Stewards of the Kingdom

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our new series entitled “The Beginning of the End.” This series explores the resurrection of Jesus in tandem with some of Jesus’ teaching about the fall of Jerusalem and the end of all time. This weekend Gabriel Douglas preached from Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of the talents.

This message is from the tenth and final 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,” “Jesus Said What?!“, and “Scandalous Jesus.

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


“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day or the hour.” (Matthew 25:13)

  1. Be excited about Jesus’ Return
  2. Know what Jesus teaches by reading His word
  3. You cannot live off of someone else’s talents
  4. Surrender your talents to Christ and be ready for Him

Discussion questions

  1. When you think of Jesus’ return, what emotions do you feel?
  2. What talents and abilities do you know that God has given you?
  3. Are there times where you have used those abilities for your own gain?
  4. What servant do you resonate with? The one who returned on investment or the one who kept the talent for themselves?
  5. Read Hebrews 12:2, what does it mean to you that Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith?
  6. What is one way this week you can honor God with what He has given you?

Too Long Delayed?: Kenneth Bailey on the parable of the young women in Matthew 25

This past Sunday in my message, “Keep Your Lamps Lit,” I mentioned some insights from Kenneth E. Bailey about the parable of the ten young women and their lamps related to the wedding banquet. If you’re not familiar with Bailey’s work, particularly his book Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies on the Gospels, I strongly recommend you take a look.

Bailey, a New Testament scholar who lived most of his life in the Middle East, describes the scene of Jesus’ parable in this way:

The scene focuses on preparations for a wedding banquet that is to take place in the home of the groom. A great crowd of family and friends fills the house and pours out into the street in front of the dwelling. As the crowd is gathering, the groom and several close friends are making their way to the home of the bride, which is assumed to be across town or in a nearby village. From there the groom collects his bride and escorts her back to his family home, where the crowd awaits and the marriage feast will be held….When she [the bride] was ready, she would be placed on the back of a riding animal, and the groom, with his friends, would form a disorganized, exuberant parade. This happy group would take the longest possible route back to the groom’s home deliberately, wandering through as many streets of the village as possible so that most of the populace could see and cheer them as they passed. 

“In traditional village life in the Middle East, weddings would take place during the seven months of the hot and cloudless summer. At the groom’s home some of the crowd would therefore wait in the street as they anticipate the arrival of the meandering wedding party.”[1]


[1] Kenneth E. Bailey, Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008), 271-272.

Keep Your Lamps Lit

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our new series entitled “The Beginning of the End.” This series explores the resurrection of Jesus in tandem with some of Jesus’ teaching about the fall of Jerusalem and the end of all time. This weekend I preached from Matthew 25:1-13, a curious parable about being prepared for the arrival of Christ.

This message is from the tenth and final 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,” “Jesus Said What?!“, and “Scandalous Jesus.

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.


“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day or the hour.” (Matthew 25:13)

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like…” (25:1)

That time and Jesus’ coming (parousia)

The kingdom of heaven

An Overview of the Parable (25:1-12)

The setting of the wedding and anticipation of meeting the bridegroom (1-2)

  The two categories of young women: foolish without oil & wise with oil (2-4)

    The delay and falling sleep (5)

      The announcement (6)

    Awakening and preparation (7)

  The contrast in readiness: foolish needing to buy oil & wise ready with sufficient oil (8-9)

The arrival of the bridegroom and welcome for the wise who are ready (10)

The sad situation of the foolish who were not ready (11-12)

An Exhortation Toward Watchful Readiness (25:13)

Let us keep watch for Jesus’ return (Matthew 25:13)

Let us build our lives on Jesus’ teaching (Matthew 7:24-27)

Let us walk in the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 25:4; Revelation 4:5; Galatians 5:22-25)

Let us speak of Jesus and the good news (Matthew 24:14; 1 Peter 3:15)


Dig Deeper

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

The Beginning of the End – a new series at Eastbrook Church

This coming Sunday at Eastbrook Church we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and begin a new preaching series entitled “The Beginning of the End.” This series explores the resurrection of Jesus in tandem with some of Jesus’ teaching about the fall of Jerusalem and the end of all time.

This is the tenth and final 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,” “Jesus Said What?!“, and “Scandalous Jesus.”

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

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

April 17 [Easter] – “The End is Beginning” – text: Matthew 28:1-15

April 24 – “Signposts at the End” – text: Matthew 24:1-35

May 1 – “The Unknown Hour” – text: Matthew 24:36-51

May 8 – “Keep Your Lamps Lit” – text: Matthew 25:1-13

May 15 – “Stewards of the Kingdom” – text: Matthew 25:14-30

May 22 – “The Great Division at the End” – text: Matthew 25:31-46

May 29 – “The Great Commission” – text: Matthew 28:16-20

We’ll Leave the Light On (discussion questions)

Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message at Eastbrook Church this past weekend, “We’ll Leave the Light On: Becoming a Radically Welcoming Church.”

Discussion Questions:

1. This week at Eastbrook Church, we conclude our “Pave the Way” series with a look at hospitality. When have you experienced such deep hospitality that the welcome touched your soul?

2. Explore the following Scripture passages and discuss the role that hospitality plays in Jesus’ ministry and teaching: