MY FRIEND MARC
Just this morning we got news that Marc Thomas, my friend in Canada, went to his real home to be with Jesus.
Marc was with us and taught us ‘Daniel’s Seventieth Week’, in February last year, just before the pandemic hit us in India like an evil tsunami.
He taught with clarity and burden, on one of the most crucial and important parts of the Bible. Indeed, we learned some awesome things from him, and the systematic notes he gave us.
Not only that, but we also struck a real bond of friendship, and honour together.
Marc was a true watchman.
Watchmen in the Bible were sentinels accountable for protecting settlements from surprise enemy attacks and other potential dangers. Ancient Israelite cities often posted watchmen on high walls or in very tall watchtowers.
Their job was to keep watch and warn the town of impending threats.
Marc was such.
The Hebrew understanding of a watchman means that he is the one who looks out and ‘watches’ for approaching spies and adversaries. Watchmen also in turn safeguarded fields and vineyards during harvest time. Here is an example of the old days, in the times of the prophets.
1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
In the spiritual sense watchmen were also ‘spiritual watchers’ over the lives of people. They were to hear the ‘Word of the Lord’ and give it to the people. They also in turn urged God’s people to live right and make clear choices in following the correct path.
A watchman bears heavy responsibilities and has a lot of accountabilities to his King. They had to blow their trumpet and sound a warning alarm to God’s people.
In another sense, God calls not just leaders, but all Christians to be watchmen, and aren’t we all supposed to be that?
We will miss Marc. We really wanted him to be back among us. But he left his ‘mark’ here in India. His notes and teaching remain alive in us because they carried the Spirit’s burden and clarity.
It will be good for those servants whose Master finds them watching when he comes.
For the rest of us who are still waiting to go home…