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).

Eastbrook at Home – November 7, 2021

Eastbrook-At-Home-Series-GFX_16x9-Title

Join us for worship with Eastbrook Church through Eastbrook at Home at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM.

This weekend we continue our series, “Who Do You Say I Am?,” as I preach from Matthew 15:29-39 about Jesus’ feeding of the four thousand in the vicinity of Magadan. We explore the passage and then talk about why there are two miraculous feeding stories in the Gospels.

This series continues our extended journey through the Gospel of Matthew, which includes our previous series “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” and “Stories of the Kingdom: parables of Jesus.”

We also continue in-person services at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 AM this weekend at the Eastbrook Campus, and you no longer need to RSVP ahead of time.

If you are new to Eastbrook, we want to welcome you to worship and would ask you to text EBCnew to 94000 as a first step into community here at Eastbrook.

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.

Jesus and the Canaanite Woman

This past weekend at Eastbrook, Pastor Ruth Carver continued our preaching series, “Who Do You Say I Am?”, by exploring the story of Jesus and the Canaanite Woman in Matthew 15:21-28. This is both a fascinating and challenging text, which at face value may seem like Jesus is hard and ethnocentric, but actually brings a special look into God’s sovereign plan of salvation and the nature of faith.

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.


Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. (Matthew 15:28)

The Request
• A Canaanite woman asks Jesus to heal her daughter.
• Jesus is off duty, needing rest.
• Woman is a representative of Israel’s enemy; she is “other”.

The Delay
• Jesus is silent.
• Jesus educates his disciples.
• Jesus tests the woman.
• The woman demonstrates her faith and perception.

The Answer
• Jesus heals the woman’s daughter.
• The woman gets a preview of God’s offer of salvation to the Gentiles.
• The disciples become prepared for the Great Commission.

Have Great Faith like the Canaanite Woman!
• Great faith is bold.
• Great faith involves our emotions.
• Great faith is persistent.
• Great faith is humble.
• Great faith involves our minds.


Dig Deeper:

Take one day to reflect on each of the five aspects of the Canaanite woman’s “great faith” this next week. Let the Holy Spirit show you how your faith can grow in these areas.

Day 1: Great faith is bold. (Eph 3:12, Heb 4:16)

Day 2: Great faith involves our emotions. (Psalm 6:6, Luke 7:44-48)

Day 3: Great faith is persistent. (Luke 18:1-8, Hebrews 12:1-3)

Day 4: Great faith is humble. (Isaiah 66:1-2, James 4:10)

Day 5: Great faith involves our minds. (Romans 1:20, 1 Cor 14:15, 2 Cor 10:3-5)

Eastbrook at Home – October 31, 2021

Eastbrook-At-Home-Series-GFX_16x9-Title

Join us for worship with Eastbrook Church through Eastbrook at Home at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM.

This weekend we continue our series, “Who Do You Say I Am?,” as Pastor Ruth Carver preaches from Matthew 15:21-28 about Jesus’ encounter with a Canaanite woman, which shows us some very interesting things about the nature of Jesus’ mission.

This series continues our extended journey through the Gospel of Matthew, which includes our previous series “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” and “Stories of the Kingdom: parables of Jesus.”

We also continue in-person services at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 AM this weekend at the Eastbrook Campus, and you no longer need to RSVP ahead of time.

If you are new to Eastbrook, we want to welcome you to worship and would ask you to text EBCnew to 94000 as a first step into community here at Eastbrook.

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.

What is the Heart of the Spiritual Life with God?

Jesus takes us beyond outward observation into the very heart of our lives. A special envoy of Pharisees from Jerusalem has come to interrogate Jesus but He confronts them with their confusion about what defiles and the heart of true spirituality with God:

Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” (Matthew 15:10b-11)

Jesus wants to take His hearers, and us, deeper than mere outward observance. While there is so much more to Jesus’ ministry, there are three things that Jesus intends to do through His teaching and ministry here:

  1. to bring us to the end of ourselves and our power where we know we need an intervention from God
  2. to transform us from the inside out through the saving intervention of Jesus Christ on the Cross 
  3. to grow us in the abundant life with God through obedience as we walk by faith under the influence of the indwelling Holy Spirit

The Pharisees have missed the point about what defiles human life. To have something defiled, meant that it was not holy and could not be in God’s presence or was displeasing to God. The Pharisees had become so enamored with ritual purity that they thought it was primarily what came into a person that defiled them. Now, it wasn’t just food that could defile someone. One could also be defiled by skin diseases, bodily fluids, or contact with someone who was unclean. But the principle the Pharisees lived by was that the external was what defiled. They are blind guides who will lead the blind astray.

Jesus brings it back to a deeper level. He says it’s what comes out of us that defiles us. Our words, yes, but more deeply, what comes from our hearts; our inner life. Hear those words again:

But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. (Matthew 15:18-19)

We must turn to our hearts. Again and again, Jesus drives toward the human heart. In Matthew 12, He says:

The mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. (Matthew 12:34b-35)

Jesus is a spiritual cardiologist of sorts, a spiritual heart doctor, and He is trying to get us back to that place with the living God. So how would Jesus diagnose our hearts? What soul-surgery would He recommend? How might we invite Him to do what’s necessary in the deep places of our lives?