“The Restoration of Two Daughters, Part 1:
Jesus Heals the Desperate”
May 7, 2023
Faith Presbyterian Church – Morning Service
The Reading of the Word
We continue this morning in our series in the Gospel of Mark, coming today to Mark 5:21-43. And we have here the third “sandwich” story in Mark’s Gospel.
As we mentioned back in February, one literary trait of Mark’s Gospel is his tendency to tell stories in sandwiches. They are sometimes referred to as “Markan Sandwiches.” This is when Mark begins to tell one story … then he pauses that story to tell another story … and then he returns to the first story and concludes it. So one story is split between the beginning and the end, like two pieces of bread, and the other story is in the middle, like the meat of the sandwich. And in this format, the middle story is often meant to help us interpret the outer story that has been split. [Edwards, 11]
There are nine “sandwiches” in the Gospel of Mark. We saw one in Mark 3 [v.20-35] and another in Mark 4 [v.1-20]. Now we come to the third here in Mark 5:21-43. [Edwards, 160; Horne, 95-96]
Since we have two stories here, we’ll take them one at a time. This morning we will focus on the inner story, found in verses twenty-five through thirty-four. Next week we will focus on the outer story, told in verses twenty-one through twenty-four and thirty-five through forty-three. You have the entire text before you in the bulletin, though this morning we’ll just be reading verses twenty-one through thirty-four.
With that in mind, please do listen carefully, for this is God’s word for us this morning:
5:21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23 and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” 24 And he went with him.
And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
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
We praise you, Lord,
and we ask you to teach us your ways and your truth.
Help us to take your Word into our hearts and onto our lips.
Make us to delight in your testimony more than in riches.
Help us to meditate on your precepts,
and to fix our eyes on your ways,
Grant us to delight in your truth,
and to never forget your Word.
In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.
[Based on Psalm 119:12-16]
So as I’ve said, this morning we will focus on verses twenty-four through thirty-four – the story of the woman with a discharge of blood.
And as we do, we will consider three things about this woman’s interaction with Jesus. We’ll consider:
- The nature of the problem
- The nature of Jesus’s power, and
- The nature of Jesus himself.
So, the nature of the problem, the nature of Jesus’s power, and the nature of Jesus himself.
The Nature of the Problem
First, let’s consider the nature of the problem.
And one of the first things we need to see is that the problem she presents is all-encompassing for her. It had physical, social, religious, and economic dimensions.
First there was the physical aspect of her condition. That seems the most obvious. She has been bleeding – discharging blood – for twelve years. This was a form of direct physical suffering that was with her all the time. It was a persistent form of suffering. And the physical consequences and distresses were real in her life.
But then second, there was also a religious dimension to the woman’s affliction.
In the Old Testament, in Leviticus 15 [v.25-27], we learn that a discharge like this would make a woman ceremonially unclean. And the form of uncleanness she had would then be contagious, so that whoever touched her would also become ceremonially unclean. [Horne, 96]
Now what exactly does that mean – what was going on with this dynamic in the Old Testament? We talked about this in more detail back in the sermon on Jesus healing a leper in Mark chapter one [v.40-45] and you can check out that sermon on our website for a deeper look at this dynamic [https://www.faithtacoma.org/mark-nicoletti/jesus-cleanses-a-leper-mark-140-45]. But in short, in order to instruct his people Israel, God put into place a symbolic system that taught them spiritual truths. It introduced several sets of categories. One of those categories was that people and things could be ceremonially clean or ceremonially unclean.
When it comes to conditions that make human beings ceremonially unclean, the common theme seems to be an actual or a symbolic link to sin or death.
That didn’t mean that actual sin or actual death were needed to make something unclean – as we’ve said, the link was often symbolic. A person could often become unclean without any sin on their part. In fact, obedience to God’s commands could sometimes make someone unclean. But the state of ceremonial uncleanness would remind God’s people that even good things in their lives, which God has commanded, are now tainted by sin and death, because we ourselves, as humans, have rebelled against God.
In the case of this woman, the issue of blood was a symbolic picture of death. Such a form of ceremonial uncleanness served as a sign and a reminder that even in the midst of the blessings of this life, fallen humanity remains under the power of death. And death is contrary to the God of life. And so, within the religious life of Israel, those who carried these symbols of death in their body were excluded from those things which were special signs of God’s presence – things like temple worship.
The result of this was that this woman’s condition led not only to physical distress, but it also restricted her ability to participate in certain corporate aspects of her faith. For twelve years she has not been able to participate in the annual sacramental meals or gatherings of the temple. For twelve years she has been, instead, a living picture of spiritual death among God’s people. [Horne, 97]
This, then, also had social implications. Because a woman with her condition also made other people and things ceremonially unclean, simply by touching them. And so anyone who did want to participate in acts of worship that required ceremonial cleanness would need to avoid this woman’s touch, either directly or indirectly. In fact, even her presence in the crowd, in this passage, would probably be a scandal if people knew of her condition.
Finally, we can also note that there was an economic dimension to this woman’s suffering. We’re told in verse twenty-six that she “had spent all that she had” on physicians, who did not make her better, but only worse.
This condition was, for this woman, an all-encompassing problem. And with all of these different aspects impacting her life – the physical suffering, the religious exclusion, the social alienation, the economic devastation – with all of that weighing on her life, for twelve long years, this woman would be desperate to be healed.
And we learn, in verse twenty-six, that in her desperation, she had tried just about everything. She “had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.” She had tried it all. And in the process … it seems likely that she went not only to the competent physicians of her day – but she even tried those who seemed less than competent – those who left her, in the end, worse off than she had been at the start.
In all this we see the extent of her affliction – we see the intensity of her desire to be healed.
By the time we meet her, here in Mark chapter five, she had come to the end of her rope. She had run out of physicians and resources. There was nothing left that she could do herself, or pay anyone else to do. She had no more hope in earthly helps.
And it’s in that state that she comes to Jesus: without hope, except, perhaps, in him. [Edwards, 168]
And in this woman, Mark is giving us a picture of our own condition.
We, too, face various afflictions. Some of you are suffering physically. Some of you are suffering socially. Some of you are suffering emotionally. Some of you are suffering economically.
And the Bible tells us that at the root of such suffering for the human race is, ultimately, a spiritual reality: We have, collectively, as the human race, rebelled against God, our Maker. As a result, sin and death have entered this world, and have invaded every aspect of our lives. And their effects spread and grow, from one thing to another. What the system of ceremonial uncleanness pointed to in symbols, we live in reality: the persistent presence, and domination, and contagion of sin and death in this world … which is our cosmic reality.
And nothing we do seems to truly help. We may get momentary relief. But the root problem remains. Many false physicians of the soul offer their help. The world is filled with those who promise to make us healthy, happy, and whole … for the right price. But even as we seek their remedies, we remain broken. We remain sinful and unclean. Relief may come for brief moments … but our affliction always returns. We seem, at root, no better … and maybe we even grow worse.
Like this woman, our root problem is desperate, and our true need is great.
And so, in this woman’s problem, we get a small picture of the problem we all face – the problem of the human condition.
The human race, like this woman, finds itself with a desperate problem … but on a cosmic scale.
That’s the first thing we see here: the nature of the problem in view.
The Nature of Jesus’s Power
The second thing for us to consider is the nature of Jesus’s power.
And to better grasp that, we need to notice both the magnitude of Jesus’s power, and how that power is accessed.
The Magnitude of Jesus’s Power
First, there’s the magnitude of Jesus’s power.
And we have to pause and recognize how astounding Jesus’s power was for this woman.
First, it was astounding from a medical perspective. She had been to every physician she could afford, over the course of more than a decade, and in all that time, nothing had helped. Then she simply touched Jesus’s clothing … and she was healed immediately. [Edwards, 164]
The power in Jesus to heal is not just incrementally better than the human power to heal … but it is a whole other category of power.
But it’s not just in the realm of medicine that Jesus displays a categorically different level of power when compared to human efforts. The same difference is also seen when it comes to religion.
We’ve talked about the symbolic religious system of Israel, in which certain afflictions symbolized death and spread that symbolic death to others. But one striking feature in that system was that if you carried a source of symbolic death in your body, as this woman did … then even the human work of the temple and the priesthood could not cleanse you. The priestly system of Israel could diagnose you as unclean … it could verify and make official that you were clean if the source of your affliction went away on its own … but neither the priest nor the ordinary temple system could remove the source of your uncleanness.
And so, by healing this woman, in just a moment, with just a touch, Jesus not only showed that his power was categorically different from the efforts of the physicians she had seen … but he also showed that his power was categorically different from any religious efforts carried out by human beings.
And in these ways, Jesus displays that the power at work in him is not merely human. It is divine. Whereas ordinarily death (in both its literal and symbolic form) spreads, and conquers life, in this fallen world … Jesus not only stops the power of death in its tracks. But he reverses it. He overcomes it. That is what he does for this woman. [Horne, 98]
In this, Jesus shows his power to be of divine origin, rather than merely human. That’s what we see about the magnitude of Jesus’s power.
Accessing the Power of Jesus
But that’s not the only thing we see here about Jesus’s power. We also see how that power can be accessed.
Divine power is a high and lofty thing. How can we … lowly as we are … broken and unclean as we are … ever hope to access it?
Well … this woman shows us.
In terms of concrete actions, we’re told that the woman reaches out and touches the tassels of Jesus’s garment. [Edwards, 164 n.36]
That seems simple enough. But the bigger question is: What’s going on in her heart and mind as she did that?
Some have suggested that her approach was rooted in superstition – in pagan ideas of grasping healing energy from certain heroic figures. [Lane, 193; Witherington, 187, 191; Keller, 70]
But that doesn’t seem to me to fit naturally with what we know of this woman, or how Jesus responds to her. Jesus, after all, praises her for her faith. She is held up by Mark as a model of faith. And in verse twenty-seven we’re told that her action was rooted not in pagan superstition, but in what she had heard about Jesus.
And so, as we consider how this woman accessed the power of Jesus, the text points us, in various ways, to the nature of her faith.
Consider verse twenty-seven. We’re told that the woman “had heard reports about Jesus.” [Edwards, 164 n.37] It’s worth pausing and looking back at the previous four chapters of Mark to think about what those reports would have entailed. As commentator Mark Horne points out, if this woman had heard the same things about Jesus that we have heard about so far in Mark’s gospel (particularly in chapter one), then she would know at least three things: First, she would know that Jesus touched ceremonially unclean people [Mark 1:41]. Second, she would know that when Jesus touched ceremonially unclean people, he did not become ceremonially unclean himself. And third, she would know that in that contact, Jesus both healed and made clean those who had been unclean. [Mark 1:42] These are the things she would have especially noted in the reports she heard about Jesus. [Horne, 97]
This woman heard the truth about Jesus, she believed it was true, and then she acted on that belief in faith. This is the pattern of true discipleship in Mark’s gospel. [Edwards, 164] It’s the faith that Jesus publicly praises in verse thirty-four. It was a model of faith for Jairus who was standing by. [Edwards, 164-165] It was a model of faith for those in the crowd.
And it’s a model of faith for us as well. Like Jairus, we stand to the side, and we witness Jesus’s interaction with this woman … and we are called to imitate her faith with whatever afflictions – whatever problems – we may be carrying ourselves.
It was the power of Jesus that healed the woman. But faith was the channel through which she accessed that power. [Wright, 61]
The Westminster Shorter Catechism tells us that “Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel.” [WSC #86]
Receiving and resting upon Jesus. That is saving faith. That is what is required if we want access to the divine power of Christ.
Where do you need Jesus’s help right now? Where is spiritual uncleanness and spiritual death at work in your life? What part of your heart or your life is broken … and you’ve tried every human solution you can come up with … and it hasn’t gotten better … but maybe it’s even gotten worse?
Jesus offers you his power. He has the power to make you clean. He has the power to forgive your sins. He has the power to overcome your sins. He has power over all the things in your life that this woman’s affliction only symbolized. And all he requires of you is humble faith. All he requires is that you receive from him, and rest upon him. Simple, humble faith.
What affliction … what sin or brokenness in your life … do you need to bring to Jesus in humble faith this morning? In what area of your life do you need to follow this woman’s example?
What we see in our text is that Jesus has the power to heal the desperate. He has divine power, to do what only God can do, so that where all other helps fall short, he is able to help and heal.
But it’s not just that Jesus possesses this power. It’s also that he truly makes it available to us. He doesn’t require us to earn access to his strength. He doesn’t demand a bribe. We don’t need special status in the world to gain access. But his power is made available to all who come to him in faith.
So … first we see the nature of the problem: it is all-encompassing and leads to desperation. Second, we see the nature of Jesus’s power: it is of divine magnitude and available to all who come to Jesus with humble faith.
The Nature of Jesus Himself
The third and final thing for us to consider is the nature of Jesus himself.
This comes up in two ways in this passage. The first way it comes up is in the question of Jesus’s knowledge in this particular story, and the second way it comes up, is as we consider Jesus’s character.
So, the first thing about Jesus’s nature that may strike us in this passage comes up over the extent of Jesus’s knowledge in this story. And it might seem, at first, like more of an intellectual puzzle … but it actually points to something very important about Jesus.
In verse twenty-nine, the woman reaches out, and she touches Jesus, and she feels herself healed. Then, in verses thirty through thirty-two we read:
“And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, ‘Who touched my garments?’ And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, “Who touched me?”’ And he looked around to see who had done it.”
Jesus knows that power to heal has gone out from him. But he doesn’t seem to know exactly who it went to.
Now, some have suggested that Jesus is only pretending to be ignorant about who he had healed, in order to draw the woman out [e.g.: Calvin, 412]. And while that is possible … it doesn’t seem to me like the best reading of the text. Jesus does use what appear to be small deceptions for ministry purposes in other places in the gospels, such as John 7 [v.1-10] or Luke 24 [v.28]. Even so, that interpretation here doesn’t seem to me to be the natural reading of this particular text. We’re told that Jesus was looking around in verse thirty. The question he asks seems sincere. [Lane, 193 n.50; France, 237-238; Wright, 60] The same verse indicates that he felt within himself that power had gone out of him – though it seems to imply that he was ignorant of who it went to.
But Jesus, we have just said, possesses divine power. He is, himself, God. And so how could he be ignorant about something like this?
John Frame is helpful for us as we try to better understand this, and its implications. [I looked at over a dozen commentaries on this verse. I was pretty surprised by how many of them simply avoided the issue, while others gave it only very short treatment. (Wright  at least acknowledges the complexity and mystery of the question.)]
And it seems that what we have here in verse thirty, within just one verse, is both a display of Jesus’s divine power, and a display of his human limitations. And this dual display gives us an important reminder that Jesus really was both fully God, and fully human. And as is often the case, we can know that … but we can’t really wrap our minds around it.
Frame writes: “How can one person be both divine and human, infinite and finite, invisible and visible, eternal and temporal, omnipotent and suffering, omniscient and limited in knowledge? Trying to imagine the psychology, the feeling or experience, of such a person is baffling.”
Frame continues: “The general pattern, I think, is that while on earth in the ‘state of humiliation,’ Jesus often limited his specifically divine attributes. For as we have seen, the specific purpose of the incarnation was that God should live our life and feel our sufferings.”
Living a human life includes living within certain limits. And so Jesus frequently limited his divine abilities in his first coming, in order to truly draw close to us in our humanity. [Frame, 889-890]
Which means that in this passage, we have a reminder that even as he was fully God, so Jesus, for our sake, became truly and fully human.
It reminds us, once again, that we do not have a God who is far off, detached from our experiences and sufferings. We have a God who became one of us, who voluntarily experienced our human limitations. Which means that whatever struggles you are going through, he understands – not just in an abstract theoretical sense, but in a lived personal experiential sense. That is one important aspect of Jesus’s nature we see displayed in this story.
But that’s not the only thing we learn about Jesus’s nature here. In this passage, we also learn about his character.
And to appreciate this, we need to first be honest about the character traits we tend to project onto Jesus.
We can be good at coming up with reasons why Jesus – why God – isn’t that interested in us or in our problems. We can tell ourselves that there are other, clearly bigger, problems close at hand … so Jesus wouldn’t be that concerned with our problems. We can tell ourselves that there are other, clearly more important or deserving people close at hand … so Jesus wouldn’t be that concerned about us. We can convince ourselves that even if God does graciously help us with a given need … we shouldn’t expect too much personal attention from him.
Do you ever tell yourself those sorts of things? When you consider going to God with a problem … is there a voice in the back of your mind, that belittles the idea of bringing your problems to God, when such greater problems exist in the world? Is there a voice that rises up in your mind and reminds you that others are far more worthy of God’s attention than you? Is there a voice that tells you – even when God does answer your prayers in some way – that you shouldn’t make too much of it personally … he has shown his power … he has glorified himself … but don’t mistake what he’s done, for him being actually interested in you personally? Are those thoughts you find yourself thinking?
They’re not uncommon thoughts or feelings. But Jesus refutes every one of them here by his words and actions in the aftermath of this healing.
First, Jesus stops everything, and pays attention to this woman’s problem, even when there clearly is a more pressing problem at hand.
Remember, when all this happened, Jesus and the disciples were on their way to help a little girl who was on the verge of death. Then, in verse thirty, Jesus perceives that power has gone out from him to heal. And he asks who it is. And no one comes forward. But then, even with that big pressing need waiting for him, Jesus won’t take his attention off of the need in front of him. He stops everything, and focuses on this problem. The Greek of verse thirty-two implies that Jesus “kept looking to see who had” touched him. Jesus is persistent here. He pauses everything. This seems to have exasperated the disciples in verse thirty-one [Edwards, 165], who would have seen the need of the little girl, at death’s door, as far more pressing than this woman’s need [Lane, 193]. And forget the disciples – what about Jairus?
One author describes the situation like this – he writes: “Imagine Jairus’s anxiety during all of this […]. This woman with a chronic condition is getting attention instead of the little girl who has an acute condition. Jesus chooses to stop and talk with the woman who has just been healed. This makes no sense. It is absolutely irrational. In fact, it’s worse than that: It’s malpractice. If these two were in the same emergency room, any doctor who treated the woman first and let the little girl die would be sued. And Jesus is behaving like such a reckless doctor. Jairus and the disciples must be thinking ‘What are you doing? Don’t you understand the situation? Hurry, or it will be too late. The little girl needs help from you now, Jesus. Hurry, Jesus, hurry. But Jesus will not be hurried.” [Keller, 66-67]
Now Jesus has a purpose in all this when it comes to Jairus and the little girl – we’ll focus more on that next week.
This week I don’t want to focus on those moments when you feel like Jairus. This morning I want to focus on those moments when you feel like this woman.
We can often be tempted to believe that Jesus has more important – more pressing – things to deal with than whatever we’re facing … so he doesn’t have time or patience for our problems. Now it’s true that there are always bigger problems out there than yours. But it is a lie from the pit of hell that Jesus doesn’t have the time or the patience to focus on what is afflicting you. Jesus does not brush your problems aside, any more than he does this woman’s. He won’t respond with impatience, but he will give your struggles his true attention. He will not be distracted. And you should not project an attitude onto him that contradicts the patience and attention you see him showing to this woman here.
So, first, Jesus takes our troubles seriously, and he attends to them sincerely, even if other bigger problems are close at hand.
Second, Jesus also gives us his full attention, even if better, more deserving, more important people are close at hand.
Jairus was, we’re told in verse twenty-two, one of the rulers of the synagogue. He was a lay-leader “who was entrusted by the elders of the community with general oversight of the synagogue” [Edwards, 161]
This woman, by comparison, was no one. So far from overseeing worship, she was excluded from key elements of worship. She was socially isolated. She was, at this point, poor, having spent all she had on physicians. From the perspective of a first-century Jew, Jairus outranked this woman in every possible way. Would Jesus really attend to her when Jairus was so close at hand?
Well … we know the answer: Yes. He would.
In verses thirty through thirty-four, that’s exactly what he does. He turns his attention to her fully. He calls her to come forward.
And then, when she does – when she comes forward, “in fear and trembling” we see in verse thirty-three how Jesus speaks to her words of tender compassion. [Edwards, 165]
By spending the time he does on her, by interacting with her the way he does, Jesus is making a statement about how he will relate to the humble and lowly [Witherington, 185].
Jesus gives her his full attention. Jesus takes her seriously. Jesus makes Jairus wait, while he attends to this woman. [Edwards, 168; see also Myers, 200-202]
Again, we’ll get to the implications of that for Jairus next week. But right now, think about the implications of that for this woman. Even as she believed, she didn’t presume to expect Jesus’s attention to be focused on her. But then Jesus stopped everything to pay attention to her.
When it comes to approaching Jesus yourself … when it comes to imagining whether he will pay attention to you … where do you find yourself projecting an attitude onto him that is different from what you see here in this text?
Here the Lord reminds us that whoever we are, whatever our lack of status, or accomplishments, or personal merit … when we come to him in humble faith, he will truly see us, and he will truly receive us … just as he did this woman.
The third lie that Jesus refutes in this passage … a lie we can often believe … is that though God might do something to help us in order to display his power … or to glorify himself … we shouldn’t mistake that for him being actually interested in us personally.
In overt contradiction of that mindset, in our text this morning Jesus won’t let this woman get away without a personal connection.
She doesn’t expect one. In fact, the best she hopes for is a healing that goes unnoticed. She might be satisfied with that. But Jesus is not. He insists on a personal relationship.
Commentator James Edwards writes: “She wants a cure […] a something, whereas Jesus desires a personal encounter with someone. He is not content to dispatch a miracle; he wants to encounter a person. In the kingdom of God, miracle leads to meeting. Discipleship is not simply getting our needs met; it is being in the presence of Jesus, being known by him, and following him.” [Edwards, 165]
Jesus calls on her to come forward and speak to him, to share with him what has happened in her life – to have a conversation with him about “the whole truth” of those events. And then, he replies, not with indifference, but with relational affection. He tenderly addresses her as “my daughter.” He praises her faith. He gives her a blessing of peace. [Edwards, 165]
At the heart of all of that is the truth that, far from standing aloof, Jesus insists on a real relationship with her.
And he wants the same thing with you.
That is what Jesus is really like.
So … as we zoom out, and consider this passage as a whole, ask yourself again: Where are you experiencing sin and brokenness in your life right now? Where are you desperate? Where are you hopeless? Where have you tried human solutions … but to no avail? Where are you like this woman?
As you consider your struggles, Jesus here calls you to look to him, just as this woman does. Because he, being fully God and fully man, both understands your pain, and can bring the power of God to bear on it.
He may not solve your troubles in a moment, as he does here. But whether now or later, in this life or the next, he will heal all who come to him in humble faith.
But be warned. He will not be satisfied with offering you just passing help. He won’t be content to just dispense divine assistance and then move on. He wants to know you. He wants a relationship with you. He wants you to speak to him, and then to listen as he speaks to you. He wants to identify you as his child.
And as wonderful as his healing work is in our lives … as incredible as it is when he overcomes our troubles … the amazing truth of the gospel is that it’s actually that relationship – being called to draw close to him … being identified as God’s child, speaking to him and listening to him – it’s that relationship that will, in the end, be the greatest blessing of it all.
This sermon draws on material from:
Bayer, Hans. Introduction and notes to Mark in The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008.
Calvin, John. Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Volume 1. Translated by William Pringle. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2005.
Edwards, James R. The Gospel According to Mark. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002.
Frame, John. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2013.
France, R. T. The Gospel of Mark. NIGTC. 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.
Lane, William L. The Gospel According to Mark. NICNT. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1974.
Leithart, Peter J. The Gospel of Matthew Through New Eyes: Volume One, Jesus as Israel. Monroe, LA: Athanasius Press, 2017.
Myers, Ched. Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2008 (2017 Printing)
Wright, N.T. Mark for Everyone. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.
Witherington, Ben III. The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001.
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.
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