BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 11, Day 2: Matthew 9:35-10:4

Summary of passage:  After healing the blind and mute, Jesus then continued his ministry, preaching the good news and healing people all through his travels.  He had compassion on the throngs of people and realized he needed help so he told the disciples to pray for this.

Jesus gave his disciples the authority to drive out evil spirits and heal the sick.  The 12 disciples are:  Simon/Peter and Andrew, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew, James and Thaddaeus, Simon and Judas Iscariot.

Questions:

3a)  Because they were “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

b)  Psalm 23:1-3:  God provides all that we need.  He restores us and guides us in righteousness.

Isaiah 53:6; 1 Peter 2:24-25:  God takes away our iniquity for Himself, forgiven our sins, and allowed us to live for righteousness with Him.

Jeremiah 50:6,17:  Shepherds have led God’s people astray and Assyria and Babylon have devoured them. God will punish them for this and restore His people (read verses 18-20)

Ezekiel 34:5-16:  The Lord will be the people’s shepherd, searching for them and looking after them, rescue them and gather them and bring them unto their own land.  God will feed them and tend them, heal the injured, strengthen the weak, and bring back the lost.  He will be just.  God will punish the selfish shepherds who have disregarded His flock.  They will be punished and held accountable for their actions.

John 10:11-15:  Jesus is the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep.  He knows his sheep and they know him.  He brings other sheep that are not his to him as well.  He lays down his life for the sake of his sheep.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This would be everyone who does not know and accept Jesus. It’s hard to say amongst acquaintances if this is the case but I do have family members that don’t know Jesus.  I would say the best bet is to have compassion on everyone just like Jesus did.  That way, you’ll never lose.

4a)  “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.”  We are to pray for God to send out evangelists for Him.

b)  “Authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness”

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We are all given a purpose from God in life and I believe we follow Him when we act on this purpose.  For me, I try to follow His call.  I feel I have a lot of calls on my life at the moment so it is becoming increasingly difficult to decide which to focus on.  So I pray a lot and listen and go with what I feel is Him and what is most important to Him.

Conclusions:  Important follow up to why Jesus heals:  not because he has to prove anything but because he feels our needs and desires and heals for our sake, not his.  Most of us are not gifted to heal others physically but we can show compassion to all and pray for healing, for God to perform a miracle.  For He hears.

End Notes:  God as shepherd is a favorite image that spoke to an agricultural society such as God’s people in ancient times.  We see this imagery from Jacob in Genesis 48:15 all the way to Revelation 7:17 and all in-between.

The religious leaders of that time were poor shepherds like Ezekiel described.  They were selfish, only caring for themselves, neglecting the flock, especially those injured, diseased, sick, or lost.  They plundered the people for their own gain and for that they will pay.

Jesus has come to set things right and be the caring shepherd the people desperately need.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 11, Day 2: Genesis 12:1-3

Summary of passage:  God calls Abram to leave his country (Mesopotamia) for the land He will show Him (Canaan).  God promises Abram to make him into a great nation and He will bless him.  He will bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him. ALL people on earth will be blessed through Abram.

Questions:

3)  Country, people, relatives (father’s household) so family.  Basically, everything

4a)  Matthew 4:18-22:  Peter and Andrew left their livelihood (fishing) and James and John left their boat and father (livelihood and family) to follow Jesus when he called. Called to stop whatever you are doing.

Matthew 8:22:  Jesus told one disciple to “let the dead bury their dead”, meaning let the other family members who were not alive in Christ bury his father (verse 21) who just died.

I take this not as callousness of attending a funeral but that Jesus had to attend to the living.  He had more important work for the disciple to do than funeral arrangements that someone else in the family could handle.

Mark 8:34-36:  “He must deny himself, take up the cross, and follow me….loses his life for me.”  You no longer live for yourself but for Jesus.  Deny your desires and embrace His.  Surrender yourself to Christ.

The meaning of cross bearing today is a bit different from Jesus’s time.  If you bore a cross in 1st century AD, you were sentenced to death.  You were dying and there was no going back.  Today it has softened to meaning bearing something irritating like “grin and bear it.”

Jesus meant there is no going back.  Surrender your life COMPLETELY to him.  Not just put up with Jesus.

Luke 14:26-33:  Must “give up everything he has” in order to follow Jesus.  Jesus must come before family members.  Allow nothing to come between us and God.  Even good things such as family.  We must abandon all striving after our own interests–die to self. Be like Jesus.  Not like our sinful self.

1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 2:15-17:  God chose us so we must declare the praises of him to others.  We must do the will of God in our lives and forsake everything in and of the world which will inevitably pass away.

Conclusions:  This lesson reminds me that everything has a cost in this world; nothing is free.  The same with following Jesus.  Once accepted, we are called to more.  Sinful living is no longer acceptable.  Jesus demands a lot from us:  total commitment to him! For he gave himself for us.

God’s will must be first above all else and anyone else.  It’s what He desires for your life not what you desire.  If it’s not for Him, it’s meaningless.  We must yield completely to Him and surrender all self-interest in order to follow Him.  We must think of ourselves as dead, yield our life completely, and place it in God’s hands.

Only then can we live.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 11, Day 2: Hebrews 4:14-16

Summary of passage:  We have a great high priest (Jesus Christ) who has gone through the heavens and who has been tempted in every way, just as we have–but remained without sin.  He can sympathize with out weaknesses.

Questions:

3a)  A great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, and who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.

b)  According to Webster’s Dictionary, have also means “to receive, accept, and to stand in a certain relationship to”.  We receive, accept, and stand in a certain relationship to Jesus.

4)  Jesus’ greatest temptation was the questioning of who he is, what his mission was, and it’s ultimate fulfillment.  Jesus faced human temptations and had human emotions, which included human desires.  He didn’t want to die (his mission).  He probably had great joy in helping people and healing them.  The Devil tried to tempt him with human material items/desires.

This is significant because the Devil knows our greatest weaknesses as well.  He tried to tempt Jesus, playing off of Jesus’ greatest fears.

Jesus himself says the spirit is willing but the body (being human) is weak.  Isn’t this true for us all?  We all have good intentions but when it comes down to us, our humanness often wins in the end.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Probably fulfilling God’s desires for me with human intentions instead of with His intentions.  Doing His will selfishly, I guess, and on my own terms and not His.

c)  We can tell ourselves that if Jesus withstood temptations then so can we.  However, I’m unsure how helpful this will be because then we think ‘Well, that was Jesus.  I mean, He was great, powerful, the Son of God!  Of course he would withstand temptations.  If I were the Son of God, I’d be able to as well.  But I’m just a mere nobody mortal.’

Overcoming temptations is an act of will–nothing else.  We must be strong just like Jesus was and have the courage to stand up in the face of the Devil and our particular temptation.

5a) God and Jesus sit on the throne of grace.  God grants us grace.  So to approach the throne of grace is to approach God and Jesus with our problems, lay it out for them, and ask for help to solve/overcome them.  Here, we will find mercy and grace from the One who loves us beyond imagining.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I don’t like this question.  In my opinion, EVERY circumstance is especially needful.  If you have a need, God has the solution.  You need but ask.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  Philippians 4:6

If it worries you, take it to the throne.  NOW!  Don’t wait.  God isn’t waiting…

Right now, my family is praying for a move because the place we live is draining life from my husband and me.  We are praying He opens us up a home where we can stay for an extended period of time and quit moving around all the time.  We are praying for stability in a place we want to live.

I am praying for my husband’s job.  For him to feel appreciated for all the hard work he does or to open up a different opportunity where my husband can grow and bloom for a long time to come.

We don’t have a church right now.  We haven’t since we moved.  I just don’t have the heart to search one out.  Our church is at home right now, where we read the Bible and discuss God’s word together.

I pray generically for my country since I believe the problems are too great to name specifics.

Conclusions:  What I got out of this is Philippians 4:6.  We need to pray.  Pray with all of out might for ourselves, our family, for others, for our church, and for our nation.  And ask God, the solution master, for His will to be done.  And soon!  Then verse 7 says the peace of God will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.  We will have peace when we pray!

This is probably not what I was supposed to get out of Hebrews.  Oh, well.

I love this site for the passage:  http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/5804.htm

I use Enduring Word all the time for clarification but here they put it succinctly.  I used them for my answer to 5 and they were the ones who reminded me of Philippians.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 11, Day 2: Isaiah 24:1-6

Summary of passage: The Lord pronounces a curse on the Earth–He will devastate it and all of its inhabitants without exception.  The Earth dries up along with its people because the people have broken the ever-lasting covenant, disobeyed the laws and violated the statutes, and defiled the Earth.

Questions:

3a) The Lord will lay waste and devastate the Earth.  It will be totally plundered, its inhabitants scattered.  The Earth will dry up and wither.

b) Everyone

c) God says it will happen so it will happen.  I think God will destroy so He can renew; God will cleanse so we can be pure of heart and soul.  We can be prepared for that day by living our life in God’s ways.

4) The Earth is defiled by its people who have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes, and broken the everlasting covenant.

Conclusions: Curious as to what exactly was in this “everlasting covenant” that the people had broken that caused all of this destruction (you have to know if you want to avoid it!), I googled it.  Knowing God made a covenant with Noah that He’d never destroy the Earth again and sent us a rainbow as a sign of this promise, how can He destroy the Earth?

A covenant is a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action.  In this case between God and His believers.  God made many covenants with man over the course of history.  The Old Covenant would be between Noah and God, Abraham and God, etc all with the purpose and intent of having a relationship between God and man.

The New Covenant is a set of new agreements between God and man, outlined in Hebrews 8.  Here God promises to put his words into our minds and hearts (God will dwell in us not outside of us), forgive our sins, and offer us eternal life.

This New Covenant will be fulfilled when God/Christ returns to Earth to establish His kingdom.  This New Covenant provides a way for humans to have an intimate relationship with God.

Where does Jesus fit in?  Well, through the blood of Jesus, we were cleansed of our sins.  There is no other way to be cleansed and to dwell with God.

So what is Isaiah here talking about?  I’m not for sure because we haven’t studied all this in depth.  We must remember Isaiah lived BEFORE Jesus and although He prophesized the coming of Jesus, he probably didn’t understand what Jesus would mean for all believers after him and probably could not predict all the repercussions stemming from Jesus’s death on a cross.

So, based on the premise Isaiah did not predict the meaning of Jesus’s death, He is saying here in this passage:  for God to dwell with us here on Earth, man must be perfect because God cannot abide with sin.  So, to be perfect, we must be cleansed from sin so God can dwell with us.  Thus, I am extrapolating that these verses in Isaiah is the process Isaiah believed we must go through to be cleansed so God can live with us.  But this covenant Isaiah is referring to is the Old Covenant, and not the New Covenant just enumerated above.  So I am theorizing here that this prophecy will not happen literally; it will be figuratively.

Will the Earth be destroyed when Jesus comes back to bring His Kingdom to Earth?  My answer: doubtful.  I think a lot of people will be destroyed (the non-believers and such) but why would God destroy the place where He wants to set up His Kingdom?  There could be mass destruction of people and places when Jesus first arrives but I just don’t see the Earth vanishing in a puff of smoke and eradicated from the universe.  I believe God loves His creations too much to do such a thing.

Once again, I don’t know.  I’m just trying to figure all of this out in relation to Jesus.

The description of the New Covenant I summarized is taken from here:  http://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/what-is-the-new-covenant-god-offers-to-man.html

This was a great, easy to understand explanation if you want more info.