also writes of Jesus:  "And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem."  Luke 9:51

A Journey to Jerusalem! 

To die for you and me!

The verb "stedfastly set" is in Greek "sterizo" and means to make firm, to "fix," to strengthen, or to render constant!  Jesus was determined to go to the capital city and face the Cross! 

Listen to our Lord in John 12:27 --- "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour."  Wow!

Jesus refused to bend His plans or change His priorities just because some King threatened Him!  He had a Higher Goal! 

And (on a much smaller scale) we have a God given plan to follow also!  It's called the "will" of God for our lives!

We too should ignore the scare tactics of the devil and refuse to allow the hypocrites of the world (and church) to detour us.

After all, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD."  Psalm 37:23

And Proverbs 3:6 says the same thing, just in a little different way:  "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."


In Psalm 32:8 the Lord promises His Own children:  "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye." 

Jesus followed such teaching ... so should we!

Even the servant of Abraham knew WHERE to be as he sought a bride for Isaac!  "I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren."  Genesis 24:27

I love that!  "I, being in the way, the Lord led me ...."

Let's live with that thought in mind!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




While working on this exposition I came across some information about "spineless" creatures.

"Backbone" has become a synonym in a Preacher's world for "courage and strength and conviction!"

Every man of God needs "backbone!"

Perhaps I was not too surprised to learn that the common "fly" is an invertebrate, having no backbone.

It also is a filthy little thing!

To be clean in today's moral world one needs "backbone!"

I can remember when I was but a child back home, Mama hated flies.  If one got in the house ... out came her fly-swat!  And she didn't rest until she had committed "flyicide."  (I think a word has just been coined!)  She killed that thing.  Even now I can still hear her saying, "Those things are nasty!"

Well, they are!

Some flies lay their eggs and raise their young in dung!  (I am sorry ... but I need to tell you at least that much about them!)  Some Americans nearly do the same thing with their children nowadays!  Boys and girls need to be reared in a morally and socially clean environment!

Now I more fully realize that ... Mom sure was a smart lady!

No flies in her kitchen ... not for long anyway!

And flies vomit many times an hour too! ( Fact:  29.7% of its time the fly is vomiting, say the scientists!)

They "play" with and "blow bubbles in" and "spread" their putrefying mess everywhere too!

Those who study medical history tell us that flies have been known to spread more than sixty (60) diseases!

But ... how in the world did Brother Bagwell get on that subject?

I'm preaching about cleanliness!

Purity of life!


We Christians are to be unlike flies in two major ways. 

One, we are to have "backbone" and stand for what we believe and practice it fervently!

And secondly, we are to stay away from the filth of the world!

In Nehemiah 3, one of the "gates" of Jerusalem that had to be repaired was the "dung" gate.  That's where the filth of the city was removed and taken to the local garbage dump!  (Obviously that's how it got its name.)

"But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof."  Nehemiah 3:13  (The name "Malchiah" means "My King is Jehovah!" That's the kind of person who will live a clean life!)

Some Christians have not used the "dung" gate of their lives lately!  They have some things at home or on the job or in the office that need to GO! 

Paul tells us not even to touch unclean things!  "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."  2 Corinthians 6:17-18

Brethren, let's remind the people of God that the "filthy rags" of this world are NOT for the Believer in Christ Jesus!

We are to be different!

After all, we have been saved by and follow after a Saviour Who is ... "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens!"  (Hebrews 7:26)  And we are to walk "in His steps!"   1st Peter 2:21 says in part:  "Because Christ ... leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps ...."

The Holy Spirit of God (the gentle "Dove" of the Trinity) ... so unlike the "fly" ... has backbone and is clean!

And That's the precious Holy Spirit Who indwells you ... if you're saved!

He will produce cleanliness and purity within our hearts before He's through ... and some courage on top of that!


                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Earlier this week as I read some material (in a motel lobby where their continental breakfast was being served) I came across this statement.

An author (and a Bible scholar too) said that he had discovered similarities between Jesus' words in Luke 13:31-33 about being "perfected" and Jesus' great declaration from the Cross (just before laying His Life down in death) "It is finished!"

"Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected."  Luke 13:32

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."  John 19:30

The verb (Luke 13:32) "shall be perfected" translates "teleioo."  (Here it's an indicative present passive 1st person singular.)

The verb (John 19:30) "is finished" translates "teleo."  (Here it's an indicative perfect passive 3rd person singular.)

Both have the same "root" stem and both have the same meaning!

The meaning: to fulfill or to accomplish or to come to the end! Even ... to completely finish!

Jesus on Calvary would fully atone, entirely pay the price, wholly shed His Blood ... that sinners could be saved!

And Jesus for His whole Life on earth was looking forward to that day of Fulfillment!  That day of Completion!  That day of Satisfaction!  That day of Victory!

He had that in mind in Galilee (Luke 13) and later in Jerusalem (John 19)!  In fact it had been on His mind since pre-creation days!

See here what I mean.  "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you."  1st Peter 1:18-20

And here's the good news!

Herod didn't stop Him!

The Pharisees couldn't either!

Nor the devil himself!

He was perfected!

And sinners can come to Him ... and be saved!

In fact, He is "drawing" one somewhere right now!

What a Saviour we have, a PERFECTED One!

Listen to Jesus Himself:  "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from Death unto Life."  John 5:24

Friend, these words are true!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





A godly old preacher studied the life of Jesus and pointed out some areas which he felt especially illustrated our Lord's courage and fortitude!

Let me share with you some of his conclusions.  I believe you will agree that they are Biblical.

First think of the manliness it would have taken to live one's whole life under the authority of Another!  Jesus came to do one thing ... His Father's Will!  And for 33 years He did not depart from that Will once!  Jesus said in John 8:29 (in reference to His Father):  "I do always those things that please Him."  And in Hebrews 10:7 and 9 Jesus adds: "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God."  What strength!

Next ... Jesus, already knowing His Mission from the Father, waited patiently and obediently for 30 years before implementing His public Ministry!  What manliness that represented!  (Waiting is a hard thing!)  I am absolutely sure that at age 12 in the Temple when Jesus expressed to Mary and Joseph that He had to be about His Father's Business ... He already knew Who He was!  And then He waited until just the right "time" to move on the program of Redemption!

Then think of the Temptation in the wilderness!  Forty days!  Tempted of the devil! Yet without sin!  Refusing each alluring lie of satan, Jesus triumphed gloriously! That took manliness too!  Strong men know how to wield the Sword of the Spirit, saying skillfully "It is written!"

Then remember His cleansing of the Temple.  He made a scourge of cords and drove out those rascals!  (This would have upset the whole politico-religious system of the day!)  And this action again required extreme boldness!

And the many times he "stood up" to the Scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees and Chief Priests further reveal His courage!  Never backing down!  Never compromising!  Standing for the Truth!  What fortitude!

And we've not even counted the times He did what was needed on the Sabbath Days of His lifetime!  (Never violating the Law of God ... but crushing their man-made traditions!)  Again ... courage personified!

And examine His life carefully as He neared death, His sacrificial vicarious death on Calvary.  Do you see any "hint" of fearfulness or cowardice on His part?  There is none!  In fact, He challenged death!  He longed for "His Hour" to come!  He came to die to saved the lost!

How could our Lord have been so manly?

One verse comes to mind.  1st John 4:18 tells us.  "Perfect love casteth out fear."  And Jesus was (and still is and will be forever) PERFECT!

Then Paul adds a bit of Light:  "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."  2nd Timothy 1:7  Jesus, being God, had no spirit of fear about Him!

Listen to our Lord as He (via Bible Prophecy) faces death and the cross and the devil:  "For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up."  Isaiah 50:7-9

There it is!  Perfect Manliness, Jesus our Lord and Saviour!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




We have just been studying the Boldness of Jesus.  His Manliness as well as His Deity are clearly described in Scripture.

What courage He had!

Preachers also MUST have backbone, a synonym for stamina and fortitude.

In focusing on Jesus' determination, I came across a study of little creatures called "invertebrates," animals with no backbones!

One such specimen is the leech.

He is a little blood-sucking fellow with many unusual traits.

There are about 650 species of his kind in the world today.

They are annelids and are closely related to earthworms.

Their blood-sucking abilities are known world-wide.

The leech does not merely consume five to ten times its weight of blood in a half-hour (!!!) ... the wound it creates continues bleeding for quite some time.

In the early to mid 1800's leeches were used for medical purposes ... almost bordering on paranoia!

During that time, when leeches were in such high demand by doctors and hospitals, men earned their living by being "leech-gatherers!"  They would simply walk around in infested waters, allowing the animals to attach themselves to their bare legs, harvesting as many as 2500 per day from a good pond!

Leech farming!

Some Amazonian leeches grow to be 18 inches long!

So there's a little bit of information about leeches!

Animals who do little else than suck blood from other "victims!"

Often their "bites" also cause resulting infections!

A bunch of blood suckers who are also invertebrates ... having no backbones!

Excuse me Preachers, but I thought of that bunch of liberals and compromisers and false teachers who have "hounded" us for years.  In fact, they have ruined many a young college or seminary bound study of the Bible.

They do spiritually what leeches do literally!

I mean:  Attach themselves to a young (or old) but gullible preacher boy ... and begin "sucking."

They suck away his belief in the Virgin Birth or the Inspiration of Scripture or the Deity of Christ or the Second Coming or the literal Resurrection of Christ!

And their specialty:  BLOOD sucking.  They love to deny and deplete faith in the Blood of Jesus, the saving Blood of Jesus!

Preachers, if they can't get to YOU personally ... they will try to reach you through the printed page.  Through a liberal commentary or through a devious magazine article (even a religious one)! 


Blood-suckers yet abound in the spiritual world!

There is a lab now in Europe that grows leeches commercially for professional use!

Some seminaries and universities do the same thing on a spiritual plane!

Men of God, stay away from Blood-suckers!

Maintain a strong faith in the Blood of Jesus and the fundamental Doctrines of the Bible!

And, by the way, as you do that ... also keep your BACKBONE is good strong shape!

You're not an invertebrate!

Here is an example of Paul dealing with a couple of early New Testament leeches:  "This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme."  1 Timothy 1:18-20

Or 2 Timothy 2:16-18.  "But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some."

Such warnings demand that we Bible-believing Preachers STAND ... and, as you well know, in order to really STAND, one must have a great strong BACKBONE!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



LESSON 16 ... JANUARY 18, 2005:

Today I'd like to tell you about the little animal we commonly call the "dragonfly."

Old American folklore also designates these little creatures as "snake doctors."  This is based upon a legend that they could care for sick (nearly dead) snakes and revive them to "health!"

They don't sting.  They don't bite either (not humans, anyway).  But they do have teeth!  More about that later.

And they do fly.  In fact, they are superb aviators.  They can outmaneuver any of their enemies in aerial combat!  They have been "clocked" at a flight speed of 35 miles per hour!  They can "take off" backward, turn "unbanked" in an instant, come to a dead stop (hovering) in a split second, and even somersault in the heat of aerial battle!  (One third to one half of their body weight is dedicated to its flight muscles!) Wind tunnel tests have actually shown the lift power of their little wings to produce a vortex similar to a miniature tornado!

Technically girl dragonflies are called "damselflies!"

They live in a small nesting area usually overlooking a pond somewhere.  And they "hunt" from the air.  They eat enough mosquitoes (300 or more a day) to have earned the nickname "mosquito hawk!" 

That's where their "teeth" again come into view.  They catch and "grind" flies and mosquitoes by the hundreds every day!  Read eating machines!

And what eyesight they have!  They can see nearly 360 degrees at once!  Each of its little eyes has up to 30,000 lenses!

There are about 500 known species of these little fellows ... with a new one or two still being discovered every year!  God's creation is so vast that we have not yet (in all 6,000 years of human history) fathomed it!

These amazing little insects are much too complicated and intricately "designed" to have simply evolved as a stroke of fate (or luck) or chance or whatever else the Darwinian scientist might call it.

They argue for a living Almighty God Who is Creator as well as Redeemer of lost mankind!  More accurately, the Lord will some day (upon His return) redeem this whole earth, removing the curse of original sin!

These astounding little "dragonflies" are certainly one of the growing arguments today used for what's today coming to be called "Intelligent Design."  They could not have just "happened!"  However I'll just keep calling Him (That Intelligent Designer) my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

But ... one more little thing.  (And I almost hate to mention it.  This little being is so "cute.")  The dragonfly is an invertebrate!  That means he has no "backbone!" 

He is harmless to you and me ... but has no backbone!

He is a dynamic pilot ... but has no backbone!

He is a wonderful mate to his "wife" ... but has no backbone!

He is lovely to watch as he skillfully operates ... but, again, has no backbone.

Did you know there are folks down at church (and on your job and at your next family reunion too) who are relatively harmless, kind and gentle in nature, pleasant associates ... who also have no backbone?

Who will not "stand" for anything!

Who lack "conviction" and "strength" to do right whatever the cost!

I must close this Article.  In fact I may have veered in a direction I had not originally intended here.

But let us all pray ... "Lord give us courage and strength and backbone ... to stand for Thee in these present evil days!  In Jesus' Name, Amen."

Paul's famous words apply here I think:  "And having done all, to stand."  Ephesians 6:13

How unlike Jesus, the Man of character and courage, the Son of Man as well as the Son of God, Who had BACKBONE for sure, is the little "dragonfly."

That's why I have placed this Article at the end of the Luke 13:31-33 study.

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell


Thank YOU for visiting our Website!



Copyright 2004 DrMikeBagwell.org  All Rights Reserved.


The Fundamental Top 500