BSF Study Questions John Lesson 18, Day 4: John 14:1-7

Summary of passage:  Jesus comforts his disciples by telling them he is leaving so he can prepare a place for them.  He will come back and take them with him so that the can be where he is.  Thomas (the first time he speaks in this Gospel) tells Jesus they don’t know the way.  Jesus answers with another “I am” statement:  “I am the way and the truth and the life.”  Philip, still not getting it, asks Jesus to show him the Father.  Jesus wants to hit Philip over the head, but instead says if he’s seen him, he’s seen the Father and he should know that by now.

Questions:

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus will come again and take us where he dwells in glory.  This comforts those who are in pain or who have lost a loved one or who are lost.  One day we’ll all be with the Father.

9)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Thomas is seeing this literally.  He thinks Jesus is traveling on a journey, not ascending to heaven.  We can’t be too hard on Thomas.  Remember we know what happens; he doesn’t.  And many are still in shock from Jesus saying he’s going to die.  It’s easy to be critical of the disciples but remember the Holy Spirit hasn’t descended yet and Jesus is still among them.  Who wants to believe Jesus is going away forever?  As far as I know, I haven’t ignored or rejected any truth.  It’s hard to ignore or reject a truth if you don’t see the truth, which for most of us, it’s hard to see our own faults.

10)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus is the only way to God.  He’s eternal life.  He’s the truth you must believe.  “The” means there’s only one way.  It’s a definite article.  An indefinite article (a or an) can refer to any way, truth, or life.  It makes all the difference.

Conclusions:  Well, it’s a good passage but all the questions are personal and once again we see a question asking what difference does it make in your life and I give my stock answer.  See End Notes for analysis.

End Notes:  The disciples had reason to be troubled. Jesus had just told them that one of them was a traitor, that all of them would deny Him, and that He would leave them that night.  All of this would trouble anyone.  Yet Jesus says don’t be troubled.  We will have trouble and tribulation in our lives but we can have an untroubled heart.  As they trusted in God so they must trust in him, Jesus, as well.  This is a command he is giving the disciples.

Jesus’ point is there is room for all.  House is better translated from the Greek as “dwelling places.”

Jesus goes out of his own accord out of love for us.  Jesus coming back is both in the sense of visiting them after death, the Holy Spirit, and the Second Coming.

Thomas is honest and asks for clarity in what Jesus means like a son would a father when he doesn’t understand something.

Jesus’ 7th “I am” statement is verse 6.  He announces he is the only way to God despite what other religions will have you believe.  Why?  Because he is God.

Fun Fact:  In the the early church, Christianity was sometimes called “the Way” because of this passage.

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BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 18, Day 3: Various Passages

Summary of passages:  Various passages for the day.

Questions:

6)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  By God’s Will Jesus took on our suffering as a guilt offering to satisfy God and to justify us (Isaiah).  Jesus says he must suffer, be killed and risen to life (Matthew).  Acts says God planned Jesus’s death for His purposes.  “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”  Romans–no mention of suffering here though except through death.

Truthfully, I haven’t and I don’t believe I can ever come close to expressing my gratitude and appreciation for what Jesus has done on the cross for me.  I try to though by doing His will in my life, putting Him first, caring for His people and creatures and all He has given me, giving the glory to Him for all the good in my life, thanking Him repeatedly, and trying to live the life He wants me to by being like Jesus.

7)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  This is the exact same question as Lesson 3, Day 4 Questions 10b & 11a & Lesson 4, Day 5 Question 15 & in Lesson 12, Day 4 Question 11a.

In Mark Jesus says we must deny ourselves and take up our cross daily to follow him in order to gain eternal life.  Acts tells us if we suffer for Him, it makes us worthy.  Suffering allows us to know Christ more and the power of his suffering and fellowship with him and becoming more like Jesus.  (Philippians)

Suffering increases your faith no doubt about it.  Through faith, we know Him more, depend on him more, and love Him and His ways more.  It makes us more like Christ and our gratitude grows along with our character.  I have definitely experienced all of this and more through various trials:  bankruptcy, death, hard times, moving, etc.  But the gains have SO been worth it and eternity is near.  A life led for others is richness indeed.  See yesterday’s LINK for more purposes of suffering.

Conclusions:  Day of recounting our sufferings as we’ve seen/done in previous lessons.  Feel beaten down and we still have 2 more days of this!

End Notes:  Brief Note on Mark 8:34-38:  This passage is often misunderstood.  Denying yourself and taking up your cross simply put means we surrender ourselves to Christ and take up His will.  In the first century, the cross meant crucifixion.  It meant death.  It didn’t have any traditions or rituals or fuzzy or spiritual feelings attached to the cross and it wasn’t a symbol or associated yet with Jesus and Christianity.  The cross was death.  Period.

Deny self, take up cross, follow Jesus means:  We cannot save ourselves; hence, we follow the one who can save us–Jesus.  This is why we deny ourselves–to find life.

See this LINK.  Great reference for suffering in the Bible and its purposes in the passages quoted.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 18, Day 3: Matthew 17:1-13

Summary of passage:  Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him up on a mountain where he was transfigured before them.  Moses and Elijah appeared, talking with Jesus.  Peter offered to build each a shelter.  God enveloped them in a cloud and said “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.  Listen to him!”  The disciples were terrified.  Moses and Elijah had disappeared.  Only Jesus remained.

Jesus told them as they walked down the mountain to not reveal what they had seen to anyone until after his resurrection.  Confused as usual, the disciples wonder why does the Law say then that Elijah comes first.    Jesus tells them that Elijah has already come and gone but no one recognized him.  It was John the Baptist.

Questions:

6a)  Because Moses was the first great lawgiver and as such he is representing the Law and Elijah was the first great prophet and as such he is representing the Prophets.  These two are chosen to show how Jesus now supercedes them.

b)  “They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.” Basically, the resurrection and what it meant.

c)  First, that Jesus was meant to suffer and die for all of mankind.  Two, that Jesus wouldn’t die. He’d always be living with the Father in heaven as Moses and Elijah would.

7a)  Well, we learn from Mark and Luke that Peter had no idea what he was saying.  But the overall effect was the suggestion put Jesus on an equal level as Elijah and Moses.

b)  Peter was rebuked by God and interrupted because Jesus is above Elijah and Moses not equal. God had to make that very clear as exhibited by Peter he obviously needed that clarification.

c)  Listen to Jesus was God’s command.  This taught us that:  1)  Jesus was God’s Son (Psalm 2:7).  2)  God loves Jesus  3)  God is well pleased with Jesus (Matthew 12:18 which quotes Isaiah 41:1-4).  4)  Him you shall hear (Deuteronomy 18:15) and he will proclaim justice to the nations (Isaiah 42:1).

[Note:  I broke up the love and well pleased which I would imagine is probably put together by BSF but I thought that fact God loves Jesus was very significant since the greatest commandment given to us according to Jesus in Matthew 22:37-38 is to “love the Lord your God will all your heart” and your neighbor.  Love as God loves.]

8a)  He came “before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes” or before Jesus.

b)  He preached the truth, told others to repent and turn to the Lord.  He was thrown in jail for his teachings, beaten and tortured, and eventually died for his beliefs.  The same for Jesus.

c)  Jesus says Elijah “will restore all things”, future tense.  This refers to the fact that Jesus has not died yet so people have not yet been restored to God.

Conclusions and End Notes:  I covered a lot of this analysis yesterday.

The disciples are confused because they know Elijah is prophesied to come first (Malachi 4:5) which they believe but they just saw Elijah standing next to Jesus on the mountain and Jesus came first.  Hence, the background to their perplexity.

Scholars say the Malachi passage better refers to the Two Witnesses in Revelation (Revelation 11:3-13) and Jesus’ Second Coming.

Another example of how God knows more than us mere humans and despite our best efforts to figure out God’s Word, mysteries still remain.