BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 1, Day 5: Matthew 1:18-25

Summary of passage:  Jesus’ mother, Mary was pledged to marry Joseph but before they got married she became pregnant through the Holy Spirit.  Joseph was going to divorce her until an angle of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and told him that the baby was from God and to not be afraid.  Name him Jesus because he will save his people from sin.

This fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 7:14) of a virgin giving birth to a son named Immanuel, “God with us”.  When Joseph awoke he obeyed the angel of the Lord and married Mary but did not sleep with her until she gave birth to Jesus.

Questions:

9a)  Genesis 3:15:  Christ will come from the line of Eve and will crush Satan

Genesis 49:8-12:  The scepter (or the kingship) will not depart from Judah until Christ comes to whom the kingship belongs and al the nations obey him i.e. Christ will come from Judah’s line.

Psalm 2:7:  Here God declares Jesus to be His son.  This whole Psalm is a prophecy of the Messiah.

Isaiah 7:14:  A virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son whose name shall be Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6-7:  A child will be born and given to us (God’s son) and he will rule and be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.  He will bring peace to the nations and reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom with justice and righteousness forever.

b)  Isaiah 7:14 in Matthew 1:23:  Isaiah is quoted, saying a virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son called Immanuel or “God with us”.

10a)  Joseph did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My plan it seems is never God’s plan so I have umpteen examples from my life.  I wouldn’t use the word “prove” though; I’d say “reluctantly followed” with much screaming and kicking along the way!  Seriously, with this whole teaching thing.  I believe it’s God’s will and I’m following it even though I never dreamed as a child I’d be a teacher.  Same with writing.  Same with motherhood.  Same with wifehood.  Etc.

11a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Well, adultery was punishable by death in ancient times so Mary was putting her life at risk by carrying God’s child.  She would have been scorned, looked down upon, shunned, etc by all her family and friends with a pregnancy out-of-wedlock.

Same for Joseph.  He was probably shunned as well for taking a wife who was pregnant instead of divorcing her.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The ultimate:  to be Jesus’ parents!  Also, God’s blessing beyond belief.  Eternal life.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I don’t like the word “suffer” here because being faithful to God does not always entail suffering nor do I believe you have to suffer for your faith.  Anytime you are called by God and you are faithful you are rewarded either here or there (heaven), either in things you can see or not see.

It’s very difficult to compare what Joseph and Mary went through to what we go through in the US in the twenty-first century as opposed to the first century.  We live in a very tolerate society and even if we do suffer for our faith it’s not usually a life or death suffering.  It’s more of a quality of life type of suffering.

We should all be encouraged and grateful when we compare our lives to Joseph’s and Mary’s.

Conclusions:  Didn’t like 11c if you couldn’t tell and the more I thought about it the more I didn’t like it.  You don’t have to suffer for your faith.  Suffering is in the mind anyways.  If you look upon your life as a blessing, you won’t suffer despite all the hardships for it’s all a gift from Him.  It’s the victim mentality.  You either choose to be a victim.  Or you choose to be blessed.  It’s up to you.

While I love the time period I have been born into and our tolerate society, we have sacrificed morals and values to be so tolerate.  I watched the movie “42″ over the weekend which is the Jackie Robinson story.  The coach of Jackie’s team was suspended for one year because he committed adultery.  You’d never see that in today’s society where it seems to be flaunted instead.  Thus, in some respects, I think you can go too far the other way.

Yearly Tip:  I encourage all of you to read the passages before and after.  In this instance, the entire Psalm 2 passage is a prediction of Jesus Christ.  You get a more complete picture reading the entire Psalm than just reading one verse stuck in the middle.

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5 comments on “BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 1, Day 5: Matthew 1:18-25

  1. Julia says:

    I have always enjoyed the comments and insights of A to Z Mom. One of the advantages of BSF questions is that we all can have a difference of opinion. I enjoyed looking at question 11a regarding suffering for your faith. A to Z didn’t like the question but I felt like it made me contemplate on how living and following Jesus can lead to suffering. I don’t feel that suffering is “in the mind” as A to Z states, and that “if we suffer for our faith it’s not usually a life or death suffering”. I do agree that in the U.S. our “suffering” takes the form of verbal ridicule such as being called bigoted, fundamentalist, right-winged, home-schooler; being called ignorant because I believe in creation and not evolution; called a homophobe because I oppose same sex marriage like the Bible concurs; I’m pro-life not pro-death in the abortion issue, etc. Our society is very tolerant to everything and everyone except Christians! We are the only group that is open target to verbal abuse. However, in other countries intense suffering and persecution takes place with killing Christians for studying the Bible, witnessing the Good News of Jesus, and falsely inprisoning and torturing our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our salvation is a free gift of God’s Grace, but our following Jesus may be costly. I think that this is what BSF had in mind with this question. Even Jesus talked about denying self, taking up our cross, being blessed for persecution in the Beatitudes. Our rewards are great as we share in the suffering for Christ as there is a crown of life(Rev 2:10). As we honor and glorify God in our suffering, His grace is sufficient for us to endure it (1 Peter 4:12-16).
    The world can be very hostile as many of our Christian friends are put in harm’s way with intense and physical and spiritual persecution in foreign countries. Even though in our country we are not yet been called to suffer death, many in other parts of the world are brutally killed, tortured, families torn asunder, etc. for being a follower of our Lord and Savior. Jesus said “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth…. but a sword (Matt 10:34-35). There will be trouble, suffering, and persecution to Christians but praise God, Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). But any suffering that we do is not worth comparing with the glory that will follow (Rom 8:18). As you can see this BSF question had me thinking in a different perspective than A to Z Mom which is what BSF is suppose to stimulate different ideas. Thanks to A to Z for her excellent site and for letting us ramble!

    • atozmom says:

      Julia,

      Thanks for your thoughts.

      Since the question was personal and asked specifically “you”, I answered from an American perspective. I believe we all know others around the world suffer and we are truly blessed to dwell in the United States in the twenty-first century so I purposely did not mention others as the question only asked for personal experiences. Now, if you’re called to journey to a country where Christians are persecuted, then yes, speak of those sufferings but here in the US we have nothing to complain about in comparison to Mary and Joseph and others around the world today. I’m sure our BSF friends around the world have a different perspective.

      I personally am proud to be called a homeschooler and don’t see that as a form of ridicule. Same with right-winger or left-winger for that matter. You either are left or right or somewhere in-between. That is a fact. Same with fundamentalist or traditionalist. Bigoted I have never been called so I can’t speak to that. Again, the question called for your experiences, not others.

      Christians are not the only group that is targeted. I would say other religious organizations would say they were targeted as well from the Mormans to the Islamic sects to Buddhists to Hindus. Any time you are confident in your beliefs, others will take a swing at you no matter what that belief may be. And other beliefs from politics, etc are targeted.

      Again, I do see it all as a matter of perspective and in the mind. Look at Joseph. He suffered. IMMENSELY. But he had faith. He had a positive attitude. He encouraged others. He impacted others. And he was protected by God and in the end saved God’s people. He never once complained. Thus, even though he “suffered”, he didn’t. For he never saw it as suffering. He saw it as fulfilling God’s plan for his life. As we all should do.

      • Julia says:

        Thanks to A to Z Mom for above comments. You are always very helpful to clarify positions and I appreciate what you do to assist us in learning and studying God’s word.

  2. leleh says:

    Thank you Atozmom for all your sharings! It’s really a blessing…. God bless!!!

  3. pete says:

    Julia – I have to agree completely with your comments. So well stated. Christianity is now, in America, the ONLY religion in which denigration publically is acceptable, even to the point where we are listed as a “hate” group by the Southern Law Poverty Journal. One can be fined for any derogatory comments toward Muslims or Islam. It appears that it will only get worse. True persecution is well on its way here. Also, remember there is no “cheap grace”. There is a cost of discipleship ! Giving up one’s life for Another. Even Jesus and Paul continually remind us that we will suffer trials and tribulation, which He will not keep us from but will instead walk with us through the fire. Thank you both for your perspectives.

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