Real Life: an exploration of the Beatitudes

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we began a new series “Becoming Real” which will explore the Sermon on the Mount by looking at the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12. The Beatitudes are a very familiar portion of Scripture, so it can be difficult to hear them afresh, but I did my best to help us see both how shocking and how life-giving these statements by Jesus about the flourishing life really are.

You can view the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire “Becoming Real” series here, as well as the devotional that accompanies the series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.”  (Matthew 5:1-2)

Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount

  • Matthew’s Gospel organized around 5 discourses:
    • Matthew 5-7
    • Matthew 10
    • Matthew 13
    • Matthew 18
    • Matthew 24-25
  • The disciples as the focus, but the crowd listening
  • The Sermon on the Mount as the Discipleship Handbook for living in God’s kingdom

The Beatitudes and What it Means to be “Blessed”

  • The meaning of μακάριος – blessed, happy, it will go well with, fortunate, flourishing
  • The flourishing life in the kingdom of heaven
  • The unexpected

Exploring the Beatitudes

  • Exploring them one at a time
  • Seeing the “two tables” of the Beatitudes

Living the Good Life in God’s Kingdom

  1. Knowing and following Jesus
  2. Responding to Jesus’ invitation to enter God’s kingdom
  3. Considering what it means to be blessed or to flourish
  4. Living with God now in light of the end

Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper into the Beatitudes in one or more of the following ways:

  • Consider memorizing one or all of the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12.
  • Read and meditate upon the Beatitudes one per day on your own or with a friend. Write down one thing you learned each day and share with another person.
  • Consider watching Tim Mackie of The Bible Project discuss the Beatitudes
  • Explore parallels to the Beatitudes in other parts of Scripture:
    • Psalm 1:1; 32:1-2; 40:4; 119:1-2; 128:1
    • Isaiah 61
    • Matthew 11:6; 13:16; 16:17; 24:45
    • Luke 1:45; 10:23; 11:27-28

Eastbrook at Home – February 21, 2021

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Join us for worship with Eastbrook Church through Eastbrook at Home at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM. This weekend we begin the journey of Lent. We also begin a new preaching series, “Becoming Real,” which continues our extended journey through the Gospel of Matthew, which began with “Family Tree” and “Power in Preparation.” This week I will explore the first section of the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, found in Matthew 5:1-11.

Join in with the Eastbrook 365 daily devotional for this series here.

We also continue in-person services at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 AM this weekend at the Eastbrook Campus, but you do need to RSVP ahead of time. Find out more info here.

Each Sunday at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM, you can participate with our weekly worship service at home with your small group, family, or friends. This service will then be available during the week until the next Sunday’s service starts. You can also access the service directly via Vimeo, the Eastbrook app, or Facebook.

If you are not signed up for our church emailing list, please sign up here. Also, please remember that during this time financial support for the church is critical as we continue minister within our congregation and reach out to our neighborhood, city, and the world at this challenging time. Please give online or send in your tithes and offerings to support the ministry of Eastbrook Church.

Becoming Real: The Sermon on the Mount – a new series at Eastbrook

This coming weekend at Eastbrook Church we begin a ten-week preaching series entitled “Becoming Real,” walking through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, chapters 5-7. This is the third part of our longer journey through the Gospel of Matthew, building upon “Family Tree” and “Power in Preparation.”

This series explores Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount as a basic manual on Christian discipleship, life in the kingdom of God, and re-humanization in Jesus Christ. Jesus begins His ministry – His ministry is becoming real. He invites us to follow Him and learn from Him – discipleship is becoming real. That invitation to Christ calls us toward true humanity – in Him we are becoming real. Join us as we begin the journey with Jesus of becoming real.

You can also join in with the daily devotional for this series online, as a downloadable PDF, via the Eastbrook app, or through a limited-run of paper copies available at our in-person worship services or by reaching out to the Eastbrook Church office.

Join us each weekend of this series in-person or via Eastbrook at Home.

Here are the weekly topics for the series:

February 21 – “Real Life” – Matthew 5:1-11

February 28 – “Real Identity” – Matthew 5:12-16

March 7 – “Real Righteousness” – Matthew 5:17-48

March 14 – “Real Spirituality” – Matthew 6:1-18

March 21 – “Real Treasure” – Matthew 6:19-24

March 28 – “Real Faith” – Matthew 6:25-34

April 4 – “Real Life” – Easter Resurrection Celebration

April 11 – “Real Perspective” – Matthew 7:1-6

April 18 – “Real Prayer” – Matthew 7:7-11

April 25 – “Real Love” – Matthew 7:12

May 2 – “Real Response” – Matthew 7:13-29

Journey to the Cross 2021: beginning our Lenten journey

Join us this Wednesday, February 17, at 7 PM, in-person or via live stream for the beginning of our Lenten journey at Eastbrook Church with our annual Journey to the Cross service. Each year, we invite everyone to fast during the day and break the fast by participating in the Lord’s Supper together at this service. For more information on fasting, take a look here.

You can access the Journey to the Cross Program here and the kids packet for the night here.

This also begins our Lenten (and beyond) devotional journey, “Becoming Real,” written by the Eastbrook community that accompanies our new sermon series on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. You can access the devotional online, as a downloadable PDF, via the Eastbrook app, or through a limited-run of paper copies.

For more information on the importance of Lent and the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday, consider reading this post: “What is Ash Wednesday and Lent?

Bibliography for Power in Preparation

When I conclude a sermon series, I usually share resources I utilized in my study and preparation for sermons. Here is the bibliography for our recent series, “Power in Preparation,” which is the second part of an extended walk through the Gospel of Matthew, focused on Matthew, chapters 3-4.

Bibliography for “One: The Being of God in the Life of the Church”

Jeannine K. Brown and Kyle Roberts. MatthewThe Two Horizons New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2018.

Michael Joseph Brown. “The Gospel of Matthew.” In True to Our Native Land: An African American New Testament Commentary, edited by Brian K. Blount, 85-120. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2007.

Raymond E. Brown. The Birth of the Messiah: A Commentary on the Infancy Narratives in Matthew and Luke. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1977.

John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew. NPNF, series 1, vol. 10. Edited by Philip Schaff. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2004.

David S. Dockery. “Baptism.” In Dictionary of New Testament Background, edited by Craig A. Evans and Stanley E. Porter, 55-58. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

R. T. France. The Gospel of Matthew. NICNT. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007.

Romano Guardini. The Lord. Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1954.

Howard. W. Hoehner. “Herodian Dynasty.” In Dictionary of New Testament Background, edited by Craig A. Evans and Stanley E. Porter, 485-494. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

Craig S. Keener. Matthew. IVPNTC. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1997.

Scot McKnight. “Matthew, Gospel of.” In Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, edited by Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, and I. Howard Marshall, 526-541. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992.

Eugene Peterson. The Jesus Way. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007.

Manlio Simonetti, editor. Matthew 1-13. ACCS. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2001.

Burton H. Throckmorton, Jr. Gospel Parallels: A Comparison of the Synoptic Gospels, 5th edition. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1992.

Ben Witherington III. “Birth of Jesus.” In Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, edited by Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, and I. Howard Marshall, 60-74. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992.