“Called to Rest with Jesus” 

Mark 6: 30-32 

February 11, 2024 

Faith Presbyterian Church – Morning Service 

Pastor Nicoletti 

The Reading of the Word 

We return this morning to the Gospel of Mark.  

Leading up to this passage, Jesus had equipped the twelve Apostles to go out and do the work of ministry – driving out demons, healing people, and calling people to repent. And the Twelve went out and did what Jesus had sent them out to do. 

And then, in verse thirty, the Twelve return to Jesus. And that’s where we pick up the story this morning. 

And so, with that in mind, let’s turn to our text now: Mark 6:30-32. 

Please do listen carefully, for this is God’s Word for us this morning. 

Mark writes: 

6:30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.  

This is the Word of the Lord. (Thanks be to God.) 

“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” [1 Peter 1:24-25] 

Let’s pray … 

Prayer of Illumination 

Lord, you are our portion, 

and so we commit ourselves to keep your word. 

We ask you with all our hearts to show us your favor, 

and be gracious with us according to your promise. 

When we consider our ways, 

turn our feet to your testimonies. 

And as we hear your word now,  

give us a sense of urgency to conform ourselves to it,  

so that we act on it without delay. 

Grant this we ask, for Jesus’s sake. Amen. 

[Based on Psalm 119:57-60] 

Introduction 

Jesus here calls the Twelve to come away, to cease from their work, and to rest with him. 

That’s what’s happening in verse thirty-one. After much work, Jesus says to the Twelve: “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” And in verse thirty-two that’s what they seek to do. 

Jesus calls on the Twelve to cease from their work, and to rest with him. It’s something he calls the Twelve to. But it’s something he calls us to as well. 

But what I want to argue this morning … is that we are not very good at heeding that call. 

Jesus calls us to rest with him … but we are not very good at it. We resist it. That’s what I want to consider. 

And to do that, I want to consider five reasons we might have for resisting Jesus’s call to rest with him, and how this passage and the Bible as a whole responds to those reasons – those objections. 

So five ways we may resist Jesus’s calling to rest with him, and what this passage has to teach us in response. 

We Need Something to Cease From 

To begin, a first problem we may have with this call to rest – this call to cease from work – is that we first need something to cease from. 

The call to rest implies and assumes a call to work. 

And the Bible tells us that God has called us to both. We see this from the very beginning. At creation, God made our First Parents, and we are told that he put them “in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” [Genesis 2:15] There was work in the Garden of Eden. God formed the Garden of Eden. But then he called on human beings to image him by maintaining and keeping the Garden. 

But there was also work beyond the Garden. Because God gave Adam and Eve a mission. He also called on them to “fill the earth and subdue it.” [Genesis 1:28] Before the fall – before sin ever entered the world – God called on humanity to rear children (to “fill” the earth), and to work in the world (to “subdue” it). Now, what exactly that entailed in a pre-fallen world is an interesting thing to consider, but for our purposes this morning we should note that even before sin entered the world, this would have been a lot of work – both in the home and out in the world. 

Work existed before sin and brokenness entered the world. Work is part of how we image God. 

And work is ordinarily implied when we consider rest. 

The Sabbath – the day of rest – was also introduced before sin entered the world. Our need for rest is not a result of the fall either. But as you may remember, the command, when it is given later in Exodus, says: “Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your God.” [Exodus 20:9-10]  

It’s made clear there that the command to rest goes with an expectation of work. 

That said, this call has been complicated since sin and brokenness have entered the world. Our First Parents rebelled against God. And now the world, and our hearts, are twisted from what they were first meant to be. And two effects of that twisting that sin brought into the world, which God identified way back in Genesis 3, are that both our work out in the world [Genesis 3:15-19] and work in the home [Genesis 3:16]  would now be characterized by pain and frustration.  

Every aspect of work – whether in the economy, or in our homes, or in our communities, or elsewhere – every aspect of work is now cursed by sin and brokenness. 

That doesn’t strip work of all its goodness – not at all. But it adds another aspect to it. Work is good. Work is also cursed and not the way it should be. Both of these things are true, the Bible tells us.  

The result is that as sinful people, living in a fallen world, with this complicated relationship to work, we struggle to relate to work and rest rightly.  

Sometimes we may avoid and shirk our work altogether.  

Of course there are circumstances that could legitimately keep us from work, which are not the result of our personal sin. Children are not called to work in the same ways adults are – that is part of creation. In this fallen world where our strength is not constant, we usually reach an age where we can rightly rest from much of the work we have done. Sickness or injury or disability can keep us from work. Economic or other physical circumstances may also keep us from work. But under ordinary circumstances we are called to work in one form or another, and we should not shirk that call. 

And to be clear, by “work” I am not thinking exclusively of economic work. Work in our homes, caring for our family, volunteering or serving in a variety of ways – these can all be forms of work we are called to, just as we can be called to work in the marketplace. 

That said, if some tend to avoid work, others can tend to idolize it. We lift it higher than God intended it to be. We take a good thing, and we make it an ultimate thing – the source of our meaning or purpose or identity in life. 

And idolatry of work is a common thing in our culture. And we in the Church can fall into it too. 

And one symptom of the idolatry of work – one way to spot it and identify it – is the inability to truly rest. 

It’s this tendency that I think our text especially speaks to, and that is where we will focus this morning. 

And so, the first reason we may struggle with responding rightly to Jesus’s call to rest, is that rest implies something to cease from. If we are not engaged in the work God has called us to, then we will not have something to rest from. And so we must remember that God has made us for work, and as we are able to do it, work is a good thing we are called to – even if it is frustrated by the curse of sin. 

We Feel Our Constant Work Is Necessary 

That said, a second reason we may struggle with this call to rest, on the other end of the spectrum, is that we may feel that our constant work is necessary. 

And we should begin by acknowledging that sometimes it is. 

Anyone who has had a newborn knows this. A child – especially a young one – often needs constant care, or at least care at times that cannot be scheduled. Sleep deprivation is sometimes unavoidable. There may not be a day off from such work. And so our constant work really may, in such situations, be necessary. Similar dynamics can be at work if we find ourselves as caretakers for an elderly family member, or a family member with other special needs. Sometimes circumstances in our family life really do call us to what feels like constant work for a season. 

Other circumstances can create that setting as well. A soldier in the field, an EMS worker during a natural disaster – there are crises that call for levels of work that can bring us to the point of exhaustion, and in those situations we may be called to such work. 

The Bible itself acknowledges this, and our own theological standards summarize it by stating that “duties of necessity and mercy” may rightly call us to work in times where God’s Word would ordinarily call us to rest. [WCF 21.8] 

In such instances, such exhausting, ceaseless work can itself be faithful and virtuous – it may be a great sacrifice that we make for others. 

That said … our text this morning, I think, confronts us with the fact that sometimes we think our constant work is necessary when it’s not really. Sometimes we work, and tell ourselves it’s a duty of necessity or necessary mercy … when Jesus is really calling us to rest. 

Now let me be clear: I won’t be providing you this morning with a flow chart navigate every situation, because that’s not what our text gives us. Instead, our text gives us a call of Jesus to rest, in a time and place we may not expect it. And so our job is to consider whether we find ourselves in a similar situation. 

Here’s what I mean. 

Our text is set during the earthly ministry of Jesus – a remarkably unique period of about three years, when Jesus was bodily present and actively ministering here on earth. Surely if there was ever a season where activity would outrank rest, this would be it … right? 

And of all possible activities, the Twelve were engaged in ministry – in furthering Jesus’s work during his brief earthly ministry. Surely if there is a work that can skip a day off, this would be it, right?  

And what’s the immediate situation they face? People are flocking to them, seeking to be ministered to. As we saw a few weeks back, that was not always the case. But in our text this morning we’re told in verse thirty-one that they are being swarmed by people seeking their ministry. People are responding! Surely this is no time to rest … right? Surely if there is any time in human history that calls for constant, ceaseless work, this is it, isn’t it? To even suggest that they go take a break right now would be so unspiritual and un-kingdom-minded, wouldn’t it? 

And yet … it’s in this setting, in the midst of that great work, and in this pivotal moment of redemptive history, that Jesus turns to the Twelve and says to them: “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” 

What? 

Let’s be honest, for a minute: If anyone but Jesus had said that, in that moment, we’d probably scoff. Right? 

But it’s Jesus that says it.  

And whenever Jesus says something that seems absurd, or unspiritual to us … then that tells us that we may have a serious blind spot … because the problem is with us … and not with Jesus. 

Duties of necessity and mercy are real things – Jesus is clear about that elsewhere, as is the rest of the Bible – so don’t hear what I’m not saying. 

But our surprise at Jesus’s words here reveals that sometimes that category may not be as big as we want to make it. Sometimes, even when the work we are doing is good, and incredibly important, and of great value, when the need is significant … even then, the call might be for us to put our work down for a time and rest. Constant work may not be as necessary as we imagine. In fact, Jesus may be calling us to rest. 

And so, I think this passage urges us to pause and examine our hearts and the patterns of our lives. If you are working almost constantly … if you are exhausting yourself … if you are laboring in an unsustainable way … you need to pause and consider what it is for. 

It may be a true duty of necessity or of necessary mercy. But it may not be. Compare it to the work that the Twelve are doing here … and ponder whether constant work is justified for you, when it wasn’t for them. 

We have in our larger culture a significant sub-culture that idolizes achievement and productivity and so sees rest as a foolish misuse of our resources. 

Consider sleep as just one example of rest. 

Doctor Peter Attia notes that “nowadays, our high-achieving culture […] seems to regard sleep as wasted time, something that only babies, dogs, and lazy people need.” And yet, he argues, science has shown more and more how sleep is fundamental to our health as human beings. [Attia, 352-353] 

Attia describes how his own perspective was changed on this. He describes himself as one who, for many years, despised the need for rest and sleep and prided himself in functioning on as little sleep and rest as possible.  

One day he was expressing this attitude to another doctor – lamenting to him what a pity it was that we needed to sleep at all – going on about how much we could accomplish if we could just cut sleep out entirely.  

Attia is not a Christian – and he and his friend were wresting with this idea in purely secular terms, when his friend turned to him and simply asked: “If sleep is so unimportant […] then why hasn’t evolution gotten rid of it?” 

Attai was floored by this question. He writes “It was as if he had struck a gong inside my brain.” “His logic was inarguable. When we are asleep, we are accomplishing nothing useful. […] Why would evolution allow us to spend up to a third of our lives in a state of unconsciousness? […] Don’t you think natural selection would have eliminated the need to sleep hundreds of millions of years ago – unless, somehow, it was absolutely essential?” [Attia, 352-353] 

With this, Peter Attia, as a secular doctor, had reason to accept the necessity and even goodness of sleep. In his mind, if evolution had not gotten rid of it, it must be necessary – it must be good. 

But as Christians, we have all the more reason to draw the same conclusion. Because we know that God made us. And he made us – from the beginning, even before sin and brokenness entered this world – he made us to need sleep. Adam slept in the Garden [Genesis 2:21]. If God intentionally made us to be limited creatures, who need to rest, then such rest, such sleep, must be good. Who are we to question how God chose to make us? 

And he’s written it all over creation. Attia writes: “Every animal engages in some form of sleep; scientists have found no exceptions, so far. Horses can do it standing up; dolphins sleep one half of their brain at a time; and even great white sharks, who never stop moving, spend time in a sleep-like, restful state. Elephants sleep only four hours per day, while the brown bat snoozes for nineteen hours per twenty-four, which strikes me as perhaps a bit too much, but the point is that every animal that has been carefully studied to date sleeps in some way.” [Attia, 353] 

God likes sleep for his creatures. And we are one of those creatures. 

And sleep, of course, is only one aspect of rest. To function well, ordinarily, at some point, we need to put down our work each day and rest. We need sleep, yes. But we also need life-giving engagement with others. Most of all, we need life-giving engagement with God. 

If you are lacking sleep … if you are lacking time set aside to be refreshed by good loving relationships, good engagement with God’s gifts to you, and intentional engagement with God himself … then you are denying that these forms of rest and refreshment are necessary for you. You are denying – or at least resenting – how the Lord has made you. He has made you to need these things. 

And kept up long enough, that resistance may hamper or halt the work that you insist on always doing. 

Christopher Ash, considering this topic, acknowledges that Christians are called to live sacrificial lives – to pour themselves out for others. But, he notes, it is striking in Romans 12:1 that Paul calls on Christians to be “living sacrifices.” “A ‘living sacrifice’,” he writes, “is a strange expression. It means a sacrifice that goes on and on being offered, so long as life lasts.” Exhaustion, he notes, will eventually stop us from being such a living sacrifice. It’s true that God calls some to be sacrifices even to death. But ordinarily we are called to be living sacrifices. And to do that well, we require some amount of rest. 

“Perhaps,” Ash writes, “the expression ‘sustainable sacrifice’ gets to the heart of the idea – the sort of self-giving living that God enables us to go on giving day after day.” And for such self-giving to be sustainable, it will ordinarily call for regular patterns of rest … just as Jesus calls the Twelve to here. [Ash, 26] 

But actually … in both the Scriptures in general and our text in particular, Jesus calls us to more than that. He calls us to more than just the bare-bones amount of rest needed for us to keep being productive. He calls us for more than just a utilitarian amount of rest. 

Think, for a moment, about what Jesus is calling the Twelve to here. This retreat Jesus calls for in verse thirty-one, does not seem strictly necessary. Jesus had sent the disciples away to do work before – to go out and preach. He could have sent them away to eat and get a good night’s sleep, and then come back to work, the next day – couldn’t he? Strictly speaking that’s all that was physically necessary for them. He could have sent them away in shifts, told them to eat a meal, have a nap, and then come back. But instead, Jesus calls for more rest here than is physically necessary. He calls on them to all withdraw together to a desolate place and rest together. 

And this is not a new pattern. It’s embedded in the Sabbath commandment itself. 

The Sabbath command goes beyond utility. Strictly speaking, taking one day off in seven is inefficient. It’s a loss of productivity. Especially for a subsistence farmer in Israel, this would mean less food, less production, over the course of the year. In the Sabbath command, God calls his people to rest beyond that which we strictly required for more work – beyond utilitarian rest. 

That Sabbath-rest beyond what is necessary is further amplified in the calendar God gives to Israel, with annual sabbaths and annual feasts, and then even seasons of sabbath on sabbath years. 

That Sabbath-rest beyond what is necessary is further written into creation – as God made the night to last longer than the amount of sleep we need for most of the year. And before widespread indoor lighting, the night meant the end of regular work. 

God made us to need rest. But then, we see that as is enshrined in the Sabbath and exemplified in our text, he calls us to rest beyond what is absolutely necessary – to inefficient Sabbath rest, on top of the utilitarian rest we require to keep going. 

Jesus likes for his people to rest. He calls his people to rest. 

Do you resent that? Do you resist it? 

If you do … then that is not a sign of your virtue – at least not in God’s eyes. Because it’s God whose calling you to rest. 

If your life right now seems to be characterized by constant work – whether in the home, or the work place, or some other work or cause in the world – if you seem to be constantly working, then take a moment to consider your work. 

Are you calling necessary that which is not necessary? Are you refusing rest for something that does not call for it? Are you pouring yourself out at an unsustainable rate for something that doesn’t warrant it? Are you denying Jesus’s call to come and rest with him? 

A second reason we may fail to respond to Jesus’s call to rest is because we believe our constant work is necessary … when it may not be. 

We Feel We Are Too Important to Cease from Our Labors  

A third reason some of us resist Jesus’s call to rest sounds like the second … but it’s a bit different. A third reason some of us resist Jesus’s call to rest is that we think that even if our work itself is not strictly necessary … we are so important to some organization or activity, that while others can rest, we ourselves cannot. 

Again, there may be moments when this is true. In a world before refrigeration or formula, often only mom could feed the baby. In moments of crisis we may be the only one who can help in a time of need. 

But once again, I think we tend to overstate our importance. Often, our ideas of self-importance are not rooted in the actual circumstances … but in the conviction that Jesus cannot manage things without us. 

And I think we see this point hinted at in the verses that follow our passage this morning. 

It’s interesting to note that though Jesus calls the Twelve to come away to a desolate place with him – and though we see in that call an example of the biblical concept of rest … even so, things don’t work out exactly as planned. 

Jesus and the Twelve go away by boat to a desolate place. But then in the verses that follow we read that a number of the people follow them. And when the boat lands, there the crowds still are – with all their needs. 

But I think that how Mark describes what followed is important. At that point, with those needs in front of him, Mark doesn’t say that then they – meaning Jesus and the Twelve – began to minister to the people again. Rather, Mark says that he – that Jesus – began to minister to them. All the key verbs in how Mark describes who cared for the people at that point are in the singular form. It was Jesus who ministered to the people. Jesus, in that moment, kept working. But the implication seems to be that he still gave the Twelve that rest he had called them to. 

And the Twelve were able to rest, and to return only later that evening, because Jesus was able to handle things without them. 

But sometimes, I think we doubt that. We think that Jesus cannot get done what needs to get done without us. 

And so, in certain circumstances, our refusal to rest may not be diligence … but a lack of faith. 

Jesus calls us away to rest, but even as he does, he is still at work in the world. He can work in the world without us. He did it long before we were born. He will continue to do it long after we are gone. You and I are not essential to Jesus’s work in the world. He delights to use us – it’s true. But he doesn’t need us. He can work without us. Sometimes we avoid rest because we insist that God needs us when he does not. 

And so a third reason for us to obey Jesus’s call to rest, is because we are called to believe that he can work in the world, even without us. 

We Think We Are Resting (But We’re Not) 

A fourth reason we may resist this call to true rest … is because we may think we are resting … when we’re not. 

In our culture, we sometimes confuse distraction with rest. But they’re not the same thing. 

The most obvious example is the person who trades sleep for scrolling through social media. Both may not be doing work, but they are not resting in the same way. One is more distraction than real rest. 

True rest means that we cease activities that drain us, and we engage instead in activities that fill us back up again. 

Both the person sleeping and the person scrolling may have ceased from their regular labors … but likely it’s only the one who is sleeping who is being filled back up again and refreshed. The doom scroller is probably just being drained in a different way. 

And activities that fill us up are not limited to sleep. And I think we see a hint of this in our text. 

The work the Apostles have been doing has involved a lot of talking – preaching repentance, we were told back in verse twelve. Now they are going off together … and presumably, while together, the Twelve will talk. But their talk will be different. Rather than preaching, which may have drained them, they will be sharing and conversing in ways that will ultimately refresh and refill them. The Apostles presumably will not just eat and sleep – they don’t really need to retreat like this for that. They will actively engage in restful, refreshing activities.  

What “fills a person up” will vary from person to person. But we all have these sorts of life-giving activities, things where engaging in them refreshes us rather than drains us. They are gifts God gives to us. Some such activities are solitary, and some are social. Some are active and some more passive. But they are all means by which the Lord refreshes us. [Cuss, 128-130] 

Do you engage in such forms of rest? You may have many diversions in your life. But are they actually restful? Or are they mere distractions? One thing to consider is: once the diverting activity is over … do you often feel worse rather than better? If you feel worse, it may not be real rest. 

So a fourth way we may be resisting the call to rest is that we are engaged in counterfeit rest – we have confused distraction with real rest. 

We Work in Order to Avoid 

A fifth and final reason we might resist or ignore this call to rest … is that we may be working in order to avoid what’s at the heart of true rest. 

Work can be a means by which we avoid something. Sometimes we see this in really obvious ways. Someone’s marriage is having trouble … and they respond by staying even later at the office, or picking up extra shifts at work. They use work to avoid the trouble at home. 

Or someone suffers a loss – the death of a family member or some other tragedy … and they respond by throwing themselves more intensely into tasks. They use work to avoid the grief that has entered into their lives. 

We can use work to avoid all sorts of things … including the most important things. 

And this gets at the heart of the kind of rest envisioned here. It reminds us that biblical rest is not just another self-help technique. But biblical rest is rooted in Jesus Christ.  

Jesus, in his intention in verse thirty-one, doesn’t just send the Twelve away to a desolate place to rest. Rather, he calls them to go with him to a desolate place. True rest comes from spending time in communion with Jesus. 

All we’ve said so far about rest is still true. But at the same time, if the forms of rest we engage in are not rooted in Jesus – if they are not carried out in communion and conversation with Jesus – then the rest we engage in will always be thin and superficial. True rest requires active communion with Jesus Christ. 

That is why the Bible links Sabbath rest with Sabbath worship. From a Christian point of view the two cannot be truly separated: True rest must be carried out in communion with God, and true worship should lead God’s people to truly rest in God. 

But the fact is … we often want to avoid communion with God. We often want to avoid sitting down with Jesus Christ. And so we avoid rest. We busy ourselves instead with work. 

It’s like a marriage where husband and wife feel disconnected … but rather than intentionally re-engaging, and sitting down face-to-face, and talking … one keeps avoiding the other, latching onto tasks that keep them from that conversation. 

At times we can act that way towards the Lord. Maybe our prayer life has gone cold, or perfunctory, or is almost non-existent. Maybe we’re frustrated with God about something. Maybe we just haven’t been thinking about him much. Maybe we’re worried about honestly talking with him about a struggle in our lives. And so we just avoid looking at him … we avoid quiet … or contemplation … or time alone with no task to work on … because then it would just be us and Jesus … and we don’t know what to say to him. 

If that is you … then you need this kind of rest more than you realize. 

You need to begin taking time focused on God and on communing with him. You need to try to pray in a way that’s not just going through your list of requests or confessions – as important as those are  …  but instead to speak to the Lord relationally. You need to come into corporate worship not just to check a box, or to leave with a spiritual action plan … but you need to come here with the intention of drawing close to the Lord here and now. 

The picture of Jesus, and the Twelve, away, together, separated from the hurry and tasks of life … face to face, talking together … in relationship with one another … that is a picture of what Jesus is calling us to when we rest and when we worship. And it’s only there, with him, that we can find true rest. 

How do you need to seek the Lord more earnestly in this way? How do you need to rest in him and commune with him, both personally and with his people? 

It means prayer in which we speak openly and sincerely to the Lord. It means hearing his word with the intent of hearing what he has to say to you as his child, more than checking a box or gathering Bible trivia knowledge. 

It means resting by ceasing from our labors, and engaging in activities that renew us – with it always in mind that these things are God’s good gifts to us, and he is the one blessing us through them. 

It means gathering with God’s people for worship and fellowship, recognizing that we come here each Lord’s Day for the same reason that Jesus called the Twelve to a desolate place – so that we might be in his special presence, and rest with him. 

Conclusion 

Our God is so good to us that he gives us this kind of rest here and now. 

But even so … in this life … he only gives it to us in part. 

This rest is always partial and imperfect in this life. 

That reality comes up in the very next verse after our text – Jesus and the Twelve are going to be interrupted! 

Similarly, our rest in this life is always like that. 

Our time of rest might be interrupted by necessity. Our minds at rest might become distracted by our cares and concerns. Our time of refreshment may always feel cut short. We may earnestly seek to draw close to the Lord, only to feel distant from him, or struggle to focus on him. Our rest – including our spiritual rest – is always partial and incomplete in this life … just as it will be for the Apostles in this chapter. 

But it will not always be so. 

As the author of Hebrews puts it: “there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” [Hebrews 4:9] Ultimate rest – true rest – is still to come for us – for all who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ. On that great day, when Jesus returns, and makes all things new, then we will rest with him, in the truest fulfillment of the rest he calls us to. 

In that day, the dwelling place of God is with his people. He will dwell with us, and we will be his people, and God himself will be with us as our God. And he will give us true rest, in his presence, forever. [Revelation 21:3-4] 

That is the promise of the gospel. That is our hope. 

And so, as the Lord calls us to a foretaste of that rest now – let us answer his call, and draw close to him, resting even now in his presence. 

And as we face the challenges of this life, let us look forward to the rest that is to come. When we will dwell with Jesus. And he will dwell with us. For all eternity. 

For that is the Sabbath rest that still awaits us. 

Amen. 

— 

This sermon draws on material from: 

Ash, Christopher. Zeal without Burnout: Seven Keys to a Lifelong Ministry of Sustainable Sacrifice. The Good Book Company, 2016. 

Attia, Peter with Bill Gifford. Outlive. New York, NY: Random House, 2023. 

Bayer, Hans. Introduction and notes to Mark in The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008. 

Cuss, Steve. Managing Leadership Anxiety: Yours and Theirs. Thomas Nelson, 2019. 

Edwards, James R. The Gospel According to Mark. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002. 

Horne, Mark. The Victory According to Mark: An Exposition of the Second Gospel. Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2003. 

Keller, Timothy. Jesus the King. New York, NY: Penguin, 2011. 

Leithart, Peter J. The Gospel of Matthew Through New Eyes: Volume Two, Jesus as Israel. Monroe, LA: Athanasius Press, 2018. 

Wright, N.T. Mark for Everyone. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004. 

Note: In my preaching I often cite and draw from a range of sources, which includes material from Christians within my theological tradition, Christians outside my theological tradition (in keeping with our church’s core value of “Reformed Catholicity”), and also (following the Apostle Paul’s example in Acts 17) non-Christians who are well outside of Christian orthodoxy and orthopraxy. And so, when I cite an author or a source, that citation should not be understood or construed as me necessarily agreeing with, endorsing, or recommending to others anything else from that author or source, except for what I explicitly say I agree with, endorse, or recommend. When engaging with different materials and thinkers, all Christians must exercise wisdom and discernment to determine what is helpful, appropriate, and edifying for each person, taking into account their current needs, wisdom, and spiritual maturity.