January 13, 2014
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
The Anatomy of a Servant
“When He had looked round about on them …”
There are five occasions in Mark’s Gospel when he draws our attention to the Lord Jesus ‘looking round about’ on individuals or groups. If we were to go back to Isaiah and His songs of the Servant of Jehovah, we would read about God’s ideal Servant as being one who is blind – “…seeing many things but Thou observest not.” (Isa 42:19, 20). God’s perfect Servant would be one Who would see many things but never be turned aside or distracted.
Israel, as a nation, came into the land of Canaan and ‘saw’ idols of the heathen and soon ran after them. Other servants of God ‘saw’ danger, obstacles, and enemies and turned aside. A few, like Gehazi, saw material gain and became disqualified. Demas ‘saw’ the world and departed.
But God’s perfect Servant had eyes only for what His Master saw. He saw as God was seeing. He saw men, need, and circumstances through the lens of heaven and was never distracted. Neither fear nor flattery moved Him.
In Mark 3:5 His eyes discerned the hypocrisy and hardness of the hearts of men. In the synagogue, amidst its professed sanctity, He saw what grieved God. The Servant had before Him the desire to see others brought to service for God and before Him was a man whose hand was useless to serve. He must do ‘good’ even though it is the Sabbath day.
In Mark 3:34 His eyes scanned a crowd and defined relationships. The natural was set aside and the spiritual had precedence. We see His appreciation for those who do the will of His Father. Relationship henceforth would be expressed by obedience, not established by it.
How delightful to see Him in Mark 5:32 discovering Faith. The woman had touched the hem of His garment and tried to melt into the crowd. But He wanted a public declaration of her cleansing to be known and a public acknowledgment of her faith. He delighted in faith when He saw it. He wanted to publicly announce her healing and personally invite her to go into peace. He wanted to own her faith and her status as a daughter. The O.T. reminds us that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro … looking for people who will trust Him. He delights to honor faith in His Word and faith in His Person. He saw everything as His Master saw it.
In Mark10:23 His eyes must have been filled with tears as the rich young ruler left and walked away on that dusty road, returning to his riches and rejecting Christ. His eyes surveyed His disciples and showed appreciation for those who had chosen Him, disclosing their priorities.
The last reference is in Mark 11:11 when, surveying the Temple and looking round about on it all, His eyes detected their barrenness. God had come looking for fruit in the O.T. (Isa 5). Now the Servant would search as well, only to find the same condition. His heart must have been touched as Jehovah’s was in Isaiah 5.
The Servant of Jehovah was blind to everything but what His Master saw.
1. Look at Isaiah 50 and notice the back, face, ear, and tongue of the servant. Then in Isaiah 53 His hand.
2. Go through Mark’s Gospel and trace the feelings and emotions of God’s Servant.