Bibliography for Becoming Real: The Sermon on the Mount

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, “Becoming Real,” which is the third part of an extended walk through the Gospel of Matthew, focusing on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 5-7.

Bibliography for “Becoming Real: The Sermon on the Mount” [Gospel of Matthew, part 3]

Dale C. J. Allison. The Sermon on the Mount: Inspiring the Moral Imagination. New York: Herder, 1999.

Augustine of Hippo. Augustine: Sermon on the Mount. NPNF, series 1, vol. 6. Ed. by Philip Schaff. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994.

Kenneth E. Bailey. Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Discipleship. Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Vol. 4. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001.

Jeannine K. Brown and Kyle Roberts. Matthew. The 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.

John Calvin. A Harmony of the Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke, Volume 1. Trans. By A. W. Morrison. Calvin’s Commentaries. Ed. by David W. Torrance and Thomas F. Torrance. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1972.

John Chrysostom. Chrysostom: Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew. NPNF, series 1, vol. 10. Ed. by Philip Schaff. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994.

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

Jeffrey P. Greenman, Timothy Larsen, and Stephen R. Spencer, eds. The Sermon on the Mount through the Centuries: From the Early Church to John Paul II. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2007.

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

Robert A. Guelich. The Sermon on the Mount: A Foundation for Understanding. Waco, TX: Word, 1982.

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

Martin Luther King, Jr. Strength to Love. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2010.

Amy-Jill Levine. The Sermon on the Mount: A Beginner’s Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven. Nashville: Abingdon, 2019.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1960.

Martin Luther. The Place of Trust: Martin Luther on the Sermon on the Mount. Ed. by Martin E. Marty. San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1983.

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.

________. Sermon on the Mount. The Story of God Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013.

F. B. Meyer. Blessed Are Ye: Talks on the Beatitudes. New York: Thomas Whittaker, 1898.

Jonathan T. Pennington. The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing: A Theological Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2018.

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

G. N. Stanton. ”Sermon on the Mount/Plain.” In Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, edited by Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, and I. Howard Marshall, 735-744. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992.

John R. W. Stott. The Sermon on the Mount. The Bible Speaks Today. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1978.

Charles H. Talbert. Reading the Sermon on the Mount: Character Formation and Decision Making in Matthew 5-7. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2004.

Helmut Thielicke. Life Can Begin Again: Sermons on the Sermon on the Mount. Trans. By John W. Doberstein. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1963.

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

Miroslav Volf. Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1996.

Dallas Willard. The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God. San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins, 1998.

Real Response: receiving the invitation of Jesus

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we concluded our series on the Sermon on the Mount, “Becoming Real,” as I explored the final section in Matthew 7:13-29.

Most Bible scholars agree that the bulk of the teaching by Jesus ends with the golden rule in Matthew 7:12. What remains is Jesus’ call for response to His teaching framed by four images of the stark difference between those who are His and those who are not. This section is so memorable that many of Jesus’ references have become stock phrases in our vocabulary, such as “walking the straight and narrow” or “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” But more than simply offering powerful teaching or insights, Jesus really aims at inviting those “with ears to hear” into disciple-life with Him.

You can find 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.


“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching.”
(Matthew 7:28)

Two Ways: The narrow and wide gates (Matthew 7:13-14)

  • The gate and the road to two different ways of life
  • Beware!: the eternal outcome is the result of the way we choose
  • Hear and respond to Jesus’ invitation to His way

Two Trees: True and false messengers (Matthew 7:15-20)

  • Messengers can be true or false prophets
  • Beware!: appearance versus reality in those outside the disciple community; watch for wolves
  • Pay attention to the fruit of messenger’s lives

Two Verdicts: The final judgment on true and false disciples (Matthew 7:21-23)

  • Two types of disciples: the known and the not-known; the obedient and the not obedient
  • Beware!: appearance versus reality in those inside the disciple community

Pay attention to what’s beneath the surface

Two Foundations: Those who do and don’t put Jesus’ words into practice (Matthew 7:24-27)

  • Two approaches to building our lives: hearing Jesus’ teaching or living Jesus’ teaching
  • Beware: the outcome of building our lives will reveal our foundation
  • Respond to Jesus’ teaching by building upon it

Invitation to the Disciple Life

  • Hearing Jesus’ call
  • Considering what Jesus’ call means for our life
  • Responding to Jesus’ call personally and decisively
  • Pursuing the disciple-life with Jesus in every area of life

Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper into Jesus’ teaching on our response to Him in one or more of the following ways:

  • Memorize Matthew 7:13-14 or 7:21 or 7:24 this week.
  • Set aside some time this week to read Matthew 7:13-29 again. Then write, draw, paint, or pray aloud your own response to Jesus’ teaching. You may even want to portray visually the four contrasts in this passage.
  • Read back through the Sermon on the Mount in one sitting, either by yourself or with others. Prayerfully consider your response to Jesus’ teaching on discipleship and the good life in God’s kingdom. Write a letter to Jesus expressing your response to Him.
  • Consider reading Jonathan Pennington’s article, “3 Things You Didn’t Know About the Sermon on the Mount”

Eastbrook at Home – May 2, 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 conclude our preaching series, “Becoming Real,” as I walk through the final section of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:13-29.

This continues our extended journey through the Gospel of Matthew, which began with “Family Tree” and “Power in Preparation.”

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.

“In Everything”: the comprehensive call to love our neighbor

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

Now, even though it could feel like Jesus’ summary statement in Matthew 7:12 is the sort of thing you would find in All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, there is one little phrase that makes that impossible. It’s this phrase: “in everything…” This little phrase, just one word in Greek, captures so much.

Now, think with me about what it would look like for all of our actions to reflect this:

  • what actions would we take in order to love others: our spouses, our colleagues, our children, our parents, total strangers, those in need?
  • what actions would we hold back from in order to truly love and serve others?

Consider what it would look like for all of our words to reflect Jesus’ guidance:

  • what words would we speak in order to truly love and serve others?
  • what words would never cross our lips in order to truly love and serve others?

And then there are our thoughts, our inner meditations. Jesus once said,

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45)

We often talk about having a filter on what we say or do. It is good to have a filter, but what would it look like to let our thoughts and inner, unexpressed desires reflect Jesus’ teaching about treating others the way we would want to be treated. Consider with me:

  • what do our inner thoughts say about how much we truly love others?
  • what do we say in private about others that we would never speak in public? Why is there a difference?

And what about one more category that may seem strange. What about our non-thoughts; the ways we naturally see and evaluate people and situations without even thinking about it? What do our non-thoughts—our prejudices, assumptions, and non-cognitive ways of assessing people—say about our love or lack of love for others? How might our lives and interactions with others be transformed as we let God reach into and transform our non-thoughts?

Jesus tells us:

“In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

From top to bottom, from the inside to the outside,Jesus’ disciples live in God’s love and live with God’s love for others.

Real Love: the golden rule

This past weekend at Eastbrook, as we continued our series “Becoming Real” on the Sermon on the Mount, we looked at the one verse that summarizes the Sermon on the Mount, as well as the Law and the Prophets:

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

This one little verse, known as the golden rule, is perhaps one of the most famous statements of Jesus, even if many do not attribute it to Him.

You can find 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.


“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

The Summary Statement

  • Summarizing the Law and the Prophets
  • Summarizing the Sermon on the Mount

Living with Love for Others

  • Echoes in the Gospel of Matthew
  • Echoes in the Scriptures
  • Echoes in other sources
  • The resounding positivity of Jesus’ command

In Everything

  • Our actions
  • Our words
  • Our thoughts
  • Our non-thoughts

Living in Love as Jesus’ Disciples

  1. We need to live in God’s love for us.
  2. We need to cultivate God’s love for others.
  3. We need to let God change us more and more through His love.

Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper into Jesus’ teaching on real love in one or more of the following ways:

  • Memorize Matthew 7:12 this week.
  • Take time to pray through your relationships (e.g., friends, spouse, family members, coworkers, neighbors, classmates), asking God to help you love them more fully. Then consider people you find it difficult to love, whether in these relationships or not. Ask God to change your heart and help you put love into action.
  • Put love into action this week by spending time with or serving someone in a practical way: make a meal, stop by to visit, make a phone call, listen, help with a project, or some other way.
  • Consider reading an article with background on this passage by John J. Collins, “Love Your Neighbor: How It Became the Golden Rule”