Down to Earth
He was born in England, graduated from Cambridge, but spent most of his life in Scotland. He received his doctorate from the University of Aberdeen and taking on the mantle of FF Bruce, he was the viewed as the dean of evangelical scholars in Europe. Yet churches throughout Scotland remember not only his mountains of scholarly material on Luke, Acts, and New Testament Theology, but his sermons—sermons that closed not only with a challenge to think but to act. Here’s what he wrote in his commentary on the Gospel of Luke about Jesus’ healing of the demon possessed boy right after Jesus’ Transfiguration.
“It is the Jesus who has been transfigured who now appears to help men at the foot of the mountain; what the disciples could not do, he can do. He appears like a visitor from another world who has to put up with the unbelief of men.”
Luke introduced the event Dr. I. Howard Marshall is commenting on like this:
“Now it happened the next day after the Transfiguration when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd had gathered. Look. A man from the crowd yelled, ‘Teacher, I beg You. Look upon my son with compassionate concern. He’s my only son.” - Luke 9:37-38
After a short battle with pancreatic cancer, Dr. Marshall is now seeing the glory foreshadowed in the Transfiguration firsthand. He went home to be with Jesus on December 12, 2015. Darrell Bock, who received his doctorate under Marshall, wrote this about his mentor and friend, “Yes, Howard Marshall was a great New Testament scholar who could tell you more about Jesus than most, but as a person he was what the Lord calls us all to be, a person who loved God and his neighbor—not just teaching about the connection but showing it.”
LORD, thanks that Dr. Marshall continues to teach your family through his writings and that I can continue to learn from him. Like him, help me to challenge to action today, not just ideas. Help me to be like Jesus and come down off the mountain top and meet the needs of others.
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