“The Parable of the Sower Part 2: On Being a Good Sower”
March 19, 2023
Faith Presbyterian Church – Morning Service
The Reading of the Word
We come now, for the second time, to the parable of the sower in the Gospel of Mark.
Two weeks ago we looked at this parable and we considered what it has to teach us about being good soil. This morning, our focus will be on what it has to teach us about being a good sower.
With that in mind, we turn now to our text: Mark 4:1-20.
Please listen carefully, for this is God’s word for us this morning:
Again he [that is, Jesus] began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2 And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
10 And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, 12 so that
“‘they may indeed see but not perceive,
and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven.’”
13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
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, look upon us and deliver us,
for we do not forget your word.
Be our advocate and redeem us,
and give us life according to your promise.
Great is your mercy, Lord,
and so we ask you to give us life according to your law.
Help us now to love your word,
and give us life according to your steadfast love.
The sum of your word is truth,
and every line of your word endures forever.
And so help us to attend to it now, and grow in your truth,
in Jesus’s name. Amen
[Based on Psalm 119:153-154, 156, 159-160]
So, our focus this morning is on what Jesus’s parable has to teach us about being good sowers of his Word.
And to do that we’ll ask five questions:
- First, are we actually sowers?
- Second, whose lives do we sow in?
- Third, how do we sow?
- Fourth, what should we expect when we sow?
- And fifth, what should we then do?
So are we sowers, whose lives do we sow in, how do we sow, what should we expect when we sow, and what should we then do?
Are We Sowers?
So first: Are we sowers?
And that’s a good question to begin with. We know we are soil in this parable – we talked about that two weeks ago. Once we’ve seen that, should we really be looking for more here?
And actually I think we should. There is, I believe, an expectation, that as we consider this parable, we also see ourselves as sowers.
Now, of course, Jesus is the ultimate sower. [Edwards, 130] But from the very beginning, he used others as his workers, sowing the seed of God’s Word through them. He sent the apostles, and charged them to preach his Word – to sow the seed of the Word of God before others. He commissioned his Church to go out and make disciples by sowing the seed of his word. This is why the Apostle Paul would later compare himself to a sower in the lives of the Christians at Corinth [1 Corinthians 3:6] In fact, we always receive the Word of God through a disciple whom Jesus has called as a sower. Even this morning, as we read Jesus’s words, they come to us through Mark, who heard them, translated them, contextualized them, and then wrote them down for us.
And so, as Jesus spoke to his disciples he was sowing the seed of God’s Word. But he was also speaking to those he would call to be sowers themselves – those he would send out to proclaim the gospel to others. [Edwards, 138]
And so Jesus calls us to be his sowers – that he might sow the Word of God in the lives of others through us.
And he doesn’t just call teachers and preachers to that. He calls the Church as a whole. That’s what we see in the great commission. The details might be different from person to person, but we are all called to sow the seed of God’s Word in the life of someone else.
We are called to be sowers.
Whose Lives Do We Sow In?
Which leads us to our second question: Whose lives do we sow in?
And the answer is different for everyone, which means each one of us will need to take a step back and think about where the Lord has placed us personally, and whose lives he’s called us to sow in.
And as we said two weeks ago, this parable is not only about evangelism. It’s not primarily a static picture of the elect and non-elect, but it’s a dynamic picture of how both Christians and non-Christians can respond to the Word of God, from moment to moment and season to season. Which means that as we consider our call to be faithful sowers, we need to consider both the Christians and the non-Christians the Lord has placed in our lives, and called us to sow God’s word in.
What does that look like for you?
First, consider what Christians has the Lord placed in your life, and called you to speak his truths to – to build them up in the Lord. Who might that be for you?
If you’re married, that would include your Christian spouse. If you have children, that would include your children. If you have Christian friends, that would include your Christian friends. If you are a member here or of another church, that would include your fellow church-members. If you have any role in any Christian ministry, that would certainly include that as well, whether it’s teaching children’s Sunday school, serving in our women’s ministry, organizing a prayer group or Bible study, or something else. Who are the Christians that the Lord has called you to minister to and build up with his Word?
And then, second, who are the non-Christians that the Lord has called on you to minister to, and point to him? It may be non-Christian friends or family members. It may be non-Christian neighbors. It may be non-Christian co-workers. Or it may be someone else.
Chances are, between the Christians and non-Christians, you could give a fairly long list. But in order to think through how to apply our parable this morning, maybe choose just a few to think about more concretely. Maybe just a short list of two or three. Make sure to include both Christians and non-Christians. And keep them especially in mind as we go through the rest of our questions.
These are the people for whom the Lord has called you to sow the seed of his Word in their lives.
How Do We Sow?
Which brings us to our third question: How do we sow? What does it look like for us to sow the Word of God in others’ lives?
This parable does not answer that question, but I think we need to take a few minutes to draw from the rest of Scripture to consider it. Because if we don’t, we can be prone to think of the kind of interactions this parable is addressing in far too narrow of a way. We can tend to think of it as only applying to a sermon, or a Sunday school lesson, or a formal gospel presentation, or things like that. And while those things certainly are forms of sowing the Word of God in the lives of others, the Bible’s picture of what that might look like is much much broader than that.
And so we need to take a few minutes to see that in the Bible, we are called to sow the Word of God in other’s lives in a variety of formats, approaches, and means.
First, the Bible presents us with a range of formats for sowing the Word of God in the lives of others. Consider the Book of Acts – the Bible’s record of the early Church. There are a lot of sermons in the Book of Acts – a lot of formal teaching settings. But there are also a lot of conversations – whether Philip with the Ethiopian eunuch [Acts 8:30-35], Paul and Silas with the Philippian jailer [Acts 16:32-34], Priscilla and Aquila with Apollos [Acts 18:26], or others.
Sometimes the Word is sown in preaching and teaching. But often it is sown in conversation. And, of course, we see examples of both in the ministry of Jesus as well.
So we are called to sow the seed of God’s word in a variety of formats.
Second, the Bible presents us with a range of approaches in how we sow God’s truth in the lives of others. And I spoke about this in more detail in a sermon last year [see my sermon “Our Theological Vision – Aspirational Values: Evangelism, Outreach, & Mission” from May 8, 2022: https://www.faithtacoma.org/vision-nicoletti/our-theological-vision-aspirational-values-evangelism-outreach-mission], but the Apostle Paul is a great guide for us here.
When Paul spoke to different kinds of people, he took different kinds of approaches. [Barrs, 181-185]
In Acts 13, when Paul was interacting with Jews and God-fearing gentiles in the synagogue in Antioch, he quoted directly from several books of the Hebrew Scriptures, and summarize other large portions of the Bible, directly and overtly using God’s written word to sow the good news of Jesus Christ in the lives of others. [Barrs, 188]
But a chapter later Paul is in a very different setting, and he takes a very different approach. In Acts 14 Paul is speaking to uncultured pagan polytheists in Lystra. There Paul speaks, and in what Luke records, Paul does not quote from the Hebrew Scriptures or summarize God’s history with Israel. Instead, he uses concrete aspects of the world around them to point to the fact that the true, living God is the Maker of all things, who sends good gifts to his creatures out of mercy and love, and who is now calling them to turn from idols and towards him. [Barrs, 188-189]
Then, a few chapters after that, in Acts 17, Paul finds himself in a different setting once more. There Paul is among cultured philosophical pagans in Athens. And in that setting he neither quotes from the Hebrew Scriptures, nor does he just focus on the common accessible truths seen in creation, but he quotes from several pagan authors, he approves of their words, and he uses the truth in what they have said to point to the one true God – the God who raised Jesus from the dead. Paul quotes from an invocation of the god Zeus by Epimenides, and from a hymn to Zeus by Aratus, and he applies both quotes to Yahweh – the God of the Bible. Then he also seems to allude to the words of Plato and applies the wisdom there to the Christian God as well. And so in that setting, Paul affirms and uses the very words of pagan culture to sow seeds of God’s truth. [Barrs, 189, 214, 216]
We’re sometimes afraid of this last approach, as if using truths found in non-Christian works to point to the truth of Christianity will mislead others unless we include a long list of disclaimers and warnings. But Paul apparently wasn’t afraid of that when speaking to non-Christians, and Luke apparently wasn’t afraid of that when recording it for Christians. Neither assumed that their audience – whether Christian or non-Christian – would conclude that by quoting Aratus Paul was promoting Zeus worship, or that by alluding to Plato’s work, Paul was promoting Plato’s sexual ethic. Both gave their audience more credit than that. And while we need to know our audience and use wisdom, we too should not be afraid to take truths from the culture around us, and use them to proclaim truths about the God of the Bible in the lives of others. Because when rightly used, all truth is God’s truth. [For more on this, see my sermon “The Sword of Goliath: Plunder, Temptation, Provision, and Equipping” (1 Samuel 21:8-9) from September 15, 2019: https://www.faithtacoma.org/samuel-nicoletti/the-sword-of-goliath-plunder-temptation-provision-and-equipping-1-samuel-218-9 ]
So we see in the Apostle Paul that sowing the seed of God’s Truth in the lives of others can include a variety of approaches.
Third, the Bible reminds us that we sow God’s Truth in the lives of others by a variety of means.
We think most often of how we are called to do this with our words. But we are also called to do this with our deeds. And it’s a mistake for us to neglect either one.
Jesus said to his followers: “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16]
Jesus said that seeing our good works – seeing our deeds – should lead others to glorify God. Our deeds preach to others. And we need to be sure that they are preaching God’s truth.
Our words, of course, are essential. But our deeds will often speak much louder, either for good, or for ill.
Taken together, we see that we are called to sow the seed of God’s Word in the lives of others in a variety of formats, with a variety of approaches, and through a variety of means.
So think again now, of that short list you made earlier – those people in whose lives the Lord has called you to sow the seed of his Word. What might that look like for each person on that list? What format or approach or means would be best suited for them? Where are you sowing God’s truth well? Where might you need to be more intentional?
These are the things we are called to consider as we think of how we are called to sow God’s truth in the lives of others.
What Should We Expect?
Which brings us to our fourth question: As we sow the Word of God in the lives of others, what should we expect?
And it’s here that we can dig in again to the parable before us.
And as we do, maybe the key thing for us to see here is that when the sower does exactly what he’s supposed to do, he still gets a range of results.
In some cases, when the sower sows the Word of God, it’s like seed sown along the path in verse fifteen: “when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.” In other words, we speak God’s truth to people, and it seems to have no effect.
And while that may disappoint us, the parable makes it clear that that should not surprise us, and it’s not evidence of a failure on our part. Jesus says this is simply something that happens. Even when Jesus, the perfect teacher and preacher sowed the Word of God in the lives of others, this was how some people responded. If it happened to Jesus, then we shouldn’t expect that it won’t happen to us.
So that’s one response we should expect at times.
In other cases, when we sow the word of God in the lives of others, it is like seed sown on the rocky ground of verses sixteen and seventeen: “when they hear the word, [they] immediately receive it with joy.” However, “they have no root in themselves.” And so, while they may “endure for a while;” “when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.”
We are not called to be cynical, but Jesus’s words here do call us to caution as we evaluate initial positive responses from those we minister to. We should be encouraged when they respond positively, and we should encourage them … but Jesus reveals here that only time will tell whether the Word we spoke to them has really taken root.
In still other cases, when we sow the Word of God in the lives of others, it is like the seed sown among thorns in verses eighteen and nineteen: The seed began to grow, but then “the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” Though they have received the Word of God from us, the word of the world that they receive from others wins out in their hearts. This too is a possibility.
And so, Jesus includes all these categories where we may faithfully sow the Word of God in someone’s life, but it does not bear fruit.
And this unfruitfulness often surprises us … but really it shouldn’t. And I think one reason it often surprises us is that we tend to assume that if we could just be persuasive enough and rational enough – if our arguments could be put just right, then other people would have to accept the Word we sow, and they’d have no choice but to bear fruit. The power of our reasoning would win the day.
But Jesus here reminds us that that’s not how this works. While we should be rational and reasonable, resistance to the Word of God is not ultimately about rationality. Sin is not rational. Sin is a form of madness. And as one author puts it: “In the face of madness, rationality [is] powerless.” [Liu, 270]
But even where rationality is powerless, God is not. Even in the madness of sin, God can change hearts and lives.
And that is, ultimately, what we see in the fourth kind of soil. Here, we read in verse twenty, that sometimes when we sow the Word of God in the lives of others: “They hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
The word does bear fruit.
But even when it does, even when we are faithful in sowing it, we do not make it grow. We plant. Others may water. But God is the one who gives the growth. [1 Corinthians 1:6]
And so when the Word that you sow does take root and bear fruit in your child’s life, or your spouse’s life, or your friend, or family member, or co-worker, or fellow church-member’s life, it is God whom you owe thanks to. Because only he can turn such humble efforts into such an extraordinary harvest of eternal life.
With these pictures of the four soils, Jesus tells us the variety of results we can expect when we faithfully sow the Word of God in the lives of others.
What Should We Then Do?
Which brings us to our final question this morning: With all that said, what should we then do? What’s the take-away – how should the truths taught in this parable shape what we do going forward?
I think this parable leaves us with three things we are called to do.
The first is that we are to lavishly sow the Word of God in other people’s lives.
Commentator James Edwards notes this – he writes: “Farming instructions in the Mishnah” – which is an ancient collection of rabbinical teaching, much of it originating in or before Jesus’s day – “Farming instructions in the Mishna,” he writes, “decreed that farming should be orderly, methodical and with special care given not to mix seeds (m. Kil. 2:3ff). But,” Edwards notes, “the sowing in Jesus’ parable is far from orderly and methodical; it is profligate, almost wasteful.” [Edwards, 128]
Though there’s some debate about it, it seems likely that farmers in first-century Palestine plowed their fields before they sowed. [Edwards, 128] So the picture, in this parable, is of a farmer, walking through his field, but not limiting his sowing of seed to just the places that look most promising. Instead, he’s sowing the seed everywhere. He sows it onto the soil of the path, he sows it where the soil looks rocky, he sows it even where he sees thorns.
Reflecting on this parable, the early church father Justin Martyr, wrote that this sower was so intent “on a harvest that he sows in every corner of the field ‘in hopes that good soil might somewhere be found.” [From Dial. Trypho 125.1-2, discussed in Edwards, 128]
That is striking. Jesus seems to be telling us that the faithful sower doesn’t judge the ground by how it looks to him. He doesn’t walk through the field and scatter the seed where the soil looks most promising, but then withhold it where the soil looks to be of doubtful quality. No – he sows everywhere. He is prodigal and immoderate in casting the seed all around the field before him.
That is the kind of sower Jesus describes in the parable, and that is the kind of sowers he calls us to be as well. We are not to be frugal with the Word of God. We are not to withhold it before people whom we judge to be un-promising soil. It’s not our job to judge the soil, and decide who gets a chance to respond to God’s Word and who doesn’t – rather we must spread God’s truth everywhere, and we only learn the soil’s true potential when we see how they respond to the Word.
Paul adjusted how he presented God’s truth to people based on what he could see about them. But he didn’t adjust whether he presented God’s truth. Though it looked different with different people, Paul always faithfully sowed the Word. And we are to do the same.
And as we do, we are to be persistent. After all, a farmer does not sow in his fields only once in his lifetime. No – he does it again, and again – every season. And that’s what we see Jesus do with his followers as well. How many times in the Gospel did Jesus speak the truths of God to his disciples, and they did not get it? But he didn’t stop. He sowed the Word again and again. And eventually disciples bore fruit and became apostles.
And so the first thing we are to take away from this – the first action step – is that we are to sow the Word of God in other people’s lives liberally, immoderately, and without holding it back based on appearances, apprehensions, or doubt.
Second, we should not be discouraged when our efforts prove unfruitful.
In three out of four settings that Jesus describes the seed that is scattered proves unfruitful. And the sower’s labor appears to be wasted. [Edwards, 128] His investment seems to yield nothing. And that can be discouraging.
When we see our efforts prove unfruitful not just occasionally, but often, we can become discouraged. But here Jesus reminds us not to be discouraged. Because here he reminds us that when the seed is fruitful, the fruitfulness is unbelievable.
Remember, what we said two weeks ago: the average harvest in the ancient world was probably three or four-fold. That was normal. Now, when that is your average, then having three out of four settings you sow in be completely unfruitful can be extremely discouraging. The net gain of the whole enterprise seems doubtful.
But that’s not true when it comes to the Word of God. In verse twenty, Jesus tells us that when the Word of God takes root, the harvest is not three- or four-fold. It’s thirty-fold, sixty-fold, or even a hundred-fold. It’s a “remarkable” even “miraculous” harvest. [Edwards, 129, including n.42]
And so the fruitfulness of that one patch of good soil should so amaze us if we see it rightly, that it should chase away any discouragement we may feel. After all, the harvest of the Word of God is not limited to this life, but it is eternal. It is a miraculous, eternal harvest, and it makes all the labor we have done all over the field more than worth it.
James Edwards writes that in verse eight it’s made clear that God is at work, “to produce a yield wholly disproportionate to human prospects and merit. The sower’s earnest and profligate sowing, which at first looked mistaken and futile, is vindicated by a bumper crop.” [Edwards, 129-130]
When God’s Word truly takes root in someone’s heart, it leads to eternal life. Our work is momentary. But the harvest that results by God’s grace is eternal. What God does through our efforts is far beyond what we could ever hope or imagine – even if it takes root in just one person’s life. And so we should not be discouraged, but we should rejoice over what God has done, or may still do through our efforts of sowing the seed of his Word in the lives of others.
The third and final concrete thing for us to take away from all this is that we are to be patient as we wait for the Word of God to bear fruit in other people’s lives.
Luke, in his recording of this parable, makes overt what Mark leaves implicit. Luke records Jesus explaining that the good soil bears fruit “with patience.” [Luke 8:15]
And on one level that makes sense. We all know that there is a long gap between when a seed is sown and when it bears fruit. Patience is always required.
And yet … if we’re honest with ourselves …. we often want the Word of God to act more like Jack’s magic beans. We want to sow them, and by the next morning we want to see a plant reaching up to the heavens.
And to be sure, God does at times grant such quick results. But often, as Jesus indicates here, even when there is a miraculous harvest, it takes time, and therefore patience. And so, as we sow the seed of God’s word in the hearts of others, we must be patient.
Two weeks ago, as an illustration of seed that lands on the soil of the path, I talked about Joy Davidman – the woman who would become C.S. Lewis’s wife. I talked about how earlier in life, before her conversion, she was an atheist. And as an atheist she heard the word of truth through C.S. Lewis’s books The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce and she enjoyed those works, but as the seeds of truth were cast on her heart, she seemed to respond like the soil of the path. She assured herself that her atheism was true, brushed Lewis’s claims aside, and she soon seemed to forget about the Biblical truths that had been put before her. She acted, I said last week, like the soil of the path. [Carpenter, 235]
But that’s not actually the whole picture.
Sometime later, Joy’s husband at the time, Bill Gresham, called her from work, and told her he was having a mental breakdown. And then he hung up. And she couldn’t get him back on the phone. At first, she frantically tried to locate him. Then she put their children to bed and she waited. She later described what happened as she waited. She wrote: “For the first time in my life I felt helpless; for the first time my pride was forced to admit that I was not, after all, ‘the master of my fate’ and ‘the captain of my soul’. All my defenses – the walls of arrogance and cocksureness and self-love behind which I had hid from God – went down momentarily.”
And in that moment, it would seem, the seeds of God’s Word, planted especially from the writings of Lewis, suddenly began to bear fruit.
Joy writes that in that moment, as her defenses fell “God,” she says, “came in. There was a Person with me in the room,” she writes, “directly present to my consciousness – a Person so real that all my previous life was by comparison mere shadow play. I understood that God had always been there, and that, since childhood, I had been pouring half my energy into the task of keeping him out. […] When [the experience] was over I found myself on my knees, praying. I think I must have been the world’s most astonished atheist.” [Carpenter, 236]
It’s worth noting the pattern of Joy Davidson’s conversion. Was the delay in her conversion because C.S. Lewis, whose presentation of the gospel she read, was not a very good apologist? Of course not. Lewis faithfully and skillfully sowed the Word of God before his readers. But often God brings fruit from such sowing over time … and not all at once.
In Joy Davidson’s case, it was later, in a moment of crisis, that the seed of God’s Word, planted much earlier, bore fruit, and she came to know the Lord.
And that’s not unusual. And sometimes the gap between the sowing and the harvest is even longer. Just this past Wednesday, at our prayer meeting, someone who was praying for non-Christians our church members know, reflected on how he himself had spent decades praying for and sowing the seed of God’s word in the life of two close non-Christian family members in his life … and then, after decades, to his astonishment, those family members came to know the Lord. God brought fruit from the seed that had been sown. But it took time. It took patience. Decades of prayerful patience.
And that’s often the case not just in the conversion of non-Christians, but in spiritual growth of Christians. Whether it’s our Christian friend, or our covenant child, or someone we are discipling, or mentoring, or teaching in a Sunday school class, more often than not, we do not see immediate fruit from the Word we sow in their lives. More often it takes time.
In a recent sermon to our presbytery, speaking to a room full of pastors and elders, Mike Kelly said to us: “You and I have all heard someone reflect on a sermon and say, ‘I’ve never heard that before.’ And what do we think as their shepherds? [We think:] ‘I’ve told you that one hundred times.’” [Kelly]
And as Mike Kelly himself stressed, that experience is not unique to Christian pastors or Christian elders. It’s a common experience for Christian parents, and Christian friends, and Christian spouses, and Christian church members, and almost any Christian who has spoken the truths of God’s word to anyone else. Because it’s rare that fruit comes right away. It’s much more common that it takes time, and therefore patience.
That should not alarm us. We should expect it. And so Jesus here calls us to prayerful patience.
In this parable, Jesus gives us a double picture of ourselves.
He calls us first to be good soil – to listen and to receive and to accept God’s Word as it comes to us, and so to allow his seed to bear abundant fruit in our own hearts and lives.
But then he also calls us to be good sowers – to be his hands and feed in the world, working under him, the Chief Sower, to spread his Word and to work towards a great spiritual harvest in the hearts of those he’s placed in our lives.
And so, brothers and sisters, in word and in deed, sow the Word of God in the lives of those around you.
Don’t be discouraged when it proves unfruitful, but trust that when it does bear fruit, the harvest will be abundant and eternal.
And as you sow, practice prayerful patience, entrusting the timing between sowing and reaping to the Lord, and prayerfully asking God to bring about the harvest that only he can bring.
For he is the Lord of the harvest.
This sermon draws on material from:
Barrs, Jerram. The Heart of Evangelism. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001.
Bayer, Hans. Introduction and notes to Mark in The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008.
Carpenter, Humphrey. The Inklings: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams and their Friends. London, UK: Harper Collins, 1978 (2006 paperback edition)
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.
Kelly, Michael. “Preaching in an Age of Buffered Hermeneutics” (2 Tim 4:1-8) February 2, 2023. Available at: https://www.evergreensalem.org/guest-preachers
Leithart, Peter J. The Four: A Survey of the Gospels. Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2010.
Leithart, Peter J. The Gospel of Matthew Through New Eyes: Volume One, Jesus as Israel. Monroe, LA: Athanasius Press, 2017.
Liu, Cixin. The Three-Body Problem. New York, NY: Tor, 2014.
Wright, N.T. Mark for Everyone. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.
CCLI Copyright License 751114; CCLI Streaming License CSPL116892