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From the editor: "I will make you to become..." (Mk 1.17)

J Grant

It is of great value to read through portions of Scripture to warm our hearts and to keep us near to the Lord Himself. Examining the Word of God is always beneficial so let us pick a little of this choice fruit.

Each of the four gospels displays the Lord Jesus in differing ways. In Matthew we recognise Zechariah's statement, "…behold, thy King" (9.9); in Mark, from Isaiah we read, "Behold my servant" (42.1); in Luke, again from Zechariah, the declaration is, "Behold the man" (6.12); in John, again from Isaiah, the exclamation is, "Behold your God" (40.9).

Note that Matthew, as one who had operated as a tax gatherer, was fitted for dealing with government and his Gospel will show that. Mark wrote as a servant. Luke explained that he wrote using eyewitnesses and "attendants on the word" (1.2, JND). John explained that he testified of these things and wrote them.

One way of looking at John's Gospel is to divide it into three sections: the Lord Jesus as the Prophet (chs. 1-12); the Priest (chs. 13-17); and the King (chs. 18-21). Note that this Gospel does not introduce us as "sons", but rather as "children".

It is significant that little is known in Scripture regarding the physical appearance of the Lord Jesus as preference is given to His spiritual features.

It is good to study the Gospels and follow specific themes. Let us think about one of these. Mark sets out, among other things, how those who were to be the servants of the Lord Jesus were called by Him.

Look at the passages together. The first stage is that the Lord Jesus sought them (1.16-29) to become "fishers of men". Simon and Andrew were the first two, followed by James and John, all four being fishermen by profession. The Lord "called them" (1.20). This was the vital stage in the work of the Gospel as John Baptist had been imprisoned. It is also noted that this was not the first occasion when Simon and Andrew had met the Lord Jesus (Jn 1.40-41).

The second stage of their discipleship as recorded by Mark is that the Lord took them up to a mountain and "calleth unto him whom he would" and He appointed twelve to be with Him (3.13). He had now separated them publicly to be His men.

After time of training recorded in Mark's Gospel, as indeed in other Gospels the Lord "called unto him the twelve", to go forth two by two (6.7). The conditions on which they had to go are clear and they went out and preached that men should repent.

After a great multitude had been with Him for three days (8.1-2) He "called his disciples unto him", the purpose of this being to sustain the multitude. That day about four thousand were fed.

When He travelled though the towns of Caesarea Philippi He "called the people unto him with his disciples" and said unto them, "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (8.34). He is teaching them that there is a price involved in being His follower.

At Capernaum He asked His disciples, "What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?...And he sat down and called the twelve". He told them that "If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all" (9.33-35).

"And he called unto him his disciples" (12.43). On this occasion it was to show them a poor widow who had cast into the temple treasury two mites. To the world this was regarded as paltry but to the Lord it was of great value: "This poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury".

This is one way of opening a Gospel and finding but one of the many methods of seeking spiritual gold inside. Trace the text through and deal with it carefully. See what joins the passages together, and find your own way of developing the chapters.

Primarily, the purpose of writing this is to encourage younger believers to enjoy the habit of reading the Scriptures and seeing not only what is written therein, but also how it is brought together. Read the pages, consider them, study them, and take notes as you go. Computers are helpful but cannot alone deal with the Word of God. Take time, make the effort and the benefit will be yours.


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