Text Study for Mark 10:46-52 (Pt. 2); October 24, 2021

Your “Faith” Has Saved You?

“And replying to him, Jesus said, ‘What do you want that I shall do for you?’ but the blind one said to him, ‘Rabbouni, that I shall see again.’ And Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has saved you’” (Mark 10:51-52a, my translation).

“Your faith has saved you” is a thing in the Markan composition. Jesus says the same thing to the woman who touched his cloak (let’s not lose track of that connection) in Mark 5:34 (my translation). “But he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has saved you; go in peace, and be made whole from your illness.” The words in the most pertinent phrase are identical.

Let’s look at the word alternately translated as “saved,” as “healed,” and as “made well.” The latter rendering is the NRSV’s preference in both Mark 5:34 and Mark 10:52. The verb is “sozo” and the related noun is “soteria.” The primary meaning of the verb is “to save.” The primary meaning of the noun is “salvation.” Definitions involving health and healing are secondary meanings for the words.

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Foerster notes in his TDNT entry that the verb “never refers to a single member of the body but always to the whole man (sic)…The choice of the word leaves room for the view that the healing power of Jesus and the saving power of faith go beyond physical life” (page 990). The disciples use the verb, he notes, in the story of the rich man to wonder “who then can be saved?” The word can describe what it means to enter into or inherit the life that comes with following Jesus.

We need to go back to the story of the woman who touched Jesus’ cloak for a few moments. Hurtado notes that “the woman was healed because she put faith in Jesus and his power, not because the touch of a holy man automatically cures” (page 87). A similar emphasis, Hurtado argues, is found in the story of the raising of Jairus’ daughter. The result of “faith” is more than physical healing. It is, in fact, a whole new life.

N. T. Wright helps us as well to think about being saved by our faith. He notes that it was clearly Jesus’ power that healed and saved the woman. But Jesus says it was her faith that made it happen. “The answer must be that faith, though itself powerless,” Wright argues, “is the channel through which Jesus’ power can work” (Kindle Location, 1219).

There is a great deal of subtlety here, and it is worth trying to unpack. The woman, and Bartimaeus, do not “earn” their healing and saving by their believing. Instead, their trust is both the first sign of that healing and saving and the conduit through which the healing and saving come to them. In the case of the woman, the power flows out of Jesus and into her. In the case of Bartimaeus, Jesus summons him, and he responds.

Therefore, Wright suggests, “faith, however much fear and trembling may accompany it, is the first sign of that remaking, that renewal, that new life” (Kindle Location 1221). Somehow, this “faith” both makes and marks the new disciple.

I think that part of the struggle for many traditional Protestant readers is the notion that “your” faith has saved you. The assumption seems to be that if something is my property, that is, if it belongs to me, then I must have either produced or purchased it. The property is, therefore my “accomplishment.” We find ourselves, then, in the territory of works righteousness, and the interpretive train quickly goes off the tracks.

It is not necessary, however, that the only things that belong to me are things I have either purchased or produced. My voice, for example, is certainly mine. It doesn’t belong to someone else. Yet, I am not responsible for its existence. I can only receive my voice as a gift and then use it or not use it. If I had not received my voice along with the rest of my body, there wouldn’t be any questions about its use.

I think we can see “faith” in the same way. My faith can be “mine” without me having to purchase or produce it. It is part of me, inheres in my being, and is available for my use. In fact, it is part of what makes me “me.” Faith, in this sense is, as Wright suggests, is a sign of new life, not the way to get it. But that doesn’t mean that “faith” is a purely passive reality.

If you want to pursue this line of inquiry and reflection, you will certainly want to read Matt Skinner’s workingpreacher.org commentary. Skinner describes “the active faith of Bartimaeus.”  This active faith “is not about reciting the correct confession or subscribing to certain dogmas,” Skinner writes. “It is his unrelenting conviction that Jesus can and will rescue him from his need. We see this faith,” Skinner argues, “in what Bartimaeus does…”

Skinner puts this doing under four headings. Bartimaeus grasps who Jesus is. He persists despite hindrances. He expects a transformation. And he asks for the right thing. It’s worth putting my own experience and definition of faith alongside these headings and see how “faith” works for me.

“In Mark, Bartimaeus is not the first person seeking a miracle who approaches Jesus in faith, but he is the only one who winds up following him,” Skinner observes, “presumably straight into Jerusalem and into his confrontation with the temple-based aristocracy.”

The story of Bartimaeus gives us disciples hope in the face of the failures of the Twelve. “Without Bartimaeus, and others in Mark like him who tenaciously cling to Jesus out of faith born from their urgent needs,” Skinner continues, “this Gospel would offer little assurance that anyone could have the spiritual insight to perceive the mysterious ways of God in the person and ministry of Jesus Christ.”

Skinner reminds us that this connection between “faith” and “being saved” is a field filled with theological landmines. “Faith” may not always result in “healing.” Illness does not arise directly from one’s sins. We may have to carefully say out loud that there is no direct connection between what we do and how we are saved. Faith, we remember, leads first to the cross. But the cross leads to resurrection.

Karl Jacobson, in his workingpreacher.org commentary puts it this way. “Faith can make us well. This is not magic, or superstition, or some simple fix of course. It seems clear, to me at least, that when Jesus says, ‘Your faith has made you well,’ he is not saying that these people somehow believed their way into wellness.”

“Rather,” Jacobson continues, “he is pronouncing their wellness, declaring it, making it happen for them. It is Jesus who heals, and faith that receives that healing. And so it is, or can be,” he concludes, “for those who hear this story and this good news. Faith can make us well. Faith can open our eyes (sic), unstop our ears — even raise us from death. This is the power of the promise wherein faith and forgiveness, faith and wellness, meet; this is the power of Jesus’ word for salvation. And it is to this meeting of faith and fullness of life that we ought to be preaching.”

The classic location, especially in our Lutheran tradition, for the connection between salvation and faith is Ephesians 2:8-10. “For it is by grace that you have been saved through faith; and this is not out of you, (it is) the gift of God; not out of works, in order that no one may boast” (verses 8-9, my translation). The grammar indicates that the “gift of God” includes the faith. It is not something we produce or purchase. That it, it is not a “work” in that Pauline sense.

The real punchline for this passage, however, is in verse 10: “For we are (God’s) works of art, being created in Christ Jesus for the purpose of good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk through our lives in them” (my translation). The word I translate as “works of art” is “poiehma.” It’s where we get our words “poem” and “poetry.” Faith is God in Christ working in us to fashion us as God has created us to be.

Jesus asks Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” The root of “do” is closely related to the works of art in Ephesians 2:10. What if we translate the question as, “What do you want me to do to you?”? The Greek dative will certainly permit that translation. “Faith” is what God does to us in Christ to re-make us into what God has always intended us to be. Bartimaeus is saved in order to grow into one of God’s works of art in Christ.

That’s the kind of faith that can get me up and going!

References and Resources

Culpepper, R. Alan. “Mark 10:50: Why Mention the Garment?” Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 101, no. 1, Society of Biblical Literature, 1982, pp. 131–32, https://doi.org/10.2307/3260446.

Dewey, Joanna. The Oral Ethos of the Early Church: Speaking, Writing, and the Gospel of Mark.  Cascade Books, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Hurtado, Larry. Mark (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series). Grand Rapids, MI.: Baker Books, 1989.

Foerster, TDNT VII:989-992.

Hinlicky Wilson, Sarah. https://www.workingpreacher.org/commentaries/revised-common-lectionary/ordinary-30-2/commentary-on-mark-1046-52-4.

Jacobson, Karl. https://www.workingpreacher.org/commentaries/revised-common-lectionary/ordinary-30-2/commentary-on-mark-1046-52.

Menendez-Antuna, Luis. https://www.workingpreacher.org/commentaries/revised-common-lectionary/ordinary-30-2/commentary-on-mark-1046-52-5.

Robbins, Vernon K. “The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus (10:46-52) in the Marcan Theology.” Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 92, no. 2, Society of Biblical Literature, 1973, pp. 224–43, https://doi.org/10.2307/3262955.

Skinner, Matt. https://www.workingpreacher.org/commentaries/revised-common-lectionary/ordinary-30-2/commentary-on-mark-1046-52-2.

Wright, N. T. Mark for Everyone (The New Testament for Everyone). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.

Text Study for Mark 5:21-43 (Pt. 1); 5 Pentecost B 2021

There’s so much in this text that I think I’ll just dive in and see where it goes. We’ll cover as much as we can in the next few days.

All good sermons can be illustrated by referring to an episode of the television series, M.A.S.H. In “Showtime,” the episode that concludes the first season, Father Mulcahy is troubled by his apparent uselessness in the camp. Mulcahy and Hawkeye Pierce sit together in the mess tent.

“You’re not eating, Father,” Hawkeye begins. “You know something I don’t know?” Mulcahy furrows his brow, “Something’s troubling me.” Pierce leans into the conversation, “Think of me as your mother, Father.”

“May I make a confession?” Mulcahy asks, oblivious to the wisecrack. “As long as you don’t use any real names,” Pierce responds.

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“For some time now, I’ve been comparing the disparity of our callings,” Mulcahy muses. “Doctor versus priest. You fellows are always able to see the end result of your work. I mean,” he continues, “you know immediately if you’ve been successful. For me, the results are far less tangible. Sometimes…most of the time…I honestly don’t know,” he sighs, “whether I’m doing any good or not.”

Pierce offers some encouragement about an old medical school saw that God does the healing and the physician collects the fee. Mulcahy is not particularly persuaded.

Later, Pierce and McIntire are operating on a patient. The surgery is not going well, and the patient is dying on the table. “It doesn’t look good, Trapper,” says Ugly John, the anesthetist. Trapper John muses about originally wanting to be an architect. Pierce, the happy pagan, gestures to Mulcahy. “Over here, Father. We need some cross action.”

Mulcahy takes the patient’s hand, closes his eyes, grasps his rosary, and begins to pray. The patient briefly opens his eyes and moves a bit. “The blood pressure is still low, but it’s better,” observes Ugly John. “Hang another unit of blood,” orders McIntire.

“What was that about not being sure you did any good?” Pierce asks with eyebrows arched.

“It’s not supposed to work that way, you know,” Mulcahy replies, not knowing whether to be joyful or embarrassed.

What do we do with the healing stories in the gospels? What do we do with the need for healing and wholeness in our ministries in the name of Jesus? I have prayed for the healing of a spouse, parents, other relatives, parishioners, friends, neighbors, and strangers. I have offered those prayers often in dire and even apparently hopeless circumstances.

Most of the time, those prayers were not followed by the desired outcome. But sometimes they were. Like Father Mulcahy (admittedly, one of my heroes and role models in pastoral ministry), I was more nonplussed by the effective prayers than by the ineffective ones. In our scientific, rational, evidence-based, materialist world, it’s not supposed to work that way, you know.

“The biblical healing stories often trouble us as much as they tantalize us,” writes Fred Gaiser. “The prospect of healing through the power of God or the touch of Jesus holds out promise to all, especially those in immediate distress or danger. Yet,” he observes, “the possibility of miraculous or even what seems to be magical cure seems elusive at best and, at worst, downright alien to much of what we have learned about God and Christian faith” (page 5).

The “we” in Gaiser’s writing refers to those of us in most “mainline” traditions and certainly does not refer to those in many other branches of the Christian family. Perhaps we late-modern rationalist Christians could learn a thing or three from those other branches. But for the sake of this study, I’m willing to grant Gaiser’s description of the majority of his readers and our theological predilections.

Amy-Jill Levine observes that we encounter medicine, magic, and miracles in the pages of Christian scripture. You can tell it’s a miracle, she says, when it’s free. Yes, she observes with a smirk, free health care is indeed a miracle (at least here in the States). But there is more going on here than charity, as Gaiser observes in the vocabulary of the second healing – the raising of the little girl from the dead.

Jesus commands that the little girl should “rise up” (the Greek word egeiro) and in response she gets up (the Greek word anistehmi). “Both of these Greek words are employed frequently in the New Testament beyond their everyday use to speak of Jesus’ resurrection,” Gaiser notes. “The reader is made to understand that this is more than could be expected from a traveling miracle worker.”

“The girl’s resurrection from the dead,” he continues, “comes in anticipation of and with the power of the resurrection that is present in Jesus and that finally proves the basis for all his healings. Jesus is not just the best wonder worker in the neighborhood,” Gaiser concludes, “In him, is the very power of God to create and re-create life…” (page 9).

For Jesus, it is supposed to work this way, you know.

Mark is presenting the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In Jesus, the Reign of God is drawing near and is even now effective among us. In response, we are invited to get a new way of seeing the world and to put our trust in that Good News in life and in death. That trust seems to arise most readily in situations of desperation. That’s one of the themes in our text this week.

Gaiser notes that there is no formulaic relationship between “faith” and healing. “Faith and healing seem always to be related in the New Testament,” he notes, “but how they relate seems different in almost every case” (page 9). The woman in the crowd is at the end of her rope. Jesus appears to be her last hope. Jairus throws himself at Jesus’ feet and begs repeatedly for him to come and heal his little girl. Jesus tells the woman that her faith has made her well. Jesus urges Jairus not to fear but to have faith.

“This is the saving faith to which the formula refers (‘Your faith has made you well’),” Gaiser argues, “no longer merely the hopeful longing of the worried father or the desperate reaching out of the unclean woman (though both are present and significant in their own way), but faith in Jesus as he is known already in the Gospel as one who comes to proclaim ‘the good news of God’ and the coming of the kingdom (Mark 1:14–15)” (page 10).

That’s all well and good for the characters in Mark’s story, but what about for us? Is it supposed to work that way or not? “We are happy to be included in the saving work of Christ, the forgiveness of sins,” Gaiser writes, “but what, for us, are the healing dimensions of these stories, if any? Might we,” he wonders, “rather have simply the miracle worker?” I know any number of times when I would have answered with a resounding “Yes!”

That is, as Gaiser knows and assumes, a false dichotomy – between Jesus the unfailing healer and Jesus the Suffering Savior of all. Instead, he notes, they are one in the same. That is the reality to keep before us in this text. Who is this, that even the wind and waves obey him? Who is this, that a desperate woman can be made whole by the brush of a robe? Who is this who sees death as slumber and mortality as temporary? That’s the real burden of Mark’s song – this is Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God — the one who came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life, a ransom for many.

Jesus is not in the business of delaying, deferring, and/or denying the power of death. Those are modern games that we play too often and too well. The desperate woman in the crowd succumbed to mortality at some point in the future. The funeral for Jairus’ little girl was rescheduled, not repealed. If it were up to me, I would always negotiate for another second, another minute, another day with a loved one who was dying. But merely extending existence is not what we mean by “eternal” life.

Miracles of healing do happen – although they may be described in a variety of ways depending on one’s frame of reference and reality. When they do, we who follow Jesus see them as pointers to the greater healing of the cosmos – the defeat of sin, death, and the devil for good and all in the New Creation.

“Just as Jesus wasn’t coming to be a one-man liberation movement in the traditional revolutionary sense,” Tom Wright argues, “so he wasn’t coming to be a one-man emergency medical centre. He was indeed starting a revolution, and he was indeed bringing God’s healing power, but his aim went deeper,” Wright continues, “these things were signs of the real revolution, the real healing, that God was to accomplish through his death and resurrection. Signposts are important, but they aren’t the destination” (Kindle Location 1274).

That’s a helpful image and reminder in this conversation. In fact, Father Mulcahy, sometimes it is supposed to work that way. After all, we still need signposts to find our way. Some of those signs might be healings. Some might be sermons. Some might be sacraments and prayers and liturgy. Some might be works of justice and peace. Some might be in the person of the neighbor, the stranger, even the enemy. Jesus points the way in lots of ways.

“Only if we see Jesus’ movement in all its dimensions, including the political one, will we understand that behind the intense and intimate human dramas of each story there lies a larger, and darker, theme to which Mark is repeatedly drawing our attention,” Wright continues. “Jesus is on his way to confronting evil at its very heart. He will meet Death itself, which threatens God’s whole beautiful creation, and defeat it in a way as unexpected as these two healings. This time, though,” the good bishop reminds us, “there will be no command to silence.”

More to come…

Resources and References

Gaiser, Frederick J. “In Touch with Jesus: Healing in Mark 5:21–43.” Word & World, Volume 30, Number 1 (Winter 2010), pp. 5-15.

“Skin,” https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/skin-1.

Wright, N. T. Mark for Everyone (The New Testament for Everyone). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.

Text Study for 4 Epiphany B 2021: Mark 1:21-28, part 1


Malina and Rohrbaugh suggest that this reading illustrates a typical Markan literary device, what we might call “sandwiching.” Jesus teaches and the crowd reacts, but in between is the story of an exorcism. The middle of the sandwich demonstrates and deepens what comes first and last in the scene. We will experience this in greater complexity in Mark’s account when we get to the healing of the woman with the issue of blood and the raising of the daughter of Jairus.

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Osvaldo Vena, in his workingpreacher.org commentary, gives a more detailed structural analysis of the text, outlining the chiastic structure of the verses. This analysis confirms that the exorcism is the center of the story and provides the anchor for our interpretation and understanding of it.

“It is significant that the first scene of Jesus’ ministry…is one in which he teaches and performs an exorcism,” writes Larry Hurtado. “Both actions are emphasized in Mark’s Gospel as characteristic aspects of Jesus’ ministry and, by placing this account in the opening of Jesus’ ministry,” he continues, “Mark shows the reader immediately a representative scene” (page 26).

Hurtado notes that this and other scenes of exorcisms show some of the content and activity of God’s reign as it comes in Jesus. This reign is an attack on the powers of evil which hold people in bondage. The reign of God, as portrayed in Mark, Hurtado writes, “is God’s power (authority) in action” (page 27).

Matt Skinner aptly describes it as a “fight scene,” the first of several in Mark’s account. “Mark wants us to know, here at the outset of Jesus’ public ministry — that Jesus’ authority will be a contested authority,” Skinner writes in his workingpreacher.org commentary. “Jesus’ presence, words, and deeds threaten other forces that claim authority over people’s lives. These other authorities have something to lose.”

We see here for the first time that even though ordinary humans tend not to recognize who Jesus is, the demons get it right away. This recognition is not a statement of faith (as in trust, allegiance, and loyalty). It is, rather, an attempt to control Jesus by outing him and naming him. “Demons cry out essentially to protect themselves against Jesus,” note Malina and Rohrbaugh, “by using formulas and techniques known from magical practice” (page 181). “Jesus’ command to the demons to be silent has to do with the fact that he does not want them to name him,” adds Vena, “since in that culture the one doing the naming had more authority than the one being named.”

“Jesus’ suppression of the demonic acclamations also shows that Jesus was not interested in mere acclamation,” Hurtado writes, “and at the same time, these acclamations help establish for the reader the validity of the claims about Jesus that are made in the opening of the book (1:1) and that are integral to the Christian faith” (page 28).

As readers and listeners, we know that the demons are right, even if the disciples are still in the dark. “The name ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ encodes social information all in the region would have understood,” write Malina and Rohrbaugh, “By going on to identify Jesus as the ‘Holy One of God,’ the demon acknowledges another status for Jesus that the crowd will soon see demonstrated” (page 181).

No human “gets” Jesus in his fullness until after the Crucifixion and Resurrection. So, the new converts who hear Mark’s account in preparation for their baptism are in the same position in the story as were the first disciples. Those who witness the exorcism are impressed with Jesus’ power. They communicate his reputation to the surrounding area, but this is not a proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The crowds don’t spread the good news about Jesus (verse 28). Mark doesn’t use the word for “gospel” here. Instead, they spread his “fame” throughout the region. This news is, Hurtado writes, “in Mark’s view, not true faith but only notoriety. This immediately begins something of a tragic note in the story,” he concludes, “while it sets the scene for the ensuing accounts of Jesus’ further ministry” (page 28).

If the Gospel were to be recited in totality as candidates prepared for their own baptisms, then this scene and those like it throughout Mark’s account would prepare those candidates for their own exorcism during the rite that still lay ahead of them that night.

In that regard, I want to reflect a bit on what I think is an important historic part of our baptismal rite, one omitted from our current worship book and practice. That element is the “Renunciation.”

We maintain that element in our ELCA rite of Affirmation of Baptism, aka Confirmation. The Renunciation fulfills the ancient function of the Exorcism in the earliest baptismal rites – the casting out of demons in order to clear a space for the Holy Spirit to enter into the heart of the new believer.

In the rite of Affirmation of Baptism, each confirmand makes a threefold renunciation of “the devil and all the forces that defy God,” “the powers of this world that rebel against God,” and “the ways of sin that draw [us] from God.” In response to the question about each power, the confirmand responds, “I renounce them” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, page 235).

I have had to explain to confirmands on a number of occasions the meaning of “renounce,” since that’s not a common part of contemporary vocabulary. I have sometimes wondered if that is also a symptom of our unwillingness to say “no” to much of anything in our lives these days – especially when it comes to the demonic forces that defy and rebel against God and distract us from our lives of discipleship.

I have often included the threefold Renunciation as the prelude to confessing together the Apostle’s Creed during the season of Lent. This helps worshippers to remember the historical function of Lent as final preparation for baptism and the ongoing function of Lent as remembrance of and recommitment to our own baptismal covenants. You could use this text from Mark as a way to introduce that practice and prepare people for such a liturgical addition in your own Lenten liturgies if you would choose to do so.

I find that this practice can remind us all that renunciation is not a one-time event but, rather, is a daily discipline. Renunciation, moreover, is not only a rejection of the authority of sin, death, and the devil in my life but also a way to cling to the forgiveness, life, and salvation given to me in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In a letter to Jerome Weller, written in 1530, Luther offers this consolation and encouragement. Weller was one of Luther’s most devoted students and was beset with frequent bouts of spiritual anxiety and depression. Luther notes that the attacks of the Evil One are incessant and ongoing. He urges Weller to refrain from ruminating on the temptations and rather to despise demonically inspired thoughts. “In this sort of temptation and struggle,” Luther writes, “contempt is the best and easiest method of winning over the devil” (Tappert, page 85).

If contempt is not an effective defense, Luther continues, then Weller should try pleasant distraction. Seek out the company of some happy fellows, “drink more, joke and jest, or engage in some other form of merriment,” he urges. “We shall be overcome if we worry too much about falling into some sin” (Tappert, page 86).

This might seem at first like frivolous counsel. But the power of changing one’s focus is profound. Rumination can become a deadly downward spiral of dark thoughts. Sometimes a mental and spiritual “snap of the fingers,” an emotional splash of cold water in the face is precisely what is needed to return to a healthy frame of mind. I may not be able to engage in the company of some happy fellows during The Pandemic, but I can at least take a walk.

In the end, Luther urges Weller, depend assertively on the truth of the Gospel. Here Luther speaks, as he does in the previous passages, from his deep and long battles with his own spiritual anxiety and depression. “When the devil throws our sins up to us and declares that we deserve death and hell,” Luther writes, “we ought to speak thus: ‘I admit that I deserve death and hell. What of it? Does this mean that I shall be sentenced to eternal damnation? By no means. For I know’,” Luther concludes, “’One who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Where he is, there I shall be also’” (Tappert, pages 86-87).

We come back to the name that casts out demons and gives healing and life.

References and Resources

Fredricksen, Paula. Youtube lectures at Yale Divinity School – Christian Identity, Paul’s Letters, and “Thinking with Jews.”

            “GODS and the ONE GOD” — https://youtu.be/dTSR4bNlNT0

            “GODS in the BLOOD” — https://youtu.be/qlO5vfOHq6U

Jones, Robert P. White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity. Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

Malina, Bruce, and Rohrbaugh, Richard L. Social Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels Kindle Edition.

Skinner, Matt. https://www.workingpreacher.org/commentaries/revised-common-lectionary/fourth-sunday-after-epiphany-2/commentary-on-mark-121-28-3.

Tappert, Theodore G. (translator and editor). Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel. Philadelphia, Pa.: Westminster Press, 1960.

Vena, Osvaldo. https://www.workingpreacher.org/commentaries/revised-common-lectionary/fourth-sunday-after-epiphany-2/commentary-on-mark-121-28-5.

Wright, N. T. Mark for Everyone (The New Testament for Everyone). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.

Wright, N. T. Paul: In Fresh Perspective. Minneapolis, MN.: Fortress Press, 2005.