Saturday, January 9

That Mysterious Young Man

Bro. Mike Bagwell preached revival for us last week, Sunday night through Wednesday.  As usual, he did a wonderful job bringing out things in scripture like no one else!  He truly is an amazing teacher (and very entertaining).  You don't get bored with his messages.  He also has a website.  I've posted links and things from it before.  I have been reading his site every morning, both the lessons and the Standing With the Bagwell's pages, for probably 2 years or so.  It has truly been a blessing to me.  One of the lessons from his site last week, really struck a chord.  He touched on some things I've been thinking about for some time.  And to be quite honest, some things that I think alot of christians need to think about.  He has a whole series on these verses, but this is the second lesson.  To read them all, click here.

Mark 14: 50-52 That Mysterious Young Man


The Text for today is brief, but necessary. I will capitalize the whole clause. "And they all forsook him, and fled. And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: and he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked." Mark 14:50-52
This event occurs at the arrest of Jesus, just prior to the Crucifixion.
Today's bold words stand in direct opposition to the foregoing sentence.
First, "They all forsook Him and fled."
Second, "And there followed Him a certain young man."
By "they all" surely is meant the disciples, those whom we normally consider Jesus' main followers.
That verb "fled" is "pheugo," meaning "to run away, to escape," at times even "to vanish!"
Peter, great as he was, has gone!
So have Matthew and James!
And, of course, Thomas!
And all the others too!
But, there was one.
One "young man," nameless to this day, who did not run away!
He "followed" Jesus when no one else would!
"And they all forsook Him, and fled. And there followed Him a certain young man ...." Mark 14:50-51
Here's the point today.
Isn't it amazing?
The fact that almost always, God has some relatively unknown or insignificant person, in some remote corner of the world, or the state, or the county, or the city, who is following Jesus, in spite of everything!
If we fundamentalists were to examine this nameless young man's life and witness, I'm quite sure we would criticize him.
But, still he was following Jesus, when our crowd had quit!
We would probably mention the fact that this boy was dressed quite loosely! Maybe you could even call it "immodestly." Nearly naked at first, then totally naked before the text has ended! But still, I remind you, he was following Jesus! When our heroes had left! "A certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: and he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked."
Then too, we would have to get our our questionnaire and find out where he attended church. His position on the major points of doctrine. And no doubt, his eschatology! I'm pretty sure he would have been lacking in these areas. But the fact remains, He loved Jesus! He was still loyal to our Lord, after the big preachers had long since bailed out!
Plus, he too got scared, finally, and ran away!
So, I'm sure we'd point that out.
Yes, he finally fizzled , just like all the others.
He did.
But not until they had long gone!
Here's all I'm saying.
There just may be some folks who love Jesus who do not run in our crowd!
The Lord may have some followers who dress differently, talk differently, maybe even worship differently than we do!
But they still love Jesus!
Who are they?
Perhaps, just like in our verses today, a bunch of "unknowns!"
A crowd of "nobodies" according to the world!
But still, they are following our Lord!
I disagree with a lot about Martin Luther. All his vestigial Catholicism, all his anti-Jewish venom, his ultra formalism, plus much more ... yet he did love Jesus! Best he knew how at the time, I think he was trying to follow our Lord!
Luther certainly would not have been my first choice for companionship, but he was loyal even to death, had it been necessary!
And these new preachers whose pulpit attire looks like they're going to a ball game, whose sermons last half as long as mine, maybe a third, and whose new Church buildings have "grand openings," instead of "dedication services," drive me up the wall!
But hear me, who is to say that some of them do not really love Jesus?
I do not know their backgrounds.
I cannot see their hearts.
I cannot be judge and jury in their lives.
Perhaps one of them, like today's young man, will still be following Jesus long after some of us "conservatives" have turned tail and quit.
I'm not trying to compromise this morning.
But I am trying to say that at any given time there can be somebody a little "strange" following our Lord.
Somebody who does things differently, a lot differently, than we do.
We must allow for that fact!
"And they all forsook Him, and fled. And there followed Him a certain young man ...." Mark 14:50-51
I don't know who they are.
They may be Africans or Asians or South Americans or inhabitants of some distant island nation, but still following Jesus ... after we Americans in all our lukewarm-ness have ceased fervently serving the Lord!
Thank God for those rare but special "young men!"
And "young women!"
And "others."
Remember what God told a discouraged Elijah one day. "Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him." 1st Kings 19:17
God obviously knew about the "seven thousand."
I suspect He knew about this "young man" too.
Even his name!
And even what he believed about open or closed communion!
Just remember.
Someone who is different, may still love the Lord!
And on the journey, at times anyway, might be every bit as faithful as you or me!
Maybe even more so!
I'm sure I've made somebody mad today.
"I'll never read Bagwell again," you may be huffing.
"Good bye," I say. Regretfully, but I still say it.
Yet the fact remains, we are all human.
None is infallible.
Including those professing Christians outside our camp!
Outside our group!
Outside our clique!
I close with these verses. I do not have time or space to comment on them now. But you all are smart people. You can figure them out. They apply to today's lesson.
"And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us." Luke 9:49-50
"He that is not against us is for us!"
Even young men wrapped in strange linen things!
"And they all forsook Him, and fled. And there followed Him a certain young man ...." Mark 14:50-51
"Lord, help me to learn."
I may not be the only one in Heaven!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell

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