His Glory Brings Joy

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our Advent journey and our new preaching series entitled “‘Tis the Reason.” This second week of the series takes us to one of the most fascinating stories in all the Gospels. In Matthew 17:1-13, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with him to a mountain where Jesus is transfigured before them and speaks with both Moses and Elijah. What does the transfiguration tell us about glory and what does that mean for our life with God in the everyday?

This message is part of the seventh part of our longer series on Matthew, which includes “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” “Stories of the Kingdom,” and “Who Do You Say I Am?”

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’” (Matthew 17:5)

A Vision of Glory (Matthew 17:1-3)

Jesus and the three

Jesus’ transfiguration 

Jesus in conversation with Moses and Elijah (cf. Luke 9:31)

Glory Surpassing Human Comprehension (Matthew 17:4-8)

Peter develops a plan

The divine interruption 

Overwhelmed by the glory of the Lord

Elijah and the Messiah to Come (Matthew 17:9-13)

The Messianic secret

Elijah who is to come and has come

Finding Joy in the Glory of Jesus

Celebrate God’s glory revealed in Jesus

Take joy in God’s glory mingled with love and mercy in JesusWorship with awe before God’s glory that surpasses human understanding 


Dig Deeper:

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

His Suffering Brings Peace

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we began a new preaching series, which also parallels the season of Advent, entitled “‘Tis the Reason.” This first week of the series focuses on Jesus’ first description of His pending suffering in Jerusalem and Peter’s monumental misunderstanding of Jesus’ calling as Messiah as seen in Matthew 16:21-28. Thus begins one of the most dramatic turns in the Gospel of Matthew from Galilee toward Jerusalem, and from Jesus’ Messianic identity being unveiled to His stark mission to suffer and rise again for humanity.

This message is part of the seventh part of our longer series on Matthew, which includes “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” “Stories of the Kingdom,” and “Who Do You Say I Am?”

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things…and that he must be killed and on the third day raised to life.” (Matthew 16:21)

A Different Sort of Messiah (Matthew 16:21)

“From that time on…”

The suffering Messiah

The resurrected Messiah 

Confusion About the Messiah (Matthew 16:22-23)

Peter’s rebuke

Jesus’ rebuke of Peter’s rebuke

The concerns of God versus the concerns of humanity

A Different Sort of Discipleship (Matthew 16:24-28)

Discipleship is shaped by a Cross
Discipleship loses one’s life in order to find it

Discipleship lives in light of the coming glory of Jesus

A Different Sort of Peace in Jesus

Seeing Jesus as Messiah in His own way

Encountering the Cross of Jesus the Messiah

Living in the Cross of Jesus the Messiah until full glory arrives 


Dig Deeper:

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

  • Memorize Matthew 16:21 or 16:24
  • Journal, draw, paint, or ink this episode of Jesus’ teaching and His interaction with Peter and the other disciples. As you do this, ask God to help you grow in understanding what He wants to speak to you about your relationship with Christ.
  • Reread the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) in light of Jesus’ description of discipleship here in Matthew 16:24-26. As you read, lay areas of your life down before the Lord, confess sin that God brings to your mind, and invite Jesus to be Lord of your life in new ways.
  • Consider reading further on the topics of this passage with John Stott’s The Cross of Christ or Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship.

“Naming” Jesus

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we concluded our preaching series, “Who Do You Say I Am?”, by finally drawing near to the text from which the title of the series arises: Matthew 16:13-20. In this dramatic turning point in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus asks His disciples a series of questions, including “Who do you say I Am?” Peter’s bold declaration of Jesus’ identity leads to an exchange between them. In a sense, Peter “names” Jesus, but in a deeper and more true way Jesus names Peter.

This message is part of the sixth part of our longer series on Matthew, which includes “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” and “Stories of the Kingdom.”

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, 
‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’” (Matthew 16:13)

Jesus’ First Question (Matthew 16:13-14)

“Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

Who Have People Said Jesus Is?

  • John the Baptist (Matthew 14:2)
  • Elijah (11:14)
  • Jeremiah or one of the prophets (12:41)

Jesus’ Second Question (Matthew 16:15)

“But what about you? Who do you say I am?”

How had the disciples previously named Jesus?:

  • Rabbi with authority to teach (4:18-22; 7:28; 13:10-17, 36)
  • Healer and miracle worker (8:14-15; 14:18-21, 25-27)
  • Enigma: “What kind of man is this?” (9:27)
  • Friend of Sinners (9:11-13)
  • Son of David (9:27)
  • Awesome one: “Truly you are the Son of God” (14:33)

Peter “Names” Jesus (Matthew 16:16)

“You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.”

Jesus is the Messiah

Jesus is the Son of the Living God

Jesus Names Peter (Matthew 16:17-20)

Jesus’ naming of Peter: “you are Peter”

An aside about Jesus’ command for silence on the matter

Encountering Jesus Today

Hearing Jesus ask us: “who do you say I am?”

“Naming” Jesus personallyHearing Jesus name us


Dig Deeper:

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

  • Memorize Matthew 16:15-16
  • Read through the Gospel of Matthew up to this point and note any way that Matthew records or describes titles of Jesus that would answer the question, “Who is Jesus?” Step back to reflect upon all the titles of Jesus given thus far in the Gospel of Matthew.
  • Take some time in stillness to reflect on Jesus’ question: But what about you? Who do you say I am?” How are you answering that right now? How might Peter’s answer or other titles of Christ in Scripture give shape to your answer?
  • Consider reading further on the titles of Jesus with John Stott’s The Incomparable Christ or Michael Scanlan’s Titles of Jesus.

Mixed-Up Priorities

This past weekend at Eastbrook, as we continued our preaching series, “Who Do You Say I Am?”, Fred Pierce preached on an interesting passage from Matthew 16:1-12. This begins with the religious leaders’ request for a sign from Jesus and then veers into a discussion with the disciples about their missing the point of what Jesus is doing.

Here’s a line from the message that really stuck with me: “Whatever we treasure our prioritize will captivate our hearts.”

This message is part of the sixth part of our longer series on Matthew, which includes “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” and “Stories of the Kingdom.”

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“‘Why is it you don’t understand that when I told you, Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, it wasn’t about bread?’ Then they understood that he had not told them to beware of the leaven in bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (Matthew 16:11-12)

Jesus tested by Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:1)
They were Jewish religious groups who did not have much in common
They disagreed about significant theological matters
The only thing that they agreed on was not liking Jesus

Jesus responds to their questions (Matthew 16:2-4)
Jesus uses a simple parable about the sky
Jesus calls them out as evil and adulterous
They missed the Kingdom of God through Jesus Jesus speaks of the greatest sign that would be given
Reflect on Matthew 12:39-40
Jesus left

Jesus warns the disciples about the Pharisees/Sadducees (Matthew 16:5-12)
The disciples were worried about their bread
Jesus warns the disciples of the leaven
The disciples were seeing the natural/not the spiritual
The disciples were missing what was right before them
The disciples were falling into a similar trap (vss8-10)
Watch out for self-righteous religion that pulls away from relationship with Jesus


Dig Deeper:

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

  • Meditate on the message of Jesus in Matthew 16:11-12
  • Journal or reflect about times when you have allowed the systems and norms of this world to distract you from what the Word of God says.
  • How can you grow deeper in relationship with Jesus this week?
  • Read more about this weeks message in the following passages:
    • Matthew 12:39-40
    • Matthew 28:11-15
    • Acts 23:7-8
    • Romans 10:8
    • Hebrews 12:18
    • 1 Corinthians 10:9
    • Proverbs 26:5
    • Isaiah 1:3
    • Jeremiah 8:7

Soul Food: Feeding the 4,000

This past weekend at Eastbrook, as we continued our preaching series, “Who Do You Say I Am?”, I walked us through the account of Jesus feeding the 4,000 in Matthew 15:29-39. This story echoes another we have already looked at in the feeding of the 5,000. While I do dig into the actual account, one of the questions I try to answer is: why are there two miraculous feeding stories in the gospels?

This message is part of the sixth part of our longer series on Matthew, which includes “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” and “Stories of the Kingdom.”

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.’” (Matthew 15:32)

Jesus’ Amazing Healing (Matthew 15:29-31)

Great crowds with great needs

Great healings and great praise

Jesus’ Compassionate Heart (Matthew 15:32-33)

“I have compassion for these people …”

Jesus’ Abundant Feeding of a Great Crowd (Matthew 15:34-39)

Recognizing the needs of the crowd and limited provision

Jesus’ action: take – give thanks – break – give 

The miraculous provision for the crowd 

Why Are There Two Miraculous Feedings?

Reemphasizing the power and compassion of Jesus 

Emphasizing how Jesus’ ministry begins with the Jews but also reaches the Gentiles.

Seeing Jesus Again

His compassion moves Him

His miracles touch real needs: healing and feeding

His work for the Jew first, but also for the nations


Dig Deeper:

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

  • Memorize Matthew 15:36
  • Pray and reflect on Jesus’ phrase in 15:32, “I have compassion for these people.” Ask God to show you His compassion for you. Ask God to show you His compassion for others. If the Lord brings someone specifically to mind, pray for them. If the Lord brings to mind a tangible way you can minister to them, do it.
  • Journal, draw, paint, or ink this story or some aspect of it as a way of reflecting on who Jesus is and how you most need to meet with Him.
  • Consider reading Christopher J. H. Wright’s book, The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission or Henri Nouwen’s book, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World, which depicts the spiritual life through Jesus’ fourfold action in this story (taken – blessed – broken – given).