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”