jesus escaping the crowds of people bsf matthew

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 9, Day 3: Matthew 8:18-22


Jesus crossed over the lake (Sea of Galilee) in order to escape the crowds. A teacher of the law told Jesus he would follow him wherever he went. Another said he would follow him after he buried his father. Jesus said to follow him and bury your dead later.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 9, Day 3: Matthew 8:18-22

7) The first follower may be in a honeymoon stage, so Jesus tells him it’s not all fun and games. The second follower loves Jesus, but puts his human father first. He is a reluctant follower.

8a) The cost for the first man is giving up everything and living a very simple life with no real home.

b) The cost for the second man is putting him first above his human family and giving his whole heart to Jesus.

9a) People only follow Jesus when it’s convenient for them. The second it gets hard or they have to sacrifice, they bail.

b) You have to do what God wants you to do, not what others want you to do. You have to put God first always, and sometimes that can cause friction between family members. I’ve had to end some relationships with friends over following Jesus’s path for my life.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 9, Day 3: Matthew 8:18-22

I love how simple Jesus is so that we simple humans can grasp his meaning. It’s simple: follow him completely and totally above all others.

Cool art decor here.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 9, Day 3: Matthew 8:18-22

Jesus needed a break from the crowds. He did not seek notarity. Many were attracted to following Jesus because they were mesmerized by his miracles. But these two did not have the heart Jesus was seeking.

Jesus is blunt by saying that he truly did not have a home. He lived a very simple life, and by telling the man this, he hoped to not lead him astray about what his ministry was really all about. This is a great lesson for pastors of today.

Fun Fact: “The Son of Man” is used 81 times in the gospels. Jesus referred to himself as this many times, or you’ll see it when someone in the Bible quotes him. It evokes power and glory as seen here (Daniel 7:13-14) and the humility (Psalm 8:4).

What modern readers miss here is that the father of the second man is not dead; if he was, the man would have said something along the lines of digging a grave. Thus, the man wanted to care for his ailing father, which could have been years for all we know. This man was a disciple, but not with the heart of the 12 disciples who were all in. Jesus wants those who are all in for him.

Jesus clearly states that although family is important, he is more so. He is very forthright and honest in his ministry as we should be.

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you are either bearing good or bad fruit picture of fruit tree bsf matthew lesson 8

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 4: Matthew 7:13-20


The road to life has a small gate and is narrow and only a few find it. The road to destruction is wide and broad and many enter.

Watch out for false prophets whom you will know by the fruit they bear. They will bear bad fruit and can only bear bad fruit. Good trees bear good fruit, and bad ones bear bad. Bad trees are cut down and thrown into the fire.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 4: Matthew 7:13-20

9a) That the path to life (heaven) is only through him and not many will find this path. John 14:6 says he is the only way to God. He is the way, the truth, the life. Acts 4:12 says salvation is found only in Jesus.

b) They want to believe the path to heaven is more complicated than that, and they want to be able to do what they want without following God’s law and still gain access to heaven.

10a) They bear bad fruit. John 15:16 says God chooses those to be with Him to bear lasting fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

b) You have to have the ability to discern those who are false prophets from those who are true; those with good hearts versus those who are bad. Judging is about ensuring you are holding yourself to the same standard when you judge others. Thus, by looking at people’s fruit/good deeds, this can help you discern the truth.

11) Be careful of smooth talkers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and others who sound/say something that is too good to be true. Pray and discern to ensure you are not being led astray.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 4: Matthew 7:13-20

Good reminder that God chooses those who go to heaven, and that you have to be wary of false prophets.

Good read on false prophets.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 8, Day 4: Matthew 7:13-20

As Christians know, the path to heaven is narrow and difficult and will not be easy to traverse. Jesus is telling his disciples to prepare for future hardships.

Being aware that there are false prophets is step one. Watch out for those who motivated purely by self-interest. Do these prophets teach God’s Word, are people growing in God, and do they live out God’s teachings?

Before judging others’ fruit, judge your own. Are you bearing good or bad fruit? You are either bearing one or the other. Those who bear neither good nor bad are considered bad.

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picture of woman praying with bible

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 7, Day 4: Matthew 6:19-24


Don’t store up treasures on earth that will eventually disappear. Instead, store up treasures in heaven where nothing can destroy or steal them. Your heart is where your treasure is.

Your eyes are the light of your body. If you have good eyes, you’ll be full of light. If your eyes are bad, you’ll be full of darkness.

You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve both God and money.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 7, Day 4: Matthew 6:19-24

9a) Everything on earth can be collected and lost — material possessions, health, family, animals, etc.
b) The good they do in the world — helping others, doing God’s will, etc

10) Psalm 119:72: God’s word and laws are more important than silver or gold.
Luke 12:15-21: Life is not about how many possessions you can accumulate. Jesus tells a parable about a rich man who produced a good crop and wanted to store it all up for years to come. But God said to him he will die that night so he won’t get all that he prepared for himself. Instead, be rich for God, not yourself.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18: Fix your eyes on what is eternal, and all of your troubles will achieve an eternal glory that is far greater that material items.
Philippians 3:8: Everything is a loss in comparison to having and knowing Jesus who is your greatest possession.
1 Peter 1:4-5: Our inheritance is in heaven and it will never perish, spoil, or fade. It is shielded by God’s power until Jesus comes again.

11) God and money

12a) Probably material things. I work to pay the bills and have the things I want in this world. I work to raise my kids so they have everything good and easy in this world, too.

b) To treasure Him more. All things are from Him, so to recognize that when I get items I want, I’m getting them from God and a piece of Him as well.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 7, Day 4: Matthew 6:19-24

Knowing who you work for and your motives is the first step towards working for God. It’s all too easy to work for things that, in the end, will never satisfy us. This is a slow process for many of us, but as our faith grows, so too will our treasure in heaven.

Great reads here!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 7, Day 4: Matthew 6:19-24

Earthly treasures are temporary and fade away; heavenly ones are permanent.

It’s helpful to think that the work we do for others will be everlasting.

We need light to see by. By being generous, we bring light to others and to our lives, too. As you probably have experienced, you are more productive when you focus on one task, and not on multiple tasks.

An evil eye meant someone who was jealous and envious of his neighbor, loved money, and was not charitable.

Our body needs all of our parts to work well, so if your eyes are bad, so is the rest of your body.

You cannot worship two gods. Use your money to serve God and therefore others. Anyone can be greedy, even those who don’t have much.

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the beatitudes mourning bsf matthew lesson 5 day 2

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 5, Day 2: Skim Matthew 5:1-12 and Focus on Matthew 5:1-4

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 5:1-12: The Beatitudes

Jesus teaches that the poor are blessed as they have the kingdom of heaven. Those who mourn will be comforted. The meek will inherit the earth. Those who search for righteousness will be blessed. The merciful will be shown mercy.

Those pure in heart will see God. The peacemakers will be called the sons of God. The persecuted will have the kingdom of heaven. You are blessed when you are insulted. Your reward in heaven will be great. The prophets were persecuted, too.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 5, Day 2: Skim Matthew 5:1-12 and Focus on Matthew 5:1-4

3) To be blessed is when God endows/gives someone something that is usually cherished, such as blessed with finances, free will, etc. Jesus lists a bunch of people who are blessed who, at the time, would not normally be considered blessed. He expands being blessed to the destitute. The ultimate blessing is, of course, to know God and be a Christian. Nothing else really matters.

4) Psalm 51:17 tells us in the Message Version: “I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.”

In Isaiah 66:2, God says he has made and esteems those who is humble, contrite in spirit, and humble at his word. The definition of contrite is one who expresses remorse or penitence, one who feels bad for what they did. In sum, God esteems those who respond to him.

When you are down and out, you are blessed. When you are struggling, you are blessed. When you question God due to your life’s circumstances, you are blessed. All because you have God.

5a) Mourning is when you are sad over a loss. For most of us, we mourn when we’ve lost a loved one, lost a furry friend, lost a lifestyle or job, lost a home, lost a marriage, or anything else you’ve cherished and is now gone. You mourn what once was and is no more. I mourn all of these things.

b ) Sin makes all of us sad. Jesus who quotes Isaiah 61:1-2 in Luke 4:18-19 has come to comfort those who mourn, who feel guilt over sin, to free sinners from their sin.

Romans 7:22-24 is interesting. You want to do good, but because sin is always present in our lives, it’s a struggle. Mourning when you do sin shows you desire to do good. Christ rescues us from sin.

James 4:8-10 says to draw near to Christ and resist sin. He will lift us up even in our grief, mourning, and wailing.

You are sad when you do wrong, but with Christ, you have hope that you will do (and be) better.

6 ) Having to depend on God is a blessed. I’ve lost much and had much in my life. Every time I fail, it brings me closer to him. You sin, your mourn, you learn. That’s the life of a Christian.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 5, Day 2: Skim Matthew 5:1-12 and Focus on Matthew 5:1-4

Admittedly, it’s been a long time since I’ve read the Beatitudes, so I’m excited to do so now! Great beginning to lesson 5 as we are reminded that grief is a part of life, but there is hope in Christ.

I am reminded of this song. Enjoy!

Try some great scripture music today!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 5, Day 2: Skim Matthew 5:1-12 and Focus on Matthew 5:1-4

Bible scholars believe that Jesus went up on a mountain because the crowds that followed him had grown so big. What a beautiful picture. Luke records Jesus as speaking this at a different time, too, in Luke 6. This makes sense; most pastors preach the same message multiple times to different groups and for repetition, too, for learning.

Teachers sat in ancient times  (Luke 4:20; Matthew 13:223:224:3) while students stood.

map of sermon on the mount where Jesus gave beatitudes

This Sermon on the Mount is Jesus teaching us how to live. Many say this is the summation of Christianity in these short verses. The disciples are listening, too. It’s super important they understand this since they will be carrying on without him.

The Beatitudes (or The Blessings) are attitudes of being — what we hope to achieve as Christians and what we strive for every day.

The word blessed means “happy” in the ancient Greek. This word is also applied to God himself 1 Timothy 1:11.

On the day of Judgment, the blessed, or happy, will come. Matthew 25:34

Spurgeon notes: “You have not failed to notice that the last word of the Old Testament is ‘curse,’ and it is suggestive that the opening sermon of our Lord’s ministry commences with the word ‘Blessed.’”

The poor in spirit are those who recognize their sin and are in need of Christ. It is the first Beatitude because it’s where we all start. When you are poor in spirit, you are able to receive the kingdom of heaven. You have to be poor in spirit before you can mourn.

When you are poor in spirit, you mourn and will be comforted. The Greek word used here for “mourning” is the strongest form of grief. You mourn over sin that then produces repentance 2 Corinthians 7:10. Jesus both mourned and grieved (Isaiah 53:3).  It’s a part of human life.

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joseph's death

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 29, Day 5: Genesis 50:22-26

Summary of Genesis 50:22-26:

Joseph died at age 110 and lived to see the third generation of Ephraim’s children. Joseph told his brothers that God will come to take them to the Promise Land. He made them swear to carry his bones out of Egypt and take him with them. He was embalmed in Egypt.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 29, Day 5: Genesis 50:22-26

16) God will come to take them to the Promise Land.

17) Joseph never doubted God and His promises. He knew the Israelites would be taken back to the Promised Land when the time was right.

18) Both died in faith surrounded by their family. It was a long journey, but God and His ways brought them both to Him. They were both honored and embalmed, and both will be buried in the Promise Land.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 29, Day 5: Genesis 50:22-26

Great ending to a life well lived.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 29, Day 5: Genesis 50:22-26

Joseph was led and blessed by God his entire life. He was 56 when Jacob died, and none of the details of Joseph’s live is recorded in scripture. We can presume that Joseph continued to lead the people of Egypt and his family. He lived 93 of his 110 years in Egypt. He was foreigner most of his life, but he was faithful to God throughout, and was rewarded for it.

It is said that Joseph was never buried in Egypt. His bones/coffin stood as a testament to the Israelites of the future of the Promise Land. Joseph would be taken out of Egypt by Moses to the Promise Land for burial in 400 years time. (Exodus 13:19)

Some promises of God take a long time to fulfill. The book of Genesis concludes with Joseph’s death — a death that looks forward to the future.

esau discovers Jacob received Isaac's blessing

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 4: Genesis 27:30-41

Summary of Genesis 27:30-41:

Esau returns, saying the same words as Jacob, asking his father to sit up, eat, and bless him. Isaac realizes he had been tricked with Esau’s arrival. Esau wants his father’s blessing, but Isaac says it is too late.

Esau is angry how Jacob tricked him into taking his birthright and his blessing. Isaac tells Esau that Jacob will be lord over him and everything and then tells him the future that he will dwell away from the earth’s riches and the dew of the heavens. He will live by the sword and serve his brother. But he will throw off his yoke. Esau plans to murder Jacob once Isaac has passed.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 4: Genesis 27:30-41

10) Esau does not respect the birthright by giving it to Jacob for a bowl of stew (Genesis 25:31). He marries pagan women who were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 26:35). Esau is angry and keeps demanding Isaac’s blessing in Genesis 27, which truly only God can give.

11a) Regret means,”feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity).” You wish you had not done whatever you  are regretting. Repentance means, “the action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse.” You look at your actions and feel regret for what you did wrong. According to Wikipedia, repetance means: Repentance is the activity of reviewing one’s actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs, which is accompanied by commitment to and actual actions that show and prove a change for the better. In Judaism and Christianity it is often defined as an action, turning away from self-serving activities and turning to God, to walk in his ways.

b) Esau shows regret over selling his birthright and missing out on the blessing (Genesis 27:36). Isaac shows regret that he blessed Jacob instead of Esau (Genesis 27:33), but repentance when he realizes that God’s will is done (Genesis 27:37-40).

2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

12) Everything works together for my good (Romans 8:28). That God is in control. He has this; I don’t. It is as God has meant it to be.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 4: Genesis 27:30-41

Esau reacts out of anger and vows to kill Jacob instead of accepting God’s ulimate authority and will. Isaac realizes God’s will has been done, and he accepts it.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 4: Genesis 27:30-41

Isaac’s trembling could be because he realizes that God is in control no matter what he tries to do. He also realizes he was wrong in trying to circumvent God and does not try to retract his blessing. He knows God’s will has been done and tells Esau this as well.

Esau is angry (rightfully so). However, he knows God’s words from His revelation to Rebekah, yet he fights against them. Now that he’s older, he understands that the birthright brings material advantages as well. Here, he cares about it for the first time and wants it back, blaming Jacob when God had already chosen.

Esau wept not out of a sense of wrongdoing or repentance, but out of sense of what he had lost in material wealth and privilege. (Hebrews 12:15-17) shows how Esau was rejected despite his tears and plea here.


bible study fellowship

Isaac Blesses Esau

These comforting words from Isaac about Esau’s future were not bad and could be considered a blessing. Many Bible scholars believe that “your dwelling will be away from the earth’s presence” should read “from” without the away. This means he will be a nomad, he will have to fight to live, but he won’t be under Jacob his entire life.

We’ll see later that Esau was blessed, indeed. (Genesis 33:9)

Esau was jealous of Jacob and wanted to kill him when Isaac died. Little did he know this would be decades down the road.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 13, Day 3: Genesis 14:13-16

Summary of passage:  One escaped and told Abram his nephew had been captured. Abram, who was allied with his neighbors, called out all 318 trained men to go with him to rescue Lot.  Abram launched a night attack near the city of Dan, routed them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus.  Abram recovered all the stolen goods, women, and others, and rescued Lot and his possessions, whom he brought back with him.


5)  Abram is loyal to Lot.  Abram is allied with his neighbors so he has diplomacy skills.  He spares no expense, requiring all his trained men to fight for Lot; he has some military training (or guidance from God) for Abram divided his men and attacked.

This shows the extent of God’s blessings to Abram in terms of his wealth.  Abram had his own trained army to fight for him.  This is NOT cheap, especially in ancient times.  Metals and weapons (shields, swords, and armor) were expensive–way more expensive than I would say 90% of the population at the time could afford in their LIFETIME.

6a)  Abram gathers all his allies and men and we put on the full armor of God (all of our resources available) to fight. Abram stood firm in his belief to rescue Lot and he was ready like we are to be when fighting spiritual battles.  Abram had faith he would win as we are to in our battles.  We are to pray and use the Word of God.  We are not told if Abram prayed before he set out, during, or after.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Full armor of God I would say is the Holy Spirit indwelt.  The Holy Spirit will protect your entire body.  The belt of truth is God’s truths and righteousness is what Christians are if they accept Jesus as their Savior.  The shield of faith in trust in God.  The helmet of salvation is our knowledge that we will win and be saved.  The sword of the Spirit is the Bible, God’s word.  Prayer to God for help to overcome.

These weapons have divine power.  We take captive every thought and make it obedient to God and we can defeat every argument or pretension with God’s truth (His word).

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Prayer and His Word.  Ask and you shall receive.  If Jesus chose God’s word to defeat the devil in the desert, then I will as well (Matthew 4).  “It is written….”

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It is comforting and humbling to know God is with me and I have the knowledge (His Word and Spirit) and He will give me triumphs in life, beginning with His Son who conquered the grave.  We are as precious to God as Christ is to salvation.  Amazing!

The challenge is to be that sweet aroma to others as I spread His message.

Conclusions:  Dreading this lesson when all the questions save one is on New Testament passages.  We studied this Ephesians passage in Acts last year, Lesson 25.  The questions are basically the same, just tweaked.  You can review my answers HERE and HERE.

Review.  I guess I’d better get used to this.  Seems to be the theme for this year.  I was honestly hoping for more in-depth on what’s happening in Genesis, not Ephesians.

Interesting Fact:  This is the first use of the word “Hebrew” in the Bible.

End Note:  My new favorite website.  I wish I could draw simple maps that make everything so clear!