Expository Reflections on the Gospels, Volume 3: Mark

By Douglas Sean O'Donnell

... Show All

Expository Reflections on the Gospels, Volume 3: Mark

By Douglas Sean O'Donnell

... Show All

Deep Exegesis, Engaging Illustrations, and Relevant Applications of the Gospel of Mark

The Gospel of Mark recounts pivotal moments in Jesus’s ministry, including his baptism, miracles, parables, transfiguration, passion, crucifixion, and resurrection. To help people grasp these important events, pastors must understand the biblical text and then deliver sermons that are deep, engaging, and transformative. This accessible homiletical commentary will help!
Drawing from years of pastoral experience, pastor-theologian Douglas O’Donnell offers exegetical insights on the Gospel of Mark with both wisdom and wit. With the latest scholarship and contemporary illustrations, he walks passage by passage through the text, connecting the life of Jesus both to Old Testament Scripture and our lives today.
This is part of the Expository Reflections on the Gospels series, which equips pastors to faithfully teach the Gospels.

  • Part of the Expository Reflections on the Gospels Series: Designed to help pastors better understand, explain, illustrate and apply the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus
  • Accessible: O’Donnell’s writing style is clear, concise, and easy to understand
  • Theologically Rich: This book draws both from the wisdom of past theologians and the best of contemporary scholarship
  • Written by Douglas O’Donnell: Coauthor of The Beauty and Power of Biblical Exposition and an editor of the Knowing the Bible series
  • A Great Resource for Pastors, Seminary Students, and Lay People

Read Chapter 1


Douglas Sean O'Donnell

Douglas Sean O’Donnell (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is the senior vice president of Bible editorial at Crossway. Over the past twenty-five years he has helped train people around the world to read and teach the Bible clearly. He has pastored several churches, served as a professor, and authored or edited over twenty books, including commentaries, Bible studies, children’s books, and a children’s curriculum. He also wrote The Pastor’s Book with R. Kent Hughes and The Beauty and Power of Biblical Exposition with Leland Ryken.

Product Details

Title: Expository Reflections on the Gospels, Volume 3
Subtitle: Mark
Published: March 19, 2024
ISBN-10: 1-4335-9063-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-9063-4
Category: Biblical Studies
Commentaries & Reference
Retail Price: $34.99
Binding: Hardcover
Trim: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Page Count: 584

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Arise and Follow the Son (1:1)
Chapter 2: In the Wilderness (1:2–13)
Chapter 3: Proclaiming the Gospel of God (1:14–20)
Chapter 4: “A New Teaching with Authority!” (1:21–39)
Chapter 5: Curing the Unclean (1:40–45)
Chapter 6: Our Greatest Need (2:1–12)
Chapter 7: Critical Questions Answered while Sipping New Wine with Old Sinners (2:13–22)
Chapter 8: Lord of the Sabbath (2:23–3:6)
Chapter 9: Five Different Reactions to the Vintage Jesus (3:7–35)
Chapter 10: The Secret of the Kingdom of God (4:1–20)
Chapter 11: Secrets Brought to Life (4:21–34)
Chapter 12: Who Then Is This? (4:35–41)
Chapter 13: Strength to Subdue an Army of Spirits (5:1–20)
Chapter 14: Overcoming the Last Enemy (5:21–43)
Chapter 15: Receiving or Rejecting Jesus (6:1–13)
Chapter 16: A Hellish Tale (6:14–29)
Chapter 17: A Foretaste of the Heavenly Banquet (6:30–44)
Chapter 18: Recognizing Him as “I AM” (6:45–56)
Chapter 19: What Defiles a Person (7:1–23)
Chapter 20: Pure Religion (7:24–37)
Chapter 21: Seeing Clearly (8:1–30)
Chapter 22: Setting Your Mind on the Things of God (8:31–9:1)
Chapter 23: The Beloved Son of God and Son of Man who Suffered (9:2–13)
Chapter 24: Into a Demon-Infested World (9:14–29)
Chapter 25: Three Major Misunderstandings (9:30–41)
Chapter 26: Two Tough Teachings: Hell and Divorce (9:42–10:12)
Chapter 27: Childlike Faith (10:13–31)
Chapter 28: Why the Son of Man Came (10:32–45)
Chapter 29: Seeing the Son of David (10:46–52)
Chapter 30: Blessed Is the Coming Kingdom of David! (11:1–11)
Chapter 31: The Barren Temple and the Withered Tree (11:12–25)
Chapter 32: Authority over the Temple Authorities (11:27–12:12)
Chapter 33: Render to God (12:13–17)
Chapter 34: The God of the Living (12:18–27)
Chapter 35: Most Important of All (12:28–34)
Chapter 36: Three Last Lessons in the Temple (12:35–44)
Chapter 37: The Imperatives of the Olivet Discourse (13:1–23)
Chapter 38: Stay Awake! The Son of Man is Coming (13:24–37)
Chapter 39: A Beautiful Thing (14:1–11)
Chapter 40: The Passover Lamb (14:12–31)
Chapter 41: Go to Gethsemane (14:32–42)
Chapter 42: Naked and Ashamed (14:43–52)
Chapter 43: Can I Get a Witness? (14:53–72)
Chapter 44: The Condemnation of the King (15:1–15)
Chapter 45: Perfect Mockery (15:16–32)
Chapter 46: The Power of the Cross (15:33–47)
Chapter 47: Sometimes It (the Resurrection!) Causes Me to Tremble (16:1–8)


“Doug O’Donnell’s expository labors provide preachers and teachers with a sure-footed guide to and through the wonders of Mark’s Gospel. His work rests on his having systematically marinated his thought in the carefully wrought literary and theological contours of Mark’s account, so that his homiletical divisions are true to Mark’s mounting argument and a boon to expositors. O’Donnell’s exegesis and homiletical wisdom rest not only on the shoulders of past preachers but also on his having mined the refreshing Marcan exegesis available in today’s journals and superb new commentaries—resulting in increased precision and homiletical clarity. In this respect, O’Donnell has long been a notable wordsmith. The shepherding, pastoral tone that permeates this commentary is evident on nearly every page, with astute applications that can come only from a sensitive preacher in touch with life and contemporary culture, as well as with illustrations that actually do serve the sacred text. Confidently recommended.”
R. Kent HughesSenior Pastor Emeritus, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois

“​​Sound theological exegesis. Engaging exposition. Helpful subtitles for sermon outlines. Ready-made illustrations ripe for the picking. Personal stories that nudge your own memory. Practical takeaways. Just an all-around enjoyable read. What more does a preacher need when preparing for Sunday? Doug O’Donnell has not replaced your quality time with God in sermon preparation; he has enriched it. Keep his reflections handy. You and God’s people will be the better for it.”
S. Jonathan Murphy, Department Chair and Professor of Pastoral Ministries, Dallas Theological Seminary

“There is no more reliable guide to teaching or preaching the Gospels effectively than Doug O’Donnell. In these pages, readers will find fresh insights and ideas for communicating the heart of the biblical text in a way that puts the person and work of Christ at the center and connects to the hearts of real people.”
Nancy Guthrie, Bible teacher; author

“This learned, profound, utterly practical commentary is a great model for preachers of the Gospel of Mark. It will help them to practice faithful biblical exegesis, goad them to keep their teaching focused on Jesus, and thereby encourage those who listen to their sermons to ‘arise and follow the Son.’ O’Donnell here reminds you why you answered God’s call to be a minister of the Word and supports you in your efforts to unpack this precious book.”
Douglas A. Sweeney, Dean and Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

“The most obvious virtue of this commentary is its thoroughness. It is a triumph of scholarship—a one-volume library of the best that has been written on the Gospel of Mark. But it is more than that—a blend of head and heart, with the author’s intermittent sharing of his life experiences lending both human interest and a testimony to the reality of the good news.”
Leland Ryken, Emeritus Professor of English, Wheaton College

“With seamless synergy between exegesis and the everyday, Doug O’Donnell masterfully dissects and demystifies the Gospel of Mark to aid preachers in feeding their flocks. Having once preached through Mark myself, I wish this resource had been available then. Thankfully, it exists now, and it will be of tremendous benefit to clear preachers and engaged hearers as well as zigzagging preachers and meandering listeners.”
Matthew D. Kim, Professor of Practical Theology and Raborn Chair of Pastoral Leadership, Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University; author, A Little Book for New Preachers

“The church has long been nourished by pastor-theologians who have the intellectual gifts and pastoral sensibilities to understand God’s Word and apply it to God’s world. Doug O’Donnell is a modern-day representative who serves in this historic office. In his Expository Reflections on the Gospels: Mark, O’Donnell conducts a symphony involving a critical (in the good sense!) interpretation of the biblical text in its historical context, a confessional understanding of the theological subject matter of Scripture, and a contextual integration that applies the message of the Gospel of Mark to the lives and realities of the reader. This is a top-tier resource for every pastor and preacher.”
Edward W. Klink III, Senior Pastor, Hope Evangelical Free Church, Roscoe, Illinois; Professor, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; author, John (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)

“Following some of the best Protestant expository traditions, Doug O’Donnell’s lucid expositions of Mark remind us how to read the Gospels as the anchor of the New Testament and the centerpiece of the story of Jesus the Messiah! Lovers of the second Gospel should have this volume before them regularly. Each sermonic chapter faithfully explains the significance of Mark’s portrayal of redemption in the promised Son for us. My joy in reading Mark deepened with the turn of every page of this work.”
Eric C. Redmond, Professor of Bible, Moody Bible Institute; Associate Pastor of Preaching and Teaching, Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park, Illinois

“Doug O’Donnell’s commentary on Mark’s Gospel is a remarkable piece of work. Grounded in a meticulous study of the text and sensitive to its theological contours, he offers fresh insight that is readily accessible to the preacher and layperson alike. O’Donnell’s poetic turns of phrase, engaging wit, and pastoral sensibility make it a resource that every Christian will want to have on the shelf.”
Chris Castaldo, Senior Pastor, New Covenant Church, Naperville, Illinois; author, The Upside Down Kingdom: Wisdom for Life from the Beatitudes

“Readers who want an in-depth understanding of the Gospels yet also want to be fed spiritually will often turn to commentaries, only to realize that the gap between critical interpretation and exposition—between historical-theological analysis and everyday life—can be hard to cross. It’s difficult to find either a lively exposition of the text that is responsive to cutting-edge scholarship or an erudite commentary that comes alive. Thankfully, in reading the Gospel of Mark alongside us, Doug O’Donnell has provided us with both—in one book.”
Nicholas Perrin, President, Trinity International University

“Doug O’Donnell’s expository reflections on Mark do for us what the Gospel itself does: they focus us on Jesus, the saving Son of God, and call us to ‘arise and follow the Son.’ Informed by sound scholarship yet easily accessible, grounded in a close reading of the text yet applied to real life, these reflections lead us again and again to Christ—to his words and his works, his cross and his resurrection, his rule and his return. Read, mark, and learn!”
Murray Smith, Lecturer in Biblical Theology and Exegesis, Christ College, Sydney

“Doug O’Donnell has given us a thorough exposition that is wonderfully refreshing. What particularly struck me is that there is a model here for today’s preacher: arresting and accessible teaching for the ignorant new generations, and yet serious nourishment for the mature believer and the Bible student. And that sounds something like an echo of the master teacher in the Gospel records.”
Dick Lucas, Former Rector, St. Helen’s Bishopsgate, London; Founder, The Proclamation Trust

“With the mind of a scholar and the heart of a pastor, O’Donnell has provided an exegetically rich and practically applicable exposition of this shortest Gospel account. This commentary takes us into the heart of the text and reveals with clarity how to apply the text to our own hearts. Highly recommended!”
Matthew Newkirk, President and Professor of Old Testament, Christ Bible Seminary, Nagoya, Japan

"The shepherding, pastoral tone that permeates this commentary is evident on nearly every page, with astute applications that can come only from a sensitive preacher in touch with life and contemporary culture, as well as with illustrations that actually do serve the sacred text. Confidently recommended.”

R. Kent Hughes

Senior Pastor Emeritus, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois