BSF Study Questions John Lesson 28, Day 4: John 20:19-23

Summary of passage:  Jesus appeared to the disciples as they huddled together, afraid of the Jewish authorities.  He showed them his hands and thighs and the disciples were overjoyed at seeing Jesus.  Jesus gave them the Holy Spirit and commissioned them to the world.

Questions:

9a)  He personally appears to them.  He gifts them with the Holy Spirit to guide them in his ways.  He shows them his wounds.  He blesses them with peace.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Above all, by choosing me to be a believer.  By giving me a purpose for my life and a means to achieve it through Him.

10)  He appears to Mary who clings to him physically.  He appears to the disciples and shows them his wounds physically.  Luke tells us he ate food with his disciples.  He appeared to the disciples and others over a period of 40 days and spoke of God’s kingdom.  He appeared to more than 500 of his brothers at the same time.  He appeared to James.  He appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus.  Jesus must rise again to conquer death so we can live forever with the Father.  It proves the Gnostics of the time wrong that he only died a spiritual death.

11)  Privilege:  They are the chosen ones to spread the Good News.

Authority:  Jesus personally commissioned them.

Power to accomplish the commission:  Jesus gave them the Holy Spirit to aid in their mission and peace as well.

Message:  If you forgive others, they are forgiven as Jesus has forgiven them of their sins.  If you don’t forgive them, they aren’t.

Conclusions:  Not a big fan of these questions.  Repetitive.

End Notes:  This is the same day that Mary saw Jesus at the empty tomb.  5 times Jesus appeared on Resurrection Day:

  1.  To Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18)

2)  To the other women (Matthew 28:9-10)

3)  To the two on the road to Emmaus (Mark 16:12-13, Luke 24:13-32)

4)  To Peter (Luke 24:33-35, 1 Corinthians 15:5)

5)  To ten of the disciples, Thomas and Judas being absent (John 20:19-23)

Jesus prayed for them to stay together and they did (John 15:17)–all except Thomas, who we don’t know why he wasn’t there.

Jesus visits small groups of people (one exception in 1 Corinthians 15:6) in remote areas or closeted indoors.  By the garden tomb, in a locked room, on the road toe Emmaus, beside the Sea of Galilee, atop Mount Olives–such private encounters bolster the faith of people who already believed in Jesus.

Fun Fact:  As far as we know, not a single unbeliever sees Jesus after his death.

What would have happened if Jesus made a public spectacle and appeared before Pilate?  Would it have bolstered faith?  Jesus tells us no.  “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even is someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:31).

Jesus appeared amongst them despite the locked doors.  Jesus did not rebuke his disciples for abandoning him at the cross.  Instead, he told them “peace” or all is well.  Jesus revealed himself and invited all present to touch him to prove he’s real (Luke 24:39-40).  Jesus came for us.  He was also calming the disciples at his sudden appearance.

Jesus commissions them to do his work on earth such as he prayed in John 17:18.  Luke tells us there are others there besides the disciples.  Jesus sends them as well!  We are sent in the same way–for Jesus!

Jesus gives the disciples the Holy Spirit as their guide, John purposefully connecting this with Genesis, saying Jesus breathed on them.  Cool!  I want Jesus to breathe on me!  This is re-creation or born again.  This is Jesus’ spirit as well.

This also creates the duty of the church to forgive and warn of the consequences of unforgiveness.  We are the messengers, announcing forgiveness according to God’s word.  In essence, if you repent of your sins and believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, you will receive God’s forgiveness.

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BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 28, Day 3: Various Passages for the Day

Summary of passages:  Various passages for the day.

Questions:

5)  Part-personal Questions.  My answers:  Fallen.  Bible describes it as cursed and sin made it so.  Paul adds in Romans a world of suffering, decaying, and groaning.

6a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m assuming “this contrast” refers to the state of earth versus the state of heaven.  I look forward to the next life, but I don’t long for it.  I have work here yet to do and until that’s done I focus on God’s will for me here on earth.  It’s such a short time.  Eternity is not going anywhere.  But my earthly life is and I will be sad for all of eternity if I don’t accomplish God’s purpose for me here.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Like I said above, I focus on God’s will for my life here to bring me contentment (Ephesians 2:10).  Serve others.  Teach others.  My kids first about God’s love.  And whoever else God brings to my path.  If I live consciously for God, He’ll take care of the rest.

Conclusions:  Anyone want to explain to me how this all relates to the book of Revelation?  This lesson was bad and repetitive (how many times have we been asked about bringing others to Christ?)  This has definitely been the most evangelical of BSF’s studies so far that I’ve done.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 28, Day 3: Deuteronomy 31:30-32:14

Summary of passage:  Moses spoke his song to the people.  Moses proclaims God’s greatness and the people’s sins.  Remember the days of old and what God has done for His people.  He cared for them and nourished them.  He alone.

Questions:

5)  Let his words fall like rain, descend like dew, shower new grass, and abundant rain on tender plants.

6a)  God is first in his life.  It’s the first thing he talks about is how great is the Lord, how faithful and just and perfect.  He talks of God’s character with very intimate words.  His love for God is obvious.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  By speaking of all of the blessings upon me and not complaining.

7a)  Even when the people acted corruptly and foolishly, God cared for His people, giving them the land, bringing them through the desert, shielding them and guarding them, and letting them take flight while watching over them to make sure they didn’t fall.  He fed them with the fruit of the fields, nourished them with honey and gave them labs and goats and rams and wheat and drink.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Lessened my fear of my husband’s job being lost.  Blessed me with a free gym membership.  Given me more time to write.  Things are winding down (school and BSF) so I will have more time to write.  I thank Him in prayer, living out my life like Jesus, and doing His will as much as possible.

Conclusions:  Love the prayer model of proclaiming who God is, what He’s done for us, and who He is. Good stuff!

End Notes:  Moses asks for attention from Israel and all of creation, praising God for who He is and what He has done.  He calls attention to the Israelites’ sin, and speaking of God’s love and grace, he hopes to call the people back.

Fun Fact:  This is the first time God is called “the Rock” in Scripture.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 28, Day 5: 1 Peter 2:13-25

Summary of passage:  Peter says to submit ourselves to every authority instituted among men who are sent by him (God) to punish those who do wrong and commend those who do right.  And doing good will silence the ignorant.  Live as servants of God and do not use freedom as an excuse to do wrongs.  Respect everyone; love believers; fear God; honor authority.

Slaves submit yourselves to your masters whether good or bad.  It is commendable if you endure under unjust suffering because you are conscious of God to which you were called because Christ suffered for you, leaving the example.  Christ never retaliated or made threats.  Instead, he trusted God.  He died so that we may die to sin and live for righteousness.  By his wounds we have been healed.

Questions:

13)  Peter says we are to obey authority instituted among men because governments have a rightful authority from God and as long as they are not doing anything against God’s laws then we must obey.  The Jews in this time did not believe they should obey those who did not hold their beliefs.

Today I see little to no respect for authority or the government (and definitely nothing close to submission).  Everything government related we grumble and complain.  For this I cannot blame people.  Government today is nothing like government was in Peter’s time.  I would be curious to hear what the apostles would say about our government today.

14)  Because he is conscious of God and it is a calling because Christ suffered for you, leaving the example.

15)  Jesus did not retaliate or offer threats.  He entrusted himself to God and set the example that when we suffer we do so for God.

This question does not say personal so I’m assuming you is the plural form and not meant to be specific.  But I will just say I haven’t suffered unjustly as of yet to be honest.  Sure, I’ve suffered but who ever said it was supposed to be just?  Christ’s suffering wasn’t just so we shouldn’t expect our suffering to be just either.

Conclusions:  Again, I didn’t get a lot out of this.  Repetitive in the advice:  respect everyone; love believers; fear God; honor authority.  Anyone else getting tired of hearing this?

BSF questions are supposed to be where you are at and where I live there is no slavery (legally that is) so from my viewpoint it’s hard to relate to slavery and masters.  We are also a free society (to which could be argued but according to our Constitution we are free and definitely free when compared to Peter’s time) so submitting to government is hard to relate to as well since we’re not being asked to break God’s laws or being persecuted like Peter was under Roman authority.

In essence, applying this particular passage to my life (for I can’t speak for yours) is difficult.  The best part was how Christ suffered unjustly and thus we may as well and if we do we must endure for God’s sake.  This is something we all can relate to.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 28, Day 4: Isaiah 63:1-14 & Revelation 19:11-16

Summary of passages:  Isaiah 63:1-14:  Isaiah poses the question, “Who is coming from Edom, robed in splendor, garments stained crimson?”  Jesus says, “It is I…mighty to save.”  Isaiah asks, “Why are your garments red?”  Jesus says because He has trodden the nations alone in His anger so their blood spattered His garments.  The day of vengeance was in my heart and the year of my redemption has come.  No one was there to help so my own arm and wrath brought salvation and sustained me.  I trampled the nations in my anger and poured their blood on the ground.

Isaiah now tells of the Lord’s kindnesses and the deeds for which He is to be praised:  He became their Savior, in all their distress He too is distressed, His love, and His mercy.  Remember the days of Moses where the Lord set His Holy Spirit among them, divided the waters, and were given rest by the Spirit of the Lord.

Revelation 19:11-16:  Heaven opened up and a white horse and rider whose name was Faithful and True stood before me.  He judges and makes war with justice.  On his head are many crowns. His name no one knows but He himself.  His robe is dipped in blood and is name is the Word of God.  He had armies of heaven with Him.  He will strike down the nations.  He treads a winepress of the fury of the wrath of the God Almighty.  His name is written on his robe:  King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Questions:

9a)  In Isaiah, Jesus is the only one who is mighty to save.  Isaiah says His garments are red and in Revelations we learn He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood and his name is the Word of God (Jesus).  In Revelation He is wearing crowns.  In Isaiah the day of vengeance is in His heart which must be Jesus since only Jesus judges and He will usher in the day of vengeance (see John 5:22).

Isaiah records Jesus as saying, “I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me.”  This echoes Isaiah 59:16-17 where “He saw that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.” (Review BSF Lesson 26 Day 5.  Read my post here.)

Isaiah mentions this person (Jesus) as trampling the nations in His anger.  Revelations says He will strike down the nations with his sharp sword.  Both mention Jesus as trodden the winepress in wrath.  Revelations leaves the question irrevocably with the answer of Jesus as it says “On his robe his name is written:  King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

b)  He has defeated His enemies, ushering in the day of vengeance and the year of His redemption.  In essence, Jesus has destroyed the bad guys and saved the good guys.  This was accomplished through His own arm and powered by His wrath.  He made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground.

c)  In Exodus, Moses has a conversation with God and flat out asks Him, “Now show me your glory.”  The Lord proclaims His name to Moses, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger…yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished.”  Exodus 33:12-34:7

Yet, God does get angry when His word and laws are broken (such as in idol worship, etc).  Half of the study of Isaiah was about God’s wrath and anger at His people’s constant disregard for Him and His word. This is similar to man’s anger.  We get mad when things don’t go our way, when our children disobey, when bad things happen to us, or even as minute as someone cutting us off in traffic.

The difference is man can sometime lose control.  In the fit of rage, people end up doing horrible things like murder and acting completely out of character.  God never loses control.  His punishments are just and according to His word. Man’s punishments often are not.  Man is quick to anger and often snaps with sometimes horrible consequences to himself and others.  James 1:20  “For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

10a)  To remember God’s character:  His compassion, kindnesses, blessings, good deeds, love, mercy, and that when His people were distressed so was God so He sent the angel of His presence (Jesus) to save them.  Recall the days of old, the days of Moses when God rescued His people from Egypt and how God sent His Holy Spirit to guide them and dwell among them.  Remember how God divided the waters and how they were given rest by the Spirit of the Lord.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Because it’s easy for me to forget.  Earthly endeavors and the Devil constantly distract and pull us away from God so to survive in this world I have to keep His love and faithfulness in the forefront of my mind.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My husband’s job has flourished finally after 2 lay-offs and many moves.  My faith in God has grown and my writing and this blog is a complete blessing.  The importance His word has become in my daily life.

Conclusions:  I definitely don’t want to be the bad guys here. The picture painted is horrific and gruesome.

BSF needed to give us a lot more space today.  This passage is packed and I couldn’t get all of my observations written down. Good thing I can tell you all here in as many words as I want!

I loved question 9c.  It got me thinking about how I personally react when I get angry.  It is a reaction usually and not an action like God does.  Man snaps.  God never does.  I’ve been in situations where I have completely flipped out over something that later seemed absolutely silly.  But my emotions and my anger took hold and I reacted with little control or thought over my actions.  Great reminder of how I’m still trying to be more like Jesus.

I love how Isaiah ends on a positive note.  To paraphrase he tells the people, “Yeah, God is angry with you and you will go to Babylon to be punished but remember all the good He has done and all the good yet to come.”

End Note:  Great article on the wrath of God here:  http://bible.org/seriespage/wrath-god