Home of Wheaton Bible Church's Quarterly Magazine
It was a return to familiar—even sacred—territory for Senior Pastor Rob Bugh when our church began a study in the Gospel of Mark this fall. Why? Because it was in Mark’s Gospel that Rob first came to know and understand who Jesus is. And it was Mark, the shortest and simplest of the Gospel accounts, that opened Rob’s eyes and radically changed the course of his life. Here’s how he tells that story:
My first encounter with Mark’s Gospel was when I was a sophomore in college in the great state of Texas. I was a business major, and I was convinced I was going to make millions of dollars and set the business world on fire. I was full of myself. I was arrogant. My life was committed to fun and to partying. I was wild and reckless.
I believed I had a great life. So I was dumbfounded when someone I really respected said to me, “Hey, Rob, Jesus Christ has changed my life, and He can change yours.” My friend was taking a big risk, and he knew it.
I’d never heard anything like that in my whole life, but that statement started a conversation between us, as I began to ask a lot of questions and he unpacked what God had done in his life.
Truthfully, I was confused. On one hand I really respected this guy. But on the other hand, I thought Jesus was irrelevant, ancient, religious news—somebody for losers and an intellectual crutch for weak people. But my friend’s statement to me that night in our fraternity house began a journey for me, as I began to investigate who Jesus Christ really was.
I didn’t realize at the time how clueless I was, but God was in the process of drawing me to Himself.
I started reading books: Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis and John Stott’s Basic Christianity. I attended a couple of Bible studies—which was way out there for me—but they weren’t all that bad. And I started to talk to some Christians and listen to what they had to say.
Some weeks and months went by, and somebody gave me a Bible and said, “Start with Mark. It’s short and simple, Rob, and you need short and simple.”
So I began to read the Gospel of Mark. And while I was reading, God opened my eyes. He gave me faith. I came to Christ, and my life was totally, completely, radically changed.
The deeper I went in Mark’s Gospel, the more I realized that Jesus wasn’t just a myth. Jesus wasn’t just this weak religious figure Who ended up having His life taken. Jesus repeatedly claimed to be God, and He did things to back up those claims. He said, “Either you have a relationship with me or you don’t. And if you do, you’re going to heaven, and if you don’t, you’re going to hell.” Simple and straightforward.
Understanding that simple truth and responding to it changed my life.
You may be just like I was. Your life may be going pretty well. Things are basically pretty good. And the truth is, you don’t think about Jesus all that much.
Can I invite you to read the Gospel of Mark? Get to know the Jesus who comes to life on the pages of this Gospel. You’ll see how Jesus invites you and invites me into His Kingdom—which is a much bigger, much more beautiful Kingdom than anything we could ever construct. There you’ll find a power, and the power has a name: Jesus!
Grasping that reality changed my life. Turned me upside down and inside out, and I have never been the same. That reality can change you, and it can change each and every day of your life.