Today’s question we’ll answer is “How do you join Bible Study Fellowship?
There are a couple of ways to join Bible Study Fellowship, or BSF. You can go online and request to join a group. The link is HERE. You can search groups near you and then request to join a group all online.
You can also request to join an online BSF Group. That link is HERE. You can search by time, day, and language. This is a great option for older people and for those who prefer to meet from the comfort of their home.
Bible Study Fellowship is free, and now you can choose the way you like to study the Bible with others.
Jesus asked the Pharisees questions now: “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” The Pharisees answer, “The son of David.” “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’?” So he can’t be his son then. No one dared ask Jesus any more questions.
Jesus tells the disciples and the crowds to obey the teachers of the law and the Pharisees but to not be like them because they do not practice what they preach. They are only concerned about appearances and prestige. Do not call them Rabbi. Only call God Father, and Jesus is their teacher. Those who are humble will be exalted. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 23, Day 4: Matthew 22:41-23:12
9a) “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’?”
b) The he was the Christ, the son of David.
c) A lot. Every day I see more of Jesus in me, and as I do, I grow more with Jesus and get to know him. That is my prayer. To know Jesus and to grow to be more like him every day.
10a) He told them to practice what they preach and to not be concerned with just outside appearances. Instead, have everything they do for God.
b) Honor, prestige, and recognition. They want to sit at the place of honor at banquets and in the most important seats at they synogogue. The Pharisees wanted others to greet them in marketplaces and call them Rabbis.
c) Same probably. Recognition. But I don’t know. I shun that stuff, too. God should be my motivating factor in everything.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 23, Day 4: Matthew 22:41-23:12
I love here how Jesus says to practice what you preach, which is where our saying comes from. Neat!
Learn more about the disciples!
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 23, Day 4: Matthew 22:41-23:12
Jesus now tests the Pharisees and the leaders by asking them a question and connecting it to the Old Testament by using the concept of Christ. This was similar to the question he asked the disciples about who he was Matthew 16:13-15
Fun Fact: Psalm 110, is the most frequently quoted OT chapter in the NT.
Thus, Jesus says he is Son of God.
Instead of the Pharisees embarrassing and trapping Jesus, he embarrassed them. Thus, they would no longer debate him because they lost every time. Violence was next.
Now, Jesus turns to teaching his disciples and the crowds about the dangers of the Pharisees’ teachings. (Matthew 15:7). (Matthew 16:5-12). Yet, the people had to honor and respect the Pharisees because they held authority ordained by God.
Moses’ seat is like a teacher’s seat. In synogogues of the day, there was a stone seat in the front where the teacher sat at times.
The Pharisees’ teachings make following the law a burden. They added many customs and traditions that were based on their beliefs and not Biblical teaching. Jesus makes Christianity easy to carry. (Matthew 11:30).
The Pharisees did works in order to be honored by men, not God.
The phylacteries, which are small boxes that contain the Scriptures that Pharisees wore on the arm and head, and the borders of their garments were in accordance with the law (Deuteronomy 11:18, Numbers 15:38-40). However, the Pharisees had made these bigger so they could be seen by others better. They wanted others to admire and honor them.
The people are equal with the religious leaders and others should not call them Rabbi. His point is to not honor those above others.
Jesus says that many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. To illustrate this point, Jesus tells the Parable of the Workers. Here, he hires men throughout the day to work in his vineyard. At the end of the day, he pays them all the same wages even though some worked more hours than others. The man said he can do what he wants with his money and he shouldn’t be envious because he is generous.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 21, Day 2: Matthew 19:30-20:16
3a) Here, he hires men throughout the day to work in his vineyard. At the end of the day, he pays them all the same wages even though some worked more hours than others. The man said he can do what he wants with his money and he shouldn’t be envious because he is generous.
b) God’s manner of rewarding is not man’s idea or practice of rewarding.
c) In the same manner, God can do what He wants and bless others as He sees fit. God is always fair, but He can be more than fair as He pleases.
d) Some are privileged to receive the Gospel early in life; others come later in life. However, all are equal before God and all get into heaven no matter how long they have been a Christian.
4) Opposite when everyone is out for themselves and to be the first. Ultimately, God rewards, not man.
5) Every day of my life. By waking up every morning, breathing, and doing the work He has set before me.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 21, Day 2: Matthew 19:30-20:16
Great lesson for all of us. Think of how many disappointments we have because we expect something, and it doesn’t happen. Here, Jesus says clearly to expect the unexpected from God.
Great read or listen!
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 21, Day 2: Matthew 19:30-20:16
Note Jesus frequently uses the relationship between employees and employers in his teachings.
Jesus is still answering Peter’s question from Matthew 19:27 about what the disciples will receive.
The marketplace was where men went who were looking for work for the day. They often carried tools with them. This would have been at dawn most likely.
The landowner represents God, and the vineyard illustrates His kingdom. The workers are those who responded to God’s call. They can join at any time.
The hiring times of the landowner would have been 9 am, noon, and about 5 pm. The landowner was surprised to find idle men since he had plenty of work for them.
Note the first hires were promised a denarius for the day (the going wage at the time). He promised the others to pay them what was right.
Since these are day laborers, they are paid every day.
The Landowner’s Absolute Right
Most people would have been mad to receive the same pay. But that was because they expected more. The landowner paid what he promised them, and paid the others out of generosity.
The landowner said he could do whatever he wished with his money.
Jesus tells the parable of the mustard seed and yeast. He says that the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed. Although it’s the smallest of seeds, it grows into the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds perch in its. The kingdom of heaven is also like yeast a woman mixes in with dough.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 14, Day 2: Matthew 13:31-35
3a) The kingdom of heaven
b) The smallest thing blossoms into the something grand that others enjoy and use. Most Bible scholars agree that these parables are prophetic in terms of the growth of Christianity and how God’s Word and the Good News will spread.
4) It doesn’t matter where you come from; you can follow Jesus and make a difference in this world. In Matthew 16:6-12, Jesus is comparing yeast in bread to the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Ezekiel 17:23-24 talks about how God plants trees on mountaintops that will bear fruit and have birds’ nest in it and find shelter. Everyone will know that God did so. Ezekiel 2:11 says that every grain offering is to be made without yeast. Ezekiel 23:15-18 talks about bread offerings. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 states that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough. Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast. Therefore, God works though the smallest things to create big things.
5a) He knew that those with a heart for God would understand the message, and those that didn’t know God weren’t privileged to do so.
b) It’s cool to see different interpretations and how things are used in the Bible. It prompts me to study God’s word deeper and continue to research meanings of Scripture.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 14, Day 2: Matthew 13:31-35
Two of Jesus’s less famous parables, but everything Jesus said should be considered of equal import. Here, it’s important to grasp the message of how small things can yield big results. Practically speaking, when you are struggling to understand your place and purpose in life, know that you have an impact on others by what you are doing.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 14, Day 2: Matthew 13:31-35
Most mustard seeds grow no more than the size of a bush. If the mustard seed is growing into the size of a tree, it’s a miracle. Most Bible scholars picture this as the church growing and offering shelter for the world. Some Bible scholars see the tree as an image of a great empire Ezekiel 17:23; 31:3-9; Daniel 4:10-12
Thus, the parable describes how God’s kingdom grew but then became a nest for corruption as in the Middle Ages. Birds can symbolize demons or even Satan Revelation 18:2
The birds that nest in the tree’s branches can be interpreted as Gentiles finding refuge in Christ. God’s work is big.
The parable of the yeast can be interpreted as a picture of the kingdom of God growing, or of sin and corruption growing. Exodus 12:8, 12:15-20
The large amount is more than usual. “Hidden” is used in other translations over “worked all through.” The idea is that Jesus’s kingdom would be threatened by corruption.
The church is part of the things hidden from the world and would not be revealed fully until later. Paul talks about this in Ephesians 3:4-11.
Jesus was sitting by the lake (Sea of Galilee), but the crowds were so big that he got into a boat so the people could see and hear him better. He told the parable of sower. Some of the seeds that the farmer scattered fell on rocky places. They sprang up quickly, but because the soil was shallow, they withered due to a lack of root. Other seeds fell among thorns, which choked the plant. Other seeds fell on good soil where it produced a good crop.
SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 13:18-23
Jesus explains the meaning of the parable of the sower. When people hear the message about the kingdom of God and do not understand it, the evil one takes away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places hears the Word and receives it with joy. But he falls away when trouble arises because he has no root. The seed in the thorns is the man who hears the word, but is unfruitful because of his worries and deceitfulness of wealth. The one who received the seed on good soil hears the Word and understands it. He produces a good crop.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 13, Day 2: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
3) He told the parable of sower. Some of the seeds that the farmer scattered fell on rocky places. They sprang up quickly, but because the soil was shallow, they withered due to a lack of root. Other seeds fell among thorns, which choked the plant. Other seeds fell on good soil where it produced a good crop.
The sower signifies: God or Jesus
The seed signifies: the Word of God
The soil along the path signifies: those who hear but don’t take action
The birds that snatch the seed signifies: the evil one
The rocky soil signifies: problems that arise that prevent one accepting God’s Word
The thorny soil signifies: those who don’t truly accept God’s Word even after growth
The good soil signifies: those who accept Christ as their Savior
5a) The seed that fell on good soil. It was the only one that produced a crop.
b) The same in all four accounts was God and Him extending His hand to us to believe His word. The seeds all started out equally, meaning they all had a chance to be fruitful. What was different was the soil and how each responded to God’s Word and let hindrances keep them from God.
c) We need to ensure our roots are deep so we can withstand the evil one’s attacks on us. We need to not let circumstances sway us to turn from God. We need a solid foundation of knowing God’s Word in order to spend eternity with God and survive and thrive in this world.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 13, Day 2: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Great life lessons we can glean from this parable. I love Jesus’s parables because they all apply to us today and we can learn so much when we study the meaning in depth.
Here are some great parable readings for you!
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 13, Day 2: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
The boat gave Jesus a platform to speak from (Mark 4:1). With rising opposition, Jesus could no longer preach in synogogues, so he taught outdoors.
Parables are meant to teach one main principle to those listening. They made the idea easier to remember, and it stayed longer with the people. The parables of Matthew 13 focus on God’s kingdom. Your response determines if you will have eternal life or eternal damnation.
Jesus spoke to things the people would understand. Everyone understood farming.
The seeds fell on four places:
Next to the path — this was where many people walked and thus the seeds would be trampled and not grow.
In rocky places — characterized by thin soil as we are told
Amongst thorns — fertile ground, but with hazards
On good soil — fertile and free of other plants growing
Jesus uses “he who has ears, let him hear.” to call attention to his words.
The meaning behind his words would make no sense to those with spiritual deafness. Those who recognized Jesus would understand his words.
Each soil type represents one of four ways that we respond to Jesus:
Next to the path — those who hear God’s Word, but are unaffected. Their hearts are hardened, so they have no real understanding of what they are hearing. You must understand God’s Word before you can take action.
In rocky places — those who are super excited when they first hear God’s Word, but then their excitement quickly fades and they fade away, too when times get rough
Amongst thorns — those who grow with God for a while, but then are taken down by the evil one, temptations, worries, and deceitfulness of wealth
On good soil — those that hear God’s Word and stick it through, bearing fruit along the way
What the Parable of the Sower Means to Us
We all go through the different types of soil in our lives — times where our faith wanes or where we are on fire for God. However, what matters in the end is that we strive to be the good soil and bear fruit in all that we do.
It can be helpful to ask yourself which soil are you and what can you change to become the good soil.
Jesus and his disciples were walking through fields of grain. His disciples were hungry, so they began to eat the grain heads. The Pharisees claimed this was unlawful. Jesus responded that David ate consecrated bread when he was hungry and the priests desecrate the day by doing temple work. He says one greater than the temple is here, since he, the Son of Man, is Lord of the Sabbath.
The Pharisees ask Jesus if it’s lawful to heal on the Sabbath. He uses the example of if a sheep had fallen into a pit on the Sabbath, would they not rescue it? It’s lawful to do good on the Sabbath. Jesus healed a man with a shriveled hand, and the Pharisees plotted how to kill Jesus.
Jesus withdrew and healed all the sick, telling them to tell no one who he was. This fulfilled prophecy in Isaiah.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 4: Matthew 12:1-21
9a) No. The law was to do no work on the Sabbath. Picking heads of grain was not only allowed according to Deuteronomy 23:25, but it most definitely is not work. The law did not say, “starve on the Sabbath.”
b) Jesus responded that David ate consecrated bread when he was hungry and the priests desecrate the day. He says one greater than the temple is here, since he, the Son of Man, is Lord of the Sabbath. Mark 2:23:27 says the Sabbath is made for man and his rest. In 1 Samuel 21:4-6, we read that the priests gave David and his men consecrated bread to eat as long as they had kept themselves from women. Jesus meant that as Lord of the Sabbath, he can do what he pleases.
10) He cared more about people than laws.
11) The Pharisees are beginning to plot against him. Jesus knows he still has work to do before he is called home to God, so he withdraws to protect himself. He’s trying to keep a low profile and not draw attention to himself, so he tells those to not tell others, so he can continue his ministry here on earth.
12) I love how in his name, there is hope. Jesus’s name is so powerful that all we need to do is hope in him.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 4: Matthew 12:1-21
Human nature is to bring those down around you who are more successful than you, more popular, and who are helping others. Here, we see Jesus begin to suffer for his goodness.
If you love Bible maps like I do, check out this Bible resource!
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 4: Matthew 12:1-21
This passage shows us how the Bible can be misinterpreted and the consequences thereof. The Pharisees would have Jesus and his disciples starve because in their minds they were doing work on the Sabbath. This is not what the Bible says at all.
Jesus, of course, never broke a law; he did break man’s interpretation of that law, and sometimes on purpose, to make a point.
Here, human need is more important than the rules of the Sabbath. Besides, Jesus says, the priests break the laws of the Sabbath constantly by performing their rituals, which is work. Mercy is more important than sacrificing for principles (Hosea 6:6)
Jesus once again proclaims his deity with his declaration that he is Lord of the Sabbath and greater than the temple, which was everything to the Jewish people at that time. He himself is worthy of love, admiration, honor, sacrifice, service, and worship.
Jesus Healing on the Sabbath
Jesus sets the example of us going to church on the Sabbath.
The Pharisees try to set Jesus up with a man who needs healing, knowing Jesus will have compassion on the man and heal him.
Here, the Pharisees turn from just rejecting Jesus to plotting to murder him.
Jesus withdrew to preserve God’s plan for him. He healed all who came to him in faith, and this probably took a long time.
Jesus warns his disciples what they will face on their journeys. They will be like sheep among wolves. The disciples will need to be on their guard against men who will flog them in their synogogues and hand them over to their local councils. They will be arrested, but God will help them by giving them the words they will need via the Holy Spirit.
Jesus warns them others will hate them because of him, but if they stand firm, they will be saved. If people persecute them, move on. However, they won’t finish going through the cities of Israel after before he dies.
Do not be afraid, for they can kill the body but not the soul. Instead, be afraid of the Devil. No one will fall apart from the will of the Father.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 11, Day 4: Matthew 10:16-31
11a) The disciples will be like sheep among wolves. They need to be on their guard against men who will flog them in their synogogues and hand them over to their local councils. They will be arrested, but God will help them by giving them the words they will need via the Holy Spirit. People will persecute the disciples.
b) It is the same. People persecute and hate Christians. Brother will betray brother and a father his child.
c) Doing the right thing has been costly in terms of job promotions.
12a) Do not be afraid, for nothing is concealed that won’t be made known, and they can kill the body but not the soul.
b) It’s always good to know that someone has got my back and that I’ll be alright no matter what.
13) The body can be killed but not the soul. This encourages me when death happens.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 11, Day 4: Matthew 10:16-31
Following Jesus is hard, and it’s not all sunshine and roses. Jesus tells his disciples this in order to prepare them for the turmolt ahead.
Great for the shorter nights!
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 11, Day 4: Matthew 10:16-31
The disciples will face persecution, but they are to remain harmless, not fighting back. Opposition will be everywhere, including with governors and kings. Christianity will spread, threatening many.
Note the inclusion of the Gentiles in verse 18.
God and His words will be with them. Persecution will come from within families, too. Death will result. But persevere to the end. And don’t seek out martydom, but flee to those who will hear your message.
The Son of Man coming refers to God’s judgement of Judea in AD 70 when the temple was destroyed.
Since Jesus was persecuted, so too will they be. If Jesus was called the Devil (Beelzebub), so they too will be. Instead, be like Jesus, the teacher (Romans 8:29).
The Truth will prevail, so there is nothing to fear. The Truth will be known even if rulers try to suppress it. God cares for the disciples more than the sparrows.
Fun Fact: “Do not be afraid” is mentioned three times in these last 6 verses. With God, there is no room for fear.
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.
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.
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.