BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 6, Day 5: Matthew 5:33-48

Summary of passage:  Jesus says to not swear oaths.  He says not to strike back against evil doers.  Instead, give to the one who asks you and go the extra mile.  He says to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you as God does.  Be perfect as God is perfect i.e. be like God.

Questions:

12a)  You shouldn’t need to swear by anything.  Your word should be enough.  God is a part of every word we breath; thus, oaths are unnecessary.

b)  You shouldn’t have to emphasize what comes out of your mouth if you speak from the heart.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That you don’t take the Lord’s name is vain.  That’s all I can come up with.  Otherwise, not sure what commitment I have made.  Maybe to speak truthfully and from the heart.

13a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Would be better if I loved my neighbor and made peace with my enemies.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Bless me more.

14)  Galatians 5:16:  Live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of a sinful nature

Ephesians 4:22-24:  Put off your old and put on your new self to be more righteous

Philippians 2:12-13:  God will work in you according to His purpose

Philippians 4:8:  Think about pure, noble, right, lovely, admirable things

Conclusions:  Didn’t get a lot out of this as you could probably tell from my answers.  I was thinking on 13a I should have put “worse” and should say that in class just to emphasize the poor quality of the question.  If we love our neighbor and enemies more, then obviously our relationships will be better.   Also, on b I should say “curse” or something.  Obviously, if we obey God’s commands, we receive blessings in return.

Be perfect means here to be more like Jesus and keep all of God’s commands not just a chosen few that suit you.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 6, Day 4: Matthew 5:27-32; Mark 10:1-12

Summary of passages:  Matthew 5:27-32:  Jesus says do not commit adultery and this includes anyone who looks at another lustfully is adultery in your heart.  If what causes you to sin is your eye or your hand, then get rid of it for it is better for you to lose one part of your body than your whole self to hell.

Jesus says except for marital unfaithfulness, you commit adultery when you divorce or marry someone who has been divorced.

Mark 10: 1-12:  Jesus answers the question is divorce lawful.  In the Old Testament, Moses permitted a man to divorce a woman.  Jesus said this was only because your hearts were hard. God intended for man and woman to be united in one flesh and to not have man separate what God has put together.

Jesus continues by saying if you divorce, then you are committing adultery against that person.

Questions:

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Pray.  Remove yourself from the situation where the impure thoughts happen like a work environment or what have you.  Read the Bible.  Quote scripture. Purposely replace those thoughts with quotes from the Bible.  Use God’s word as a shield against the devil and the thoughts he puts in your head.  Read another book or do a different activity to occupy the mind until the thoughts stop.

10)  Personal Question.  My answer:  1 Corinthians 10:13:  “…God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you  are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up against it.

Matthew 26:41:  “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

Galatians 5:16:  “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

Psalm 119:11:  “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

11a)  Marital unfaithfulness.  Mark adds because man’s hearts were hard.

b)  Essentially, that God never intended for divorce to exist.  That divorce is man’s institution and a supposed way around God’s law.  God made man and woman to be together and once together to join as one and to never be parted.

Conclusions:  I love how we are digesting Jesus’ teachings in little chunks and then looking in the Bible elsewhere for supporting themes.  Great study of the Bible and how to apply it in our daily lives.  Thank you BSF!

We are given the Deuteronomy verse here because this is the law the Pharisees had been using to justify divorce.  The problem was the word “Displeases” or “indecent” or “uncleanness” was ill-defined and subjective at best.  In Moses’ time, it was understood to mean unfaithful but by Roman times, it had been interpreted as any old excuse.   Hence, Jesus here clarifies it unequivocally by defining it as “marital unfaithfulness.”

Many of us fall into sin because of the situation around us.  It’s why your parents didn’t want you hanging out with kids who were bad influences because then you’d be more likely to sin because of it.  Good call by BSF to highlight that fact.  For it is up to us (especially as adults) to insulate ourselves if you will from sin by turning our backs on situations where we know we will be more likely to sin.

If you are an alcoholic, avoid places that serve alcohol.  If you are tempted to drugs, find different friends.  If you are attracted to someone you shouldn’t be, don’t be around that person.  For God always provides a way out.  Just many of us don’t chose it.

End Notes:  Again, Jesus is applying adultery to the heart, not merely to the actions.  You sin when you have lustful thoughts not just when you act on that lust.  They are not the same, but they are both sin.  You can extrapolate this to anything else you covet as well as evinced by the Ten Commandments and outlawed.

We are in charge of our thoughts and we must gain control if we are to win against the devil.  You must be willing to sacrifice in order to be more like Jesus.  And no one said it was easy.

2 Corinthians 10:5:  “…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

God does not recognize divorce.  It is an institution of man, not of God.  Hence, if you divorce and marry again, you are committing adultery because you are still married to your first spouse in God’s eyes.

It was commonplace for Romans to marry and then sleep around with others.  Extramarital affairs was not condoned  and divorce was rampant.  Hence, it was (and still is) very important for people to hear these words from Jesus to know the Truth when they were surrounded by society’s lies.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 6, Day 3: Matthew 5:21-26; 1 John 2:7-11, 3:10-24

Summary of passages:  Matthew 5:21-26:  Jesus says if you murder you will be judged.  And if you are angry with your brother you will be judged.  Jesus says to reconcile with your brother first and then offer a gift at the altar.  Then settle matters with your enemy before you end up in court.

1 John 2:7-11, 3:10-24:  You are not in the light if you hate your brother.  If you hate your brother, you are in the darkness.  You are a child of God if you do what is right and if you love your brother.  Thus, love your brother even though the world may hate you because of it.  If you do not love, you remain in death and will have no eternal life.

Since Jesus laid down his life for us, we ought to do the same for our brothers.  We must love with actions and truth, helping those in need.  We must believe in Christ and love one another so that we live in him and he in us by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Questions:

5a)  Deuteronomy 5:17

b)  Jews applied it literally to anyone who physically murdered someone.  Here, Jesus says we commit murder when we do not love.  We also commit murder when we do so in our hearts.  When we are so angry towards someone, we do things to hurt them over and over again.  Thus, we need to love our brothers.

6)  Personal Question.  My answer:  1 John 3:15:  Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer and thus will not receive eternal life.  This shows us just how powerful Jesus’ command is to love one another.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We should reach out to those whom we have differences with in order to reconcile those differences.  Do not grievances or anger fester.

8 )  The overarching theme is forgiveness and reconciliation.  Your disagreements imprison you.  You are a slave to hatred, contempt, anger, and bitterness that your whole life is affected to the point you are doing no good for His kingdom.  Your life becomes jaded and you are no longer able to perform God’s purpose for your life here on earth.

Talk to those whom you have differences with before it gets to the point where a judge must decide because in the end this will only cost you more.  Think of divorce settlements that go to arbitration.  Anytime you let someone else have control you give up something.  Take it upon yourselves to forgive and reconcile with people before it’s too late.  It may cost you more than money like a relationship as well.

Matthew 5:7:  “Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.”

Conclusions:  Great emphasis on the importance of love and forgiveness in our lives.  1 Corinthians 13:13:  “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these if love.”  The bible repeatedly talks about loving others (especially the New Testament) and it’s so easy not to in this world full of self-seekers out for themselves.

If you don’t love others, you might as well be murdering them.  That is my interpretation at least.  Nurture, forgive, and reconcile.  For life is too short to hold grudges and be a Scrooge.  Engage with others and you shall be rewarded.

End Note:  As we embark upon Jesus’ teachings, try to keep in mind Jesus is not against Moses here.  Jesus is against the Pharisees and scribes and their interpretations and limitations they placed on the law.  He is, in essence, re-establishing the law as God meant it; not as man has meant it.

We must remember that 99% of the population of the ancient world could not read.  All they knew was what they were told by the priests and they had to take that as God’s word.  Thus, the possibility for corruption was rampant here.  Hence, Jesus is now teaching them himself what God’s word truly says.  (If you are reading Killing Jesus, this is explained in much the same way on page 157).

Raca, again, another word lost in translation.  Here, it really means the attitude behind the word.  Where you are so angry at someone you despise them and wish them dead.  My study bible describes it as contempt.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 6, Day 2: Matthew 5:17-20

Summary of passage:  Jesus says he has come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets.  Nothing will disappear from the law until everything is accomplished.  If you break any of these command, you will be called least in the kingdom of heaven but if you practice and teach these commands you will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Questions:

3a)  That you cannot disregard the teachings of the Old Testament just because he is here and fulfilling it.  You still must obey the commandments.  (Reflects my post HERE again, doesn’t it?).  Jesus did not come to negate or destroy the word of God He had given to His people and the prophets.  He came to fulfill it.  Thus, through fulfilling it, the old laws had to be re-interpreted.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The same as Jesus’.  The Old Testament exists for our knowledge; so we learn from our mistakes.  It records the history of God’s people (our history) and gives us laws to follow.

c)  God.  The New Testament.  The Holy Spirit.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It is alive always.  Through prayer and study, it becomes ingrained in your heart and mind and propagates in your life.

4a)  The perfect righteousness of Jesus:  Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:20-22).  Romans 10:4 establishes Jesus as the end of the law for those who believe in him.  Old Covenant replaced with New Covenant (2 Corinthians 3:11 and Ephesians 2:15).

b)  Sacrifices:  Male without blemish (Leviticus 1:3 and Hebrews 4:15), offered continually (Exodus 29:38-39 and Hebrews 9:28; 10:8-11), to make atonement (Leviticus 1:4 and Hebrews 9:12)

c)  The prophecies of the Old Testament:  Just like we studied, he was born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), he was Immanuel, God with us (Isaiah 4:6), he performed miracles (Isaiah 35), he suffered for our sins (Isaiah 53), he established his kingdom during Roman times (Daniel 2:44).

Conclusions:  Question 4 was a doozy when we’re told to use the entire Bible.  Unsure what to think about this lesson or what BSF was trying to convey about the Old Testament versus the New Testament.  I’ll be anxious to hear the lecture on this one and read the notes.

I believe the point is this:  Jesus was the only one who could fulfill the Old Testament and all the laws because he was perfect.  Try as the Pharisees might, they were never perfect (Isaiah 64:6) and thus no one could stand before God as righteous.  We had to have Jesus to cleanse us and justify us before we could “enter the kingdom of heaven” and be with God.

And I believe that is Jesus’ point.  Everything in the Old Testament is true and should be obeyed.  Just now, Jesus will fulfill it and change some of the legalistic interpretations.