Unlikely King

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we began a new preaching series entitled “Scandalous Jesus,” that parallels our journey of Lent. This week, I turned our attention to two episodes that set up the entire series and Jesus’ time in Jerusalem. The first was Jesus’ third prediction of His coming suffering in Jerusalem (Matthew 20:17-19) and the second relates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11). I explore these texts and also reflect on how we can see them in a fresh way once again.

This message is from the ninth part of our longer journey through the Gospel of Matthew, which includes “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” “Stories of the Kingdom,” “Who Do You Say I Am?“, “‘Tis the Reason,” and “Jesus Said What?!

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.


“Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, ‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death.’” (Matthew 20:17-18)

Jesus’ Shocking Predictions of Messianic Suffering

First prediction (Matthew 16:21) – in Caesarea Philippi

Second prediction (Matthew 17:22-23) – in Galilee on the way to Jerusalem

Third prediction (Matthew 20:17-19) – nearing Jerusalem

The Shocking Promise of Suffering and Hope of Resurrection (20:18-19)

Handed over – entrusted – betrayed; hints at the role of Judas

Condemned to death by the chief priests and teachers of the law

Mocked, flogged, and crucified by the Gentiles

Raised to life on the third day 

The Shocking Entry to Jerusalem (21:1-11)

Mount of Olives and the end of the age (Zechariah 14)

The contrast of Galilee and Jerusalem

The Messianic King arrives meekly, bringing true peace (Zechariah 9:9-10)

The secret is revealed and the crowd acclaims Jesus

The moment of confrontation has come

Seeing Jesus with Fresh Eyes

The Biblical journey

The Lenten community journey


Dig Deeper

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

  • Memorize Matthew 20:18-19 or 21:9
  • Draw, ink, or paint Matthew 21:1-11 as a basis for prayer. Take time to talk with God as you depict the scene in your own way. What is God speaking to you through this account of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem? 
  • Consider listening to the Bible Project podcast on Matthew 21, “Jesus, Prophet and Provocateur”

Scandalous Jesus – a new series at Eastbrook Church

This coming Sunday at Eastbrook Church we begin a new preaching series entitled “Scandalous Jesus.” This series traces the journey of Jesus in Jerusalem from His triumphal entry through His crucifixion.

This series also parallels the season of Lent and you are welcome to join in with the Lenten devotional we pull together every year written by the Eastbrook community. You can access the devotional online, as a downloadable PDF, via the Eastbrook app, or through a limited-run of paper copies.

This is the ninth part of our long series on Matthew, which includes “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” “Stories of the Kingdom: parables of Jesus,” “Who Do You Say I Am?“, “‘Tis the Reason,” and “Jesus Said What?!

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

Here are the weekly topics for this six-part series:

March 6 – “Unlikely King” – text: Matthew 20:17-19; 21:1-11

March 13 – “The Withering of the Old Ways” – text: Matthew 21:12-27

March 20 – “Pictures of the Kingdom” – text: Matthew 21:28-22:14

March 27 – “Questioning Jesus” – text: Matthew 22:15-46, focusing on 34-46

April 3 – “The Woes of the Religiously Misguided” – text: Matthew 23:1-38

April 10 [Palm Sunday] – “And So It Begins” – text: Matthew 26:1-16

Jesus on Taxes, Wealth, and God’s Generous Kingdom

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we concluded our preaching series entitled “Jesus Said What?!” by turning to another important topic: wealth. I led us through an exploration of four passages on this topic: Matthew 17:24-27; 19:16-30; 20:1-16; 22:15-22. In the end, I called us to live open-handed before God through a series of prayers included in the outline.

This message is from the eighth part of our longer journey through the Gospel of Matthew, which includes “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” “Stories of the Kingdom,” “Who Do You Say I Am?“, and “‘Tis the Reason.”

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.


“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.” (Matthew 20:1)

Two Taxes (Matthew 17:24-27; 22:15-22)

The Temple Tax (17:24-27)

The Poll Tax (22:15-22)

Lord, we open our hands before You to use our money for the good of Your kingdom and responsibly on earth.

The Upstanding, Rich, Young Man (Matthew 19:16-30)

An honest question, a spiritual hunger, and a sad departure (19:16-22)

Jesus’ general statement on wealth (19:23-24)

The shock of the disciples and the promise of Jesus (19:25-30)

Lord, we open our hands before You that You would set us free from idolatry of money.

A Story about God’s Generous Kingdom (Matthew 20:1-16)

A parable about the kingdom of heaven (20:1-12)

The unfair, but lavish generosity of God’s kingdom (20:13-16)

Lord, we open our hands before You that You would generously fill us and send us out with Your generosity.

Living Open-Handed with Jesus

Using our money for the good of God’s kingdom and responsibly on earth

Set free from the idolatry of moneyFilled up with God’s generosity and sent out with God’s generosity


Dig Deeper

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

  • Memorize Matthew 19:21 or 20:16
  • Select one of the segments of Scripture we explored this week for further study and reflection. As you take time alone with God, ponder what God is telling you about Him, about you, and about your discipleship. As God prompts you, respond in tangible action. 
  • If you haven’t already, make a budget of your income and spending. Consider how your budget reflects or prioritizes God’s kingdom. Ask God to help you wisely steward your resources. 

Jesus on Greatness

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our preaching series entitled “Jesus Said What?!” by turning to another important topic: greatness. Will Branch joins us to explore three passages on this topic: Matthew 18:1-6, 10-11; 19:13-15; 20:20-28.

This message is from the eighth part of our longer journey through the Gospel of Matthew, which includes “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” “Stories of the Kingdom,” “Who Do You Say I Am?“, and “‘Tis the Reason.”

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.


“… whoever wants to become great among you must be your servantand whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28)

Who is the Greatest?

  • Us: Power
  • The Disciples: Position
  • The Disciples Mom: Prestige

Jesus on Greatness

  • Those accepted into the kingdom
  • Those considered great in the kingdom
  • The pathway to greatness in the kingdom

Jesus’ Warnings

  • Don’t pull them down
  • Don’t get in the way
  • Don’t abuse your authority

Jesus Said What?! – a new series at Eastbrook

This coming Sunday at Eastbrook Church we begin a new preaching series entitled “Jesus Said What?!” On His way to the Cross Jesus teaches about a series of things we often avoid in the church or don’t associate with the teaching of Jesus. Join us as we explore things you may never knew Jesus addressed in His teaching.

This is the eight part of our longer series on Matthew, which includes “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” “Stories of the Kingdom: parables of Jesus,” “Who Do You Say I Am?“, and “‘Tis the Reason.”

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

Here are the weekly topics for this four-part series:

February 6 – “Jesus on Sin and Forgiveness” – text: Matthew 18:15-35

February 13 – “Jesus on Divorce and Marriage” – text: Matthew 19:1-12; 22:23-33

February 20 – “Jesus on Greatness” – text: Matthew 18:1-14; 19:13-15; 20:20-28

February 27 – “Jesus on Taxes, Riches, and God’s Generous Kingdom” – text: Matthew 17:24-27; 19:16-30; 20:1-16; 22:15-22