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Who Belongs to Jesus?

January 26, 2020 Speaker: Brian Wilbur Series: The Gospel of Mark

Topic: Rooted in Christ Passage: Mark 3:20–3:35

WHO BELONGS TO JESUS?

An Exposition of Mark 3:20-35

By Pastor Brian Wilbur

Date:   January 26, 2020

Series: Mark: Knowing and Following God’s Son

Note:   Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard   Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

INTRODUCTION

A few years ago my Dad and his three sisters discovered, through the DNA analysis of another family member, that they had a half-brother. Here were half-siblings who had never known  of each other for six decades running, but now they wanted to establish a relationship with each other. And why? For the simple reason that family relationships matter a great deal. The mere fact of blood relation claims our attention and interest, even if a practical relationship has not yet developed. The objective reality of family kinship creates a sense of responsibility, and one such responsibility is to make yourself accessible to your own relatives.

Family also shapes our identity and reminds us that we belong to something bigger than ourselves. Our family tells us where ‘home’ is – the place where we expect to find the comfort of ‘relational warmth’ and the security of ‘mutual support’.

For many people, blood is thicker than water – which means that commitment to one’s family has priority over all other commitments.

But then Jesus comes along and teaches us that there is something thicker than blood. And this ‘something’ indicates whether or not we are part of Jesus’ family.

Who belongs to Jesus? Who is included in His family? This is the question that Mark 3:20-35 addresses to each one of us this morning.

SCRIPTURE PASSAGE

Holy Scripture says:

20 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” 23 And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. 27 But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.

28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

31 And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:20-35)

SETTING THE STAGE

Let’s set the stage by noticing the movements of the people in this passage. These movements create a vivid picture of all kinds of people drawing near to Jesus, with Jesus quite clearly at the center of attention.

Movement #1: Jesus goes to the home where He is staying (v. 20). Jesus’ twelve disciples are probably with Him. When verse 20 says that due to the crowd “they could not even eat,” the “they” probably means Jesus, some or all of His twelve disciples, and anyone else who was staying in the house.

Movement #2: A crowd gathers at the home where Jesus is staying (v. 20).

Movement #3: Jesus’ earthly family is looking for Him (v. 21, 31-32). Although the English Standard Version says “his family” (v. 21), the phrase literally means ‘those belonging to him’[1]. It is referring to those who belong to Jesus in a physical or familial or social sense: family, relatives, and friends. The reason why the phrase ‘those belonging to him’ is understood to be or at least to include Jesus’ earthly family is because of the continuation of thought in verse 31: “And his mothers and his brothers came.” Verse 31 refers to when they arrived at the house where Jesus was staying. Verse 21 refers to when they “went out” and started their journey.

Movement #4: The scribes – the religious teachers – are coming down from Jerusalem (v. 22). Jesus takes the initiative and invites them to come near to Him so that He can speak to them (v. 23).

Do you see the picture?

If you could collapse these four movements into one image, consider it this way. Jesus is in a packed house, sitting around and interacting with His disciples and with the crowd that crashed the house. It is standing room only. At Jesus’ invitation, the scribes – the religious teachers, the religious watchdogs – are peering in, quite aghast at the company that Jesus is keeping. Jesus turns from the crowd in order to address the scribes. Finally, Jesus’ earthly family shows up. There isn’t enough room for them to enter the house, but word travels through the crowd to Jesus that His mother and brothers are outside looking for Him. How will Jesus respond?

Where are you in this picture? Are you even in the picture? If you are, what is your reason for being there? What is the longing or the motivation or the fear or the misunderstanding that has brought you into proximity with Jesus? And what does that longing or that motivation or that fear or that misunderstanding reveal about your relationship with Jesus? Are you part of His family? Or are you only looking in from the outside?

THE PERSPECTIVE AND PLAN OF JESUS’ EARTHLY FAMILY (v. 21)

Although the crowd is introduced first (in v. 20), the significance of the crowd isn’t mentioned until last (in v. 32-35). So we need to wait patiently for the passage to unfold.

But the perspective and plan of Jesus’ earthly family is highlighted right away in verse 21. As I mentioned a moment ago, verse 21 literally refers to ‘those belonging to him’ – and here is the irony: ‘those belonging to him’ are actually far from Him. Here’s the first key observation about our passage:

Those who are socially connected to Jesus don’t understand Him.  

Their perspective is that “[Jesus] is out of his mind.” (v. 21) From the vantage point of the teachings and traditions of Jewish religion, they thought that Jesus had lost His mind. It is easy for us to be critical of their unbelief at this point, but try to look at it from their point of view. Jesus is attracting enormous attention: sometimes dozens of people, at other times hundreds or even thousands. That itself would raise a yellow flag: if your brother or friend attracted that kind of attention, you might well be suspicious. Moreover, Jesus is attracting enormous attention from social and religious outsiders: “tax collectors and sinners” (Mark 2:15), and also the lunatics who were lunatics because they were possessed by demons. If your brother or friend was attracting all the weirdo-demon-possessed-crazy people who would “[fall] down before him and [cry] out” (Mark 3:11), you would have concern. Further, Jesus is getting criticism from the well-respected Pharisees. If the respectable religious somebodies are against your brother or friend, and if the only people for your brother or friend are the social and religious nobodies, wouldn’t you be concerned? You would be concerned, unless God had already opened your heart to the upside-down nature of His kingdom. But if you don’t understand that God’s kingdom is upside-down in a beautiful sort of way, then you will conclude that Jesus is upside-down in a crazy sort of way. “He is out of his mind.” He has lost His grip on reality. He is only making trouble, so we’d better go and rescue Him.

Therefore, in light of their perspective, Jesus’ earthly family has a plan to find Jesus and “seize him” (v. 21). Their plan is to rescue Jesus from His chaotic, counter-cultural, troublemaking ministry. Jesus’ earthly family assumed that they, of course, were in their right mind. So they reasoned that they would bring Jesus under their wise and measured control. They would stage an intervention to manage Jesus’ unsteady mind. But a plan to intervene in the life of a troubled family member is only a good plan if your assessment of the situation is accurate.

Take this lesson to heart: it is possible to be socially connected to Jesus, and yet be worlds apart from Him.

THE PERSPECTIVE AND PERIL OF THE RELIGIOUS WATCHDOGS (v. 22-30)

As it turns out, Jesus’ earthly family’s inaccurate assessment of the situation is only a hop, skip, and jump from the even more inaccurate assessment coming from the scribes. And Mark wants us to see the connection – so he interrupts his description of Jesus’ earthly family’s journey (which he resumes in v. 31) in order to tell us about the perspective and peril of these religious teachers (in v. 22-30).

Notice the similar phrases: “for they were saying” (v. 21), “the scribes … were saying” (v. 22), and “for they were saying” (v. 30). Verse 21 refers to what Jesus’ earthly family was saying. Verses 22 and 30 tell us that the scribes were saying. Jesus’ earthly family was saying that Jesus wasn’t in control of His faculties and that He had an unsteady mind. The scribes were saying that Jesus was under the control of Satan and that He had an “unclean spirit.” What the scribes were saying is worse, and yet what Jesus’ earthly family was saying is moving scarily in the wrong direction. Jesus’ earthly family is playing with fire, and they had better take heed lest they enter the same danger that the scribes were in.

Now here’s the second key observation about our passage:

The religious insiders are completely blind to Jesus’ identity and authority.[2]

Let’s look closely at the charge made by the scribes, and Jesus’ answer to it. The scribes accuse Jesus in three closely-related ways: 1) “He is possessed by Beelzebul” (v. 22; Beelzebul is another name for Satan); 2) “by the prince of demons he casts out demons” (v. 22; “the prince of demons” is also a reference to Satan); and 3) “He has an unclean spirit” (v. 30). The scribes are claiming that Jesus is under Satan’s control and that Jesus is utilizing Satan’s power in order to cast out demons.

Notice that the scribes do not dispute that Jesus is casting out demons. Jesus had cast out many demon in Mark 1 (vv. 25, 34, 39), and He was exercising authority over demons in Mark 3:11-12. Jesus casted out demons in public view, so people would have witnessed the fact that Jesus was setting people free from their demonic oppression. The scribes did not dispute this. But the scribes did dispute that Jesus was doing all this in the power of God. Instead, they came up with the clever idea that Jesus was performing these miracles in the power of Satan. The religious bigwigs, who were quite good at playing games themselves, claimed that Satan was playing a game – that Satan was leading his demons enslave men, but then that he was empowering Jesus to free those men from the demons who had enslaved them.

Jesus Addresses the Scribes

Jesus gives a three-part answer to this diabolic charge.

First, in verses 23-26, Jesus exposes the illogical nature of what the scribes were saying. Verse 23 says that Jesus spoke “to them in parables” – in other words, by making comparisons or illustrations. The comparisons made here involve the concept of a divided kingdom (v. 24) and a divided house (v. 25). Jesus says,

“How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.” (v. 23-26)

The idea here is that the king of a kingdom does not intentionally dismantle his own kingdom, and the head of a household does not deliberately seek to undermine his own household. There has to be a consistent policy from top to bottom, from the center to the entire circumference, so that the whole thing can stand united and strong.

Abraham Lincoln repeated this principle in his House Divided Speech of 1858. He said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.  I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”  For a house to stand, it has to have uniform principles that give it cohesion.

Satan, the prince over his kingdom of demons, wants to hold his kingdom together. He wants to keep captive souls captive. He does not want to part with his possessions – and his possessions are the human beings that he has possessed, laid waste, and claimed for himself. He doesn’t want to undermine his household policy of stealing, killing, and destroying every sinner that He can get his hands on. Like a venomous serpent, fierce wolf, and roaring lion, he always goes in for the kill. He is not interested in playing games that involve casting out demons from the people whom his demons have conquered. Satan doesn’t want his household goods to be plundered, so he is not going to ‘take up arms’ against himself.

Therefore, the scribes’ claim that Jesus is casting out demons by the power of Satan is illogical in nature.

Second, in verse 27, Jesus explains what is truly happening. Satan is not willingly giving up his own possessions. Instead, Someone stronger than Satan has neutralized Satan’s power and is plundering Satan’s possessions. Jesus reveals this through a short parable:

“But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.” (v. 27)

In this short parable, “the strong man” represents Satan, and the “strong man’s house” and the strong man’s goods represent Satan’s household of captured souls. The only way to rescue these captured souls from Satan’s grip is first of all to bind Satan, tie him up, and neutralize his power. Only Someone who is stronger than “the strong man” is able to do this. This ‘Someone stronger’ is the Lord Jesus Christ, who has such authority that “He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” (Mark 1:27)

This passage is full of irony. Jesus’ earthly family is on its way “to seize [Jesus]” because they think that “He is out of his mind,” when in fact Jesus has seized Satan and is restoring the minds of demon-possessed people by casting out the demons. Jesus is the One Person who is completely in His right mind, and He is healing and restoring those whose minds have been poisoned by the enemy. It is actually Jesus’ earthly family as well as the scribes who are currently lacking a sound mind.

Third, in verses 28-30, Jesus issues a stern warning to the scribes because they are in grave danger:

““Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”–for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”” (v. 28-30)

In these verses Jesus teaches us about what has been called ‘the unpardonable sin’. The initial point in verse 28 is that “all sins” are pardonable. Those who turn to Jesus for the forgiveness of sins “will be forgiven” for every kind of sin and for every kind of blasphemy. Blasphemy is abusive or slanderous speech directed against another person – that person could be a human, an angel, or God. Human beings have a track record of doing and saying horrible things, and those who have done and said these horrible things are able to be forgiven and cleansed through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Remember: “the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Mark 2:10).

However, there is one particular sin that, if committed, puts you beyond the possibility of forgiveness: “whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.” (v. 29) So we need to understand what blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is, and what it isn’t.

In terms of what it isn’t, don’t think of it superstitiously as if there is a certain sequence of words that you must never utter, or you’re doomed forever. The fundamental issue with blasphemy is not the outward form or sequence of words that fall from your lips, but the inward condition of your heart that is driving your speech. So don’t get hung up on specific words or phrases that must be avoided. Instead, exercise care and concern for the health of your heart.

This leads to a question: what is the sinful heart condition that gives rise to speaking evil against the Holy Spirit? The answer is that the condition of the heart is so warped that the person is incapable of believing what is true and instead inverts and twists reality. To invert means to ‘put upside down’.[3] Verse 30 is key to understanding “[blasphemy] against the Holy Spirit.” Immediately after Jesus finishes the stern warning in verse 29, Mark immediately adds an explanatory sentence in verse 30: “for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”” Do you see the inversion?

In fact, Jesus has the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus when Jesus was baptized (Mark 1:10) and afterward the Holy Spirit led Jesus “into the wilderness” (Mark 1:12). Jesus conducted His entire ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit (e.g., Luke 4:14-21). If you take a look at Jesus’ ministry and see the sick healed, and see poor nobodies lifted up and transformed by His presence and teaching, and see whacked out demoniacs rescued and restored to a sound mind – and then you conclude that the One who is doing this “has an unclean spirit” and is operating in Satan’s power, then you have inverted reality at the most profound level. Instead of seeing Jesus as God’s holy Son, you see Him as Satan’s unholy business partner. Instead of seeing Jesus as the light of the world, you see Him as an agent of darkness. Instead of attributing Jesus’ beneficial work to the Spirit of God, you attribute His work to the “prince of demons.” If you do this, you are inverting and twisting reality at the deepest level, and you have lost your capacity for proper discernment. You are truly out of your mind and you cannot see. If anyone gets solidified into this reality-distorting frame of mind, then that person is beyond hope.

Watch Over Your Heart!

Since the perspective of Jesus’ earthly family in verse 21 is scarily close to the perspective of the scribes in verses 22 and 30 – this passage is an important warning to all of us: watch over your heart, and don’t play with fire. While blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the most extreme form of sin’s reality-distorting nature, wise people don’t want to take one step down that path. The prophet Isaiah pronounced a woe on people who invert reality: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20) When you go down the path of developing a preferred taste for what God says is bitter, and of being captivated by what God says is darkness, and of celebrating what God says is evil, you are on a reckless path – and who knows where you will end up? Instead you must learn to trust the Lord and let His reality-revealing Word shape your understanding of what is good and true and beautiful.

The religious teachers in verses 22-30 unwittingly teach us a sober lesson: it is possible to be very religious, and yet be totally blind to reality.

JESUS’ TRUE FAMILY

After Jesus had spoken these important words to the scribes, Jesus’ earthly family finally completes their journey and shows up at the house:

“And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.”” (v. 31-32)

One of the characteristics of family life is that family members expect their claim on you to be effective. If they send for you, they expect you to come. If they seek you, they expect you to make yourself accessible. Family members expect other family members to make their family commitment the highest priority.

But Jesus doesn’t play according to expectations. He came “proclaiming the gospel of God” (Mark 1:14) and urged people to enter into “the kingdom of God” (Mark 1:15). Jesus understood that God’s kingdom has priority over every other kingdom, that God’s household has priority over every other family, and that the most significant ‘family relationship’ is not found within our earthly families but is rather found within God’s ‘family of faith’. God’s kingdom, God’s family, God’s will are thicker than blood!

Therefore, Jesus answers the call of His earthly family by making a socially unexpected, spiritually profound, and urgently necessary statement of truth:

“And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat round him” (v. 33-34).

Let me pause right there. There are two groups of people in view. First, there is the crowd gathered around Jesus: this isn’t the large crowd on the seashore in verses 7-10, but a smaller crowd, a crowd within the crowd, packed into a living room and sitting around him. Second, there is Jesus’ earthly family outside, seeking His attention. And you can still see the scribes in the picture, too, fading in the background. Got the picture? Look around and hear the question: “Who are my mother and my brothers?”

“And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”” (v. 34-35)

Jesus identifies His true family not according to flesh and blood, not according to DNA and genetics, not according to ancestry and lineage, but according to obedience to “the will of God” – not merely knowing and understanding God’s will, but actually doing God’s will.

When Jesus refers to “the will of God,” He is not talking about some mysterious and secret will for each person, as if you’ve got to discover God’s individualized plan for your life. Instead, Jesus is referring to “the will of God” which God Himself has revealed to all of us through His prophets and apostles, and ultimately through His Son. This revelation has been preserved for us in the pages of Holy Scripture, including right here in The Gospel of Mark. It is God’s will for you to “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). It is God’s will for you to follow Jesus and stay close to Jesus (Mark 1:17, 2:14, 3:14). It is God’s will for you to let God’s Word dwell in the depth of your heart and produce good fruit in and through your life (Mark 4:20). It is God’s will for you to participate in Jesus’ mission (Mark 1:17, 3:14-15). It is God’s will for you to humbly serve others (Mark 9:35, 10:43-44). It is God’s will for you to sit around Jesus (Mark 3:34), always listening, always watching, always learning, always ready to do what He says.

Here is the third key observation, and it stands forth as the great lesson of our passage:

Jesus’ true family is those who gather around Him to do God’s will.

Who belongs to Jesus? “[Whoever] does the will of God,” that’s who. Does that include you?

Jesus’ earthly family thought that they belonged to Jesus, and yet in our passage they are found to be “outside” (v. 31, 32) – outside the house where Jesus was staying, outside the true family that was sitting around Jesus. Physical connection to Jesus, or physical connection to a church, is simply not enough.[4]

As for the religious teachers, they would have claimed to belong to God – but you can only belong to God if you belong to God’s Son. In fact, however, these religious guys were far from God: they were inverting reality and tottering on the edge “of an eternal sin.” It is possible to be hooked on religion and yet be disobedient to God’s will. Religious insiders, represented here by the scribes, are often outsiders to Jesus’ true family. Religiosity and religious respectability are not enough.

WHERE ARE YOU?

Many years ago I learned of a wonderful story through the writing of James Montgomery Boice. Boice recounts the story of an itinerant preacher named Harry Ironside (1876-1951).[5] On one particular occasion, he was traveling from Minneapolis to Sacramento on a train. Since he wasn’t feeling well, the porter gave Ironside an area on the train all to himself, so that he could rest on his journey. One morning he pulled out his Bible and he was going to start reading the Bible and doing his devotions. Boice writes,    

“A stout German woman happened by and stopped when she saw the Bible. “Vat’s dat? A Bible?” she asked.

“Yes, a Bible,” Ironside replied.

“Vait,” she said, “I vill get my Bible and we vill haf our Bible reading together.”

A short time later a tall gentleman came by and asked, “Vat are you reading?” He was a Norwegian. He said, “I tank I go get my Bible too.””[6]

There were others who also joined in. At one point, this threesome grew to twenty-eight people, each with their own Bible, having Bible time together in car thirteen. Eventually the train reach its destination in Sacramento, and from there people went their separate ways. Before parting ways,

“… the German woman asked [Ironside], “Vat denomination are you?”

Ironside replied, “I belong to the same denomination that David did.”

“Vat vas dat? I didn’t know dat David belonged to any denomination.”

Ironside said, “David wrote that he was ‘a companion of all them that fear God and keep his precepts.’” [Note: This Scriptural quotation is from Psalm 119:63]

The woman said, “Yah, yah, dat is a good church to belong to.””[7]

I would add that it is the only kind of church worth belonging to!

Wherever Jesus is, there you will find His true family gathered around Him, following Him as He leads them on the path of doing God’s will. Everyone else is on the outside.  

Where are you? Near to Jesus, or far away?

If you are alive to the will of God, be encouraged: the Lord Himself owns you as His brother or His sister or His mother. He is glad to have you sitting around Him. Others may exclude you, but Jesus is glad to welcome you!

If you are far away from Jesus, I proclaim to you the good news: Jesus is still in the business of rescuing sinners out of Satan’s household and bringing them into God’s household. Jesus shed His blood (Colossians 1:20) for “the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14) so that someone like you might be “delivered… from the domain of darkness and [be] transferred” (Colossians 1:13) into His forever family of everlasting peace and ever-shining light.

The first step in “[doing] the will of God” is always to come to Jesus and receive the new life that He so generously gives. Will you come to Him today? 

 

ENDNOTES

[1] See Greek-English Interlinear Bible, Mark 3, available online at Bible Hub: https://biblehub.com/interlinear/mark/3.htm.

[2] See Abraham Kuruvilla, Mark: A Theological Commentary for Preachers. Eugene: Cascade Books, 2012: p. 67-73. Kuruvilla reinforced my understanding of the insider/outsider dynamic of this passage, and helped me to understand and explain the scribes in this light – i.e., as religious insiders who are actually outside of Jesus’ true family.

[3] A dictionary definition found through a Google search.

[4] It is worth pointing out that Jesus’ earthly mother is actually a believer who does belong to Jesus’ true family. However, she doesn’t belong to Jesus’ true family on account of her motherly/physical relationship to Jesus – instead she belongs to Jesus’ true family on the basis of faith. Inasmuch as Jesus’ earthly family fails to understand Jesus and foolishly seeks to rescue Jesus, it must be Jesus’ earthly brothers who are driving the action, since at this point they did not have faith (John 7:5). Regarding Mary’s accompanying her unbelieving sons on this fool’s errand, I think Lane is on the right track: “It is unnecessary to suppose that Mary also suspected that Jesus had lost his grasp upon reality. Her presence with Jesus’ brothers in Ch. 3:31, however, indicates that her faith was insufficient to resist the determination of her sons to restrain Jesus and bring him home.” William L. Lane, The Gospel of Mark (The New International Commentary on the New Testament). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974: p. 139.

[5] See James Montgomery Boice, Ephesians: An Expositional Commentary. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1997: p. 125. Both my summaries and the two quotations are derived from Boice.  

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

James R. Edwards, The Gospel according to Mark (The Pillar New Testament Commentary). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.

Abraham Kuruvilla, Mark: A Theological Commentary for Preachers. Eugene: Cascade Books, 2012.

William L. Lane, The Gospel of Mark (The New International Commentary on the New Testament). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974.

Eckhard J. Schnabel, Mark (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries Vol. 2). Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2017.

Ben Witherington III, The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001.

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