BSF Study Questions John Lesson 29, Day 3: John 21:15-17

Summary of passage:  Jesus asks Peter if he loves him.  Peter says of course.  Jesus tells Peter to feed his lambs, take care of his sheep, and feed his sheep.

Questions:

6)  Jesus is letting Peter know he is forgiving for denying him three times after his arrest and that he has important work for him to do.  He’s encouraging him to forgive himself, get over the past, and concentrate on the work ahead.  He’s doing this in front of the others so the others support him as well.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It seems I always have people placed in my way to teach me something the Lord is trying to get across to me.  He always knows just where I need to be or what I need to hear in order to move more towards Him.

8 )  Our past and our sins are forgiven.  Despite our faults of being human, we can still impact this world and make a difference.  In fact, we can use our shortcomings to help others who are struggling with the same sins (addiction, etc).  All is for a purpose for Him.

Conclusions:  Great example of God’s love for us.  There is no reason to wallow in self-pity over our sins when God doesn’t.  He has a plan for us and we can’t waste precious time avoiding it.

End Notes:  Jesus had already met with Peter individually on the day of His resurrection (Luke 24:34, 1 Corinthians 15:5). We can only wonder at what Jesus and Peter talked about at that first meeting. Nevertheless, it was still important for Jesus to restore Peter in the presence of the other disciples.

Peter means “rock” and Jesus does not address him as such here.  Peter hadn’t been a rock.  But he sure would become one!

Before Peter denied Jesus three times, he claimed to love Jesus more than the other disciples did (Matthew 26:33).  Jesus wanted to know if Peter still believed thus.  Of course, Jesus already knew the answer (as Peter points out in verse 17), but Jesus is asking for Peter’s self-knowledge, not his.

Some scholars say here Jesus could be asking if Peter were willing to give up fishing for him since “these” is a pronoun referring to something previous.  However, all indications are it’s the disciples he’s referring to.

Jesus uses the word “agape” when speaking of love and Peter responds with the Greek word “philio”.  Agape is the all-encompassing love and philip is brotherly love as we discussed HERE.

Most scholars agree there is a reason for the difference but most disagree as to what that reason could be.  Some think Peter was now being more reserved after his dismal denials earlier.

Jesus instructs Peter on how to act towards God’s people.  Jesus first emphasizes that the people are his.  The verb translated “take care” or “tend” has a much fuller meaning.  It means to shepherd his people.  Collect them, care for their every need, and lead them.

If Peter loved Jesus how he claimed he loved Jesus, then he would care for Jesus’ people.

Peter, abashed, knows why Jesus is asking him three times.  Three times he denied and now three times he gets to confirm.

This third question Jesus uses “philio” instead of agape.  Again, Jesus tells Peter to forget the past and move on to feeding his people.  Great stuff!

This reinstatement helped embolden Peter to become one of the early church’s most fearless spokesmen.

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BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 29, Day 5: Revelation 22:6-21

Summary of passage:  Jesus is coming and John falls at the feet of the angel to worship it (he did this in Revelation 19:10). The angel told John to tell others of what he has seen and heard and to let them continue to do wrong or good as they are doing.  Jesus is coming to reward those according to what they’ve done. He’s the Alpha, Omega, First and Last, Beginning, End. Blessed are the righteous who have the tree of life. Outside the gates of the city are the dogs who are immoral and practice falsehoods. Jesus is the Root, Offspring of David, the Morning Star.  Let all come for the gift of the water of life say the Spirit and the bride. A warning to not change the prophecy in the book of Revelation. Jesus is coming soon. Grace be with God’s people.

Questions:

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It really doesn’t.  I plan to do what I normally do:  tell others as God leads me.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I don’t know.  Too soon to tell.

Conclusions:  Filler.

End Notes:  See previous days.

Conclusions to Lesson 29:  What words of hope and encouragement.  Jesus is coming.  All should be ready.  Hold fast.  Reflective lesson leading up to Lesson 30, our last lesson where we’ll be asked what has changed within us.  This is always hard to answers for little changes we don’t see but others do.  I’d wait 6 months and then ask someone close to you if something has changed.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 29, Day 4: Deuteronomy 33:26-29

Summary of passage:  Moses leaves the people with encouraging words, telling them there is no one like God who is their refuge and salvation and protector and provider.  They are blessed and will drive out their enemies with the Lord before them.

Questions:

8 )  They are God’s chosen people no matter their sins (just like we are today).  God chose them from the beginning and God will never abandon them.  They are righteous if they follow the sacrificial law despite their rebellion.  They are blessed and righteous because God said they are blessed and righteous.  In my book, that’s proof enough.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God is omnipotent.  God never abandons us.  God drives out our enemies so we can live in safety.  God blesses us and is our shield.  God walks with me in my daily struggles which compound sometimes into the big struggles.  Knowing He is there makes life indescribably easier.

Conclusions:  Felt these questions could have been deeper.  Moses sums up his whole experience with God in these three verses and gives them as a gift to us.  God is there always and we should feel forever humbled and grateful and reverent for what He has done.

End Notes:  Note the power in these words:  “eternal God” and “everlasting arms”.  God is forever.  No other god was/is.

Israel shall live alone means Israel shall never merge with other people.  They shall continue to be separate and set apart from all the other people–which is true to this day.  Try reading the translation:  “Israel shall dwell in safety; alone shall the fountain of Jacob be”.

Most translations render “Blessed” in verse 29 as “Happy.”  Reads different, doesn’t it?  We should be happy God has saved us and chosen us.

On this side of heaven, we are to read this victory as Jesus’s victory on the cross as well.  These words instruct us:  The One, True God has saved us completely; therefore, He is to be our refuge, our shelter, our protector, our provider.  And in return we offer full faith, worship, and surrender to Him.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 29, Day 5: Isaiah 66:17-24

Summary of passage:  Those who follow false gods will all meet their end together, God says.  For because of them God is about to come and gather all the nations to see His glory.  He will set a sign (Jesus) amongst them and send out missionaries to the distant lands who have not heard of His glory to proclaim it. They will bring believers from all nations to God’s holy mountain in Jerusalem as they offer themselves to the Lord.  God will select some of them to be priests.  Their names and descendants shall endure on God’s new heavens and new earth. All mankind will bow before the Lord and they will see the dead bodies of those who rebelled (their bodies decaying, on fire, and loathsome).

Questions:

11a)  They will meet their end together and because of their actions God will come and gather all the nations and tongues

b)  God’s glory through the sign (Jesus) and through missionaries that proclaim Him.  They will bow before the Lord and see the dead bodies of all those who rebelled.

12a)  Isaiah says God’s people will gather together and experience God’s glory.  Their names and descendants shall endure.  The obstinate will die, their dead bodies strewn out for God’s people to see what happens to the rebels–burning bodies and loathsome to behold forever.

1 Corinthians says no one can fathom the great things God has prepared for those who love Him.

Mark quotes Isaiah, saying unrepentant sinners get thrown in hell where their worm does not die nor their fire quenched.

Revelation reveals the great white throne with Jesus upon it.  The dead were judged by Jesus according to what they had done.  Each person was judged from the beginning of time.  Those whose name were not found in the book of life were thrown into the lake of fire for eternity.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I pray my name is in the Book of Life and I will experience God’s majesty for eternity.

Conclusions:  I’m really beginning to like the book of Revelation.  It lays it all out with no wiggle room.  Maybe that’s why some people don’t like it.  People who want to fudge God’s laws or those who don’t want to believe the bad that is to come if you don’t accept Jesus.

I like how Isaiah ends with the most important choice we all have:  to accept God or to reject Him.  Then he lays out the consequences of Man’s decision.

End Note:  Tarshish is modern-day Spain.  Libyan is the modern-day country of Libya in Africa.

Lydia is in modern-day Turkey: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Anatolia_Ancient_Regions_base.svg

Tubal is in modern-day Turkey: http://bibleatlas.org/regional/tubal.htm

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 29, Day 4: Isaiah 66:1-16

Summary of passage:  The Lord says Heaven is His throne and earth is His footstool.  His hand has made all these things.  He esteems those who are humble, contrite in spirit, and tremble at His word.  But those who choose their own ways and offer sacrifices out of mere ritual with no heart, the Lord will bring harsh treatment and dread upon them.  They did not answer or listen to Him.  They did evil in His eyes and chose actions that displeased Him.

For those who tremble at His word (the faithful):  The Lord will repay the faithful’s enemies (those who hate His people because they worship Him) and be put to shame.  One day the Lord will deliver Jerusalem without pain (as in the pain of childbirth).  God will close up the wounds (womb) of Jerusalem upon His delivery.

Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her.  Love her.  Those who do will be comforted, satisfied, and have an overflowing abundance.  The Lord will bring peace to Jerusalem and to nations (the Gentiles) and will comfort them.  You will flourish like grass and have the hand of the Lord known to you.  God’s fury will be upon His foes.  He will come with fire, anger, fury, flames, and sword in judgment and execute those found guilty.

Questions:

9a)  God is the Creator.  He is above all things.  He made us and can do what He wants with us.  He can squash us with His foot if He so desires.  We cannot possibly build God a house or a resting place.  He is the builder and the provider of rest.

b)  Humble (not prideful, insignificant) and contrite (penitent over sins) in spirit:  Have a spirit of insignificance and penitent

Tremble at God’s Word:  Have a healthy fear of God’s power.  To know when God speaks you listen or face a time-out!

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God has reiterated this year over and over the truth, power, and expected obedience to His word.  That what God says you better do or face the consequences.  That knowledge has created a new reverence for Him and His word in me.  I stand more at attention when He speaks.

10a)  The Lord esteems those who are humble and contrite in spirit and who tremble at His word.  Those who tremble at His word (the faithful)–for those who hate you, they shall be put to shame and repaid all they deserve.  Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her and love her for God will one day deliver her without pain (like in labor).  Then you will be comforted and will delight in overflowing abundance.  The Lord will grant peace to Jerusalem and to the Gentile nations and be comforted.  You will flourish like grass.  The Lord will make himself known to you but His enemies will be His foes.  The Lord will bring judgment to all men and execute those found guilty.

b)  Isaiah 66:7-9; John 3:3-8  Jerusalem (Zion) will be delivered and reborn; reborn when baptized and accept Holy Spirit in our lives

Isaiah 66:10-11; John 16:20-24  Rejoice for Jerusalem and receive comfort and abundance; from great pain comes great joy (from childbirth come baby)–from Jesus’s death comes great joy (salvation for all)

Isaiah 66:12; Romans 5:1  Jerusalem and nations shall have peace; through faith in Jesus we are justified and have peace with God

Isaiah 66:13; Corinthians 1:3-4  God will comfort us as a mother does; God comforts us in all our troubles so we can comfort others

Isaiah 66:14; Matthew 28:19-20  You will flourish like grass and know the hand of the Lord; be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and He will be us always to the end of time

c)  Isaiah says the Lord is coming with fire, bringing His anger, flames, and rebuke.  He will execute judgment upon all men and slay some with His sword and fire.

Matthew warns us to beware of false prophets and false Christs before the end time.  He implies the coming of the Son of Man will be visible to all.  The sun will be darkened, the moon will fade, the stars fall, and heavenly bodies be shaken.  The sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and all earthly nations will mourn.  The Son of Man will descend from heaven with power and glory.  Angels will announce His arrival with loud trumpet calls and they will gather His elect from all corners of the world.

Thessalonians reiterates Matthew, saying the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven in blazing fire accompanied with powerful angels.  Jesus will punish those who do not know God and who have rejected Him with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord forever.  At this time, He will give relief to those who are troubled and pay back trouble to those who trouble you.

Revelation says Jesus will be riding a white horse, bringing justice.  His eyes are blazing and He wears many crowns.  His robe is dipped in blood and He is followed by the armies of heaven.  He will strike down the nations with His sword.  His robe says King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  An angel calls out to people to gather around at God’s table.  The enemy (beast or Devil) comes against Jesus and His army but the beast is captured along with his cohorts.  They were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.  The rest were killed by Jesus’s sword.

Not a pretty picture for unbelievers, evil-doers, or unrepentants.

Conclusions:  God is all powerful and if  you obey, believe, repent, have faith, love others, and do your best to be like Jesus, you’ll be fine.  If not, watch out!  The Lord lays it out what will happen in the Second Coming and none of it is pleasant.

I like how Isaiah includes the Gentiles in God’s almighty plan and will have the same benefits as His chosen people.  I like how God says to rejoice for Jerusalem, God’s people, and if you do, you will have abundance.  I like how God distinguishes those who follow Him from those who don’t by laying out, really, how simple it is to obey Him and then to receive His promised gifts. Great messages!

End Note:  I changed 10b Matthew 28:20 and included 19-20 since being baptized is the quintessential symbol of being re-born and the culmination of accepting Jesus into your heart.