BSF Study Questions John Lesson 10, Day 4: John 6:51-59

Summary of passage:  The word “flesh” did grab the Jews attention and began to argue how Jesus could sacrifice himself.  Jesus says whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood will have eternal life at Capernaum.

Questions:

8 )  The blood of the Passover lamb was the sign for God to passover their houses and not bring judgment on them.  It represents atonement for sins.

9)  The Jews ate the meat as the Lord’s Passover.  If the people ate of the meat and used the blood as atonement for sins, eating of his flesh and using his blood will atone for their sins as well.  Jesus’ was just forever, granting eternal life.

10)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  If you don’t eat and drink of him, you will have no life.  Whoever does eat and drink of him, will have eternal life and be raised at the last day.  You will remain in him and he in you.  Eating and drinking is what becomes a part of you, fuels your body, and grants you energy for life.  Having Jesus be my fuel, my energy, my everything encourages me to keep up the good fight even and always work for him.  It increases I believe little by little everyday as I see others struggle and suffer and life move on.

Conclusions:  Jesus says the same thing over and over again for us dunderheads:  eat of me and be saved.  A profound truth for all believers.

End Notes:  Scholars believe the Jewish leaders here willfully twisted Jesus’ words.  They are choosing not to believe him.  And we all know what those consequences are.  However, it was probable that some did take Jesus’ words as cannibalism.  Remember this is the time of Rome and barbarians.  These acts did occur and still do today.

Eating of flesh and drinking of blood also points to sacrifice.

Jesus is our food and drink.  When we truly receive him, he abides in us.  Eating and drinking is receiving.  We receive Jesus through faith.  We must actually take him in satisfy our hunger and thirst.

Jesus’ statements offended many.  They were meant to.  Jesus made his analogies stronger to emphasize his points.  He needs us to understand.

This whole conversation of the bread of life took place in a synagogue where Jesus was speaking no doubt on a Sabbath.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 10, Day 5: Exodus 30-31

Summary of passages:  Exodus 30:  God is still instructing Moses here on Mount Sinai.  Here, God tells Moses how to build the altar of incense to be placed before the ark.  Incense is to be burned on this altar every morning and night.  Once a year atonement is to be made on its horns (Jews still honor this Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur).  At the census, each person must pay the Lord atonement money.  A basin is to be made for Aaron to wash himself in every time he enters the Tent of Meeting or approaches the altar.  Make an anointing oil to anoint the Tent of Meeting, the Ark, table, altar, and Aaron so they can be consecrated as holy to the Lord.  Make incense to be placed in front of the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting.

Exodus 31:  God told Moses He has gifted Bezalel and Oholiab with the Spirit of God and the skill in order to make all that God has commanded Moses to make (the Tent of Meeting, the ark of Testimony with the atonement cover, table, lampstand, altar of incense, etc).

God told Moses to observe the Sabbaths which will be a sign between you and me for all the generations to come that He has made them holy.  Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death.  Anyone who does work on that day must be cut off from their people and put to death.

When God finished speaking, He gave Moses the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God with the Testimony on it (Ten Commandments) on the top of Mount Sinai.

Questions:

9a)  The prayers of the saints

b)  Every morning and every night

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We should pray every morning and every night.  We pray because we are saved, out of gratitude and longing for closeness to Jesus.  It should be worshipful.

10a)  Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting and when they approach the altar to minister by presenting an offering to God.

b)  We can use God’s word to cleanse and purify us and confess our sins to be purified.

11a)  They would die.

b)  The misuse of anointing oil or incense required one to be cut off from their people (spiritual death).

c)  Because it would be holy and only holy people may be near God.  It is sacred to God and thus must be honored.  Also, it’s a matter of obedience as well.  There are severe penalties for disobeying God and if you didn’t follow His instructions, the penalty was death.  Same for us today except our death is hell.

12a)  The Spirit of God, skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of crafts–everything they will need to make everything God has commanded to exact specifications.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  There are many ways to serve God and He will enable all of us to use our gifts for Him.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Volunteer more.

Conclusions:  Another doozy of a lesson for us.  Break this up if needs be.  The importance of being sacred and sacred objects is emphasized here and how much that means to God.  God must love us a lot to make us forever sacred.  I was hoping for questions on the Sabbath but good emphasis on how each of us are blessed by God with special gifts designed to use for Him. Gives me hope as I am still struggling to figure out what His plans are for my gifts and talents.

End Notes:  Exodus 30:  The altar was also carried with poles just like the Ark of the Covenant.  It was in the holy place (not the Most Holy Place) close to the Ark but separated by a curtain.  It was in the same room as the table and the lampstand (Exodus 25).  The altar of incense was for prayer, not for atonement of sins.

Only God could order a census, which signified Israel as His people.  Hence, when David ordered one (2 Samuel 24:1-25), he was in trouble and God plagued the people as penalty.

All are equally atoned in God’s eyes when the atonement money is the same for everyone.  This turned into the Temple Tax by New Testament times and was used for the tabernacle expenses and building.

Exodus 31:  God gives us gifts for Him, not for our selfish desires.

Note how at the very end God gives the command to keep the Sabbath holy.  God gives the work first, then the rest–as we are to honor today.

Despite the fact the New Covenant eliminated this command (Romans 14:5; Colossians 2:16-17), the principle still applies to us.  We are to work and rest–to recover and rejuvenate–to be at our best for God and to remember it is His work we do and not ours.

The Stone tablets were to be placed in the Ark–later added Aaron’s staff and manna.

Fun Fact:  Here’s where our saying comes from “written in stone.”

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 10, Day 4: Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56

Summary of passages:  Matthew 9:18-26:  While Jesus was still at the feast thrown for him by Matthew, a ruler came to Jesus and asked him to bring his dead daughter back to life.  Jesus and his disciples went with the man.  A woman came up to Jesus while he was following the ruler and touched his cloak, believing she would be healed of her bleeding problem with just a touch.  Her faith healed her.  A crowd was around the dead girl.  Jesus banished the crowd, took the girl by her hand, and raised her up.

Mark 5:21-43:  Mark explains Jesus was by the lake when Jairus, a synagogue ruler, pleaded with Jesus to heal this daughter who was dying.  Jesus went along with a large crowd.  The woman who touched Jesus cloak had been sick for 12 years and had spent all of her money to get better to no avail.  She touched Jesus cloak and without his consent she was healed.  Jesus, realizing power had gone out from him, searched the woman out.  He told her her faith healed her.

In the meantime, Jairus’ daughter had died.  Jesus said to believe in him.  Jesus allowed Peter, James, and John to follow him to the man’s house that was full of mourners wailing.  Jesus kicked everyone out except the father, the mother, and his 3 disciples.  He took the girl by the hand and she stood up.  She was 12 years old.  He ordered them to not tell anyone.

Luke 8:40-56:  Jesus was welcomed by a crowd but almost crushed by them as he followed Jairus.  The woman who had touched him was afraid and fell at Jesus’ feet.  The child’s spirit returned at Jesus’ touch.

Questions:

10a)  She had been bleeding for 12 years (Matthew 9:20; Mark 5:25; Luke 8:43).  She believed if she but touched Jesus’ cloak she would be healed (Matthew 9:21; Mark 5:28; Luke 8:44).  Immediately touching his cloak, she was healed (Matthew 9:21; Mark 5:29; Luke 8:44).  Her faith healed her (Matthew 9:22; Mark 5:34; Luke 8:48).

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That her faith healed her.  Simple and absolute faith.  Immediately upon a touch she was healed.  God works immediately.  Mark and Luke say Jesus didn’t approve the healing ahead of time.  This shows me the power of our faith and that faith alone will answer our prayers since we are all part of God’s people with the indwelt Holy Spirit.

11a)  He was a synagogue ruler.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It appears to be so.  In Mark and Luke’s account, we are told she was dying when he went to Jesus.  It is most likely she was sick beforehand for some time.  A healthy 12 year old usually just doesn’t up and die.  In ancient times, yes, this scenario is more probable.  But because she was a daughter of a wealthy ruler she was probably insulated from a lot of ailments of the time.

Jairus is begging and pleading.  These are the actions of a desperate man.  Also, Luke says this was his only daughter.  He is probably desperate to save her.  And Jesus is the only one to do it.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus does not judge or say no.  He shows compassion upon the man.  Jesus soothed the man, telling him to not be afraid and to just believe (Mark 5:36; Luke 8:50), something incredibly hard to do in the midst of a dying loved one.  To have faith that God’s will be done.  Jesus knows Jairus’ faith is small since he believes Jesus must touch the girl to save her so Jesus heals a woman on the way to strengthen Jairus’ faith.

Jesus loves us despite how our faith in him wavers and our trust wanes and we fall under attack. Jesus and God meet us where we are in our walk.  He came when the man asked even though he didn’t have to because Jesus loved the man enough to do so.

Conclusions:  As in the case of the paralytic, we see it is faith, simple faith, that heals.  The woman was healed instantly with her faith.  We can assume Jairus had faith as well since his daughter was raised from the dead.

God isn’t demanding, is He?  He could ask anything of us from hard physical labor to tortuous math problems.  Instead, He merely demands we believe in Him.  And yet belief for man in the unseen is very difficult.  So many stumble.  Yet, with faith, you will be picked up.

End Notes:  The woman was ceremonially unclean and had been for 12 years.  She wasn’t allowed to touch another human being; hence, she opted to touch Jesus’ clothes secretly.  She touched him in faith–not a casual touch or an accidental bump.  She reached out to who he was.

Note the girl was 12 and the woman suffered 12 years.  Coincidence?  Not when Jesus is involved.

Everything Jesus did was for the benefit of others.  Never did he act selfishly.

Fun Facts:  Jesus calls no one else “daughter” that is recorded in the Scripture.  What an honor!

This is the only healing where power is mentioned as flowing out of Jesus.  Elsewhere, he just heals.  Would be interesting to see this happen!

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 10, Day 3: Matthew 9:9-17

Summary of passage:  Jesus called Matthew, a tax collector, to follow him and he did.  Jesus then went and had dinner at Matthew’s house with other tax collectors and sinners.  The Pharisees saw this and asked why.  Jesus said he has come to call the sinners, not the righteous.

Jesus is asked why he does not fast.  Jesus says the time has not yet come for mourning.  After he dies, then fast.

Questions:

6a)  Levi the son of Alphaeus

b)  Matthew got up and immediately followed Jesus with not a word.  He then invited Jesus over to his house for dinner. Luke adds that Matthew left everything.  Luke says Matthew held a great banquet for Jesus at his house.

c)  Luke 9:23; Luke 14:27:  By denying himself and taking up the cross and following him.

Romans 6:2, 18:  Being free from sin and slaves to righteousness

1 Thessalonians 1:9:  Turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God

1 John 1:8-10:  Confessing our sins, we are forgiven and purified from all unrighteousness.  The truth and the Word lives within.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I try to follow His call upon my life and lead a life full of righteousness, reflecting Him to the world.  By doing God’s will in your life.  Specifically, I write, I teach, I raise children of God, I’m a wife.  I do all I believe in my heart I was put here to do for and by Him.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The Pharisees were corrupt.  It had become more about power and money instead of about God on their part.  They enriched themselves while the majority of people suffered.  They put themselves above others, believing them better than others and of a higher class and they cared little for anyone but themselves.  The Pharisees kept apart from others, deeming themselves too important to help the infirm, the poor, the helpless.

Here, Jesus is saying they are sick.  They need to show mercy to others, which is more important than the sacrifices required in the Bible.  Jesus is here for the sinners, the downtrodden, the forgotten of society and not for them who have hardened hearts.   The Pharisees are hypocrites and Jesus takes every opportunity to point that out.  They are the ones who are poor, pitiful, blind, and naked (Revelation) for they do not have Him.

8a)  Jesus

b)  That Jesus is the bridegroom, come to bring his bride (us) to God so that God may rejoice over us once more (be with Him in heaven).  To make us righteous and just before God once again (Hosea).

c)  The disciples

Note this is past tense.  If it were present tense, I would have answered “everyone” or “us”.  But since the question is looking for who Jesus was talking about in that moment, the answer must be his 12 disciples

9)  Hebrews 10:1 explains it best when the writer explains how the Old Testament law was merely a shadow of the good things to come (Jesus cleansing us forever).  The law cannot make sinners/humans perfect; only Jesus can.  Old Testament law was merely a stand-in until Jesus arrived.  It was not perfect for only Jesus was/is.

Jesus did not come to merely repair the Old Covenant; he came to replace it with something much better.  The Old Covenant (old wineskins) cannot contain his New Covenant (new wineskins).  Jesus is not a patch to the law.  He is New.

Conclusions:  We must remember Matthew is very well off in this society.  Although despised, tax collectors set their own rates which meant they often extorted people.  In ancient times, not a lot of people had any money than what it took to live for the day.  So when Matthew leaves “everything”, this everything was a lot compared to others such as James and John who had little.

Furthermore, returning as fishermen (Peter, James, and John) would have been rather easy after their service for Jesus was done.  Matthew probably gave up his career permanently.

End Notes:  Why is question 6a important?  Because we are about to learn in Matthew 10:3 that Matthew’s brother, James son of Alphaeus, is also a disciple of Jesus.  Cool how Jesus calls brothers to be his disciples.  This should show us the value God places on relatives.

I love this!  It’s easy to focus on the disciples who created the most waves and we forget about some of the others (Phillip, Bartholomew, Thaddaeus, etc).  But each played an integral role in spreading the Gospel.  Even though most of us don’t remember their names, God does.  And He remembers our names as well no matter how small of a role we play in His kingdom.

It’s a role.  And we all should be humbled we have a part at all.