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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 4: Matthew 16:17-20

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 16:17-20

Jesus blesses Simon, saying God revealed to him who he was. He names him Peter, which means rock, and he will build his church that Hades (hell) cannot overcome. Jesus will give Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven and whatever he binds on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever he loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven. He told his disciples not to tell anyone he was the Christ.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 4: Matthew 16:17-20

9) Jesus blesses Simon, saying God revealed to him who he was.

10a) Jesus will be the rock (the foundation) of the church.

b) He will build his church that Hades (hell) cannot overcome. Whatever he binds on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever he loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven, meaning whoever believes he is the Son of God will be free from sin; those who don’t will be bound forever.

11a) The Gospel frees those from Old Testament laws.

b) In every way (such a broad question with so many answers). Freedom allows me to follow Christ’s path for me.

Conclusion BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 4: Matthew 16:17-20

My answers are short here. See more explanation in the End Notes.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 4: Matthew 16:17-20

God divinely inspired Peter when he spoke, saying who Jesus was.

Jesus renamed Peter the rock, and he would become a rock for the disciples after Jesus’s death.

“This rock” is Jesus. The church will be built upon Jesus, although some Bible scholars say the rock here is Peter or even the confession itself.

Fun Fact: This is the first use of the word ‘church’ in the Bible. Fitting it is spoken by Jesus.

Jesus was prophesizing the founding of the church.

The Greek word for church, ekklesia, meant group. Thus, the church is a group.

Note Jesus says “my church.” We belong to him.

Hell will not penetrate the church, meaning God’s people will overcome sin, death, and Satan.

Peter the Disciple

Jesus will give Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven. This is why Peter is usually depicted in art with keys. This symbolizes Jesus giving Peter the authority to unlock the Gospel to the world.

This passage is a basis for many images of Peter. There is no doubt that Peter was special. Some think he stands at the gates of heaven, letting people in or blocking their entrance.

  • He is always listed first when the disciples are listed in the Bible.
  • He paved the way for the Jews Acts 2:38-39 and the Gentiles Acts 10:34-44 to come to heaven.

Binding and loosing is an idea during that time that pertained to the law. To be bound was to be prohibited and be put under the law. To loose was to permit and be free from the law. Here, Jesus gives Peter and the disciples the power to define the New Covenant church and set the rules.

Sinners would be set free from sin and death (loosed). Those who refuse to believe are bound in sin.

Jesus set the rules for the disciples, which explains them taking the grains in the fields  (Matthew 12:1-8).

Peter and the disciples would set the New Covenant, including dietary rules. Still, Jesus was not ready for all to know he was the Christ (probably because the disciples were not ready and he needed more training time).

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 5, Day 5: Matthew 5:13-16

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 5:13-16:

Jesus calls believers the salt of the earth, but we must maintain our salt or we will be lost.

Jesus calls believers the light of the world, and like a city on the hill, your light cannot be hidden. Let your light shine as a testament to God so that others may come to know him.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 5, Day 5: Matthew 5:13-16

15a) Salt in the ancient world was mainly used for preserving food since refrigeration did not exist, and it was used to make food taste good. Salt is a necessity to the human body and its functions. It is essential for nerves and muscle function, as well as the regulation of fluids within our bodies. You will see animals lick salt because they need it, too. Salt also heals wounds. Its chemical composition, sodium chloride, forces liquid (and the bacteria in the liquid) out of the body, speeding healing. It has many uses outside of this. Great salt history HERE and HERE

b) There are many thoughts from Bible scholars about being the salt of the earth. Some think we are to preserve the world from evil, to enhance the flavor of the world, or to stop the decay in the world — to stop sin’s power to destroy our lives. Great reads HERE and HERE

16a) At its core, light illuminates. We cannot see anything without light. It opens our minds to what is there.

b) Christians are to illuminate or make visible Christ. Our good works are to shine for all to see. We are to be the light, the TRUTH, in a dark world. In Philippians 2:15, the apostle Paul says, “Believers, you are to shine as light in the world.” To be a beacon to bring others to the light.

17) We cannot bring God’s word to others and banish evil without living out God’s word. Our lives bring others to Christ, not our words. By being humble and showing mercy, as well as seeking God to be better every day, we will bring others to Christ.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 5, Day 5: Matthew 5:13-16

I love this! I love the analogies, and I love the history! The best thing you and I can do for others is to be Christ-like. We flavor the earth with our actions and our words, we heal the earth, and we shine God’s truth everywhere we go.

Here’s a cool salt and light bible devotional I found!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 5, Day 5: Matthew 5:13-16

Salt is precious, it preserves, and it adds flavor to the world. Christians do the same. Do not lose your saltiness, or you become useless to others. Salt also heals. Your actions and words can heal a broken soul.

Jesus is the ultimate light of the world (John 8:12 and John 9:5). We are now responsible for preventing decay and shining biblical truth in the world. This also means we are to get out in the world in order to shine.

Our light should be visible to others, like a city in the distance. We are to shine brightly for Jesus. The lampstand is intentionally placed there, as should our light be intentionally shined. Our good works will shine bright and bring others to Jesus. Let others see God in you.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

Summary of Genesis 31:

Laban’s sons were jealous of Jacob’s wealth. The Lord told Jacob it was time to return to his homeland. Jacob called Rachel and Leah to him and told them how he has worked for Laban despite the wages being constantly changed but God has been with him and has blessed him with their father’s livestock.

Jacob recounts a dream where God acknowledged Laban’s treachery and told Jacob to leave for home at once.  Rachel and Leah agree and say all Jacob has gained from their father should be theirs anyways as an inheritance.  Jacob and his family left Paddan Aram along with all of his livestock and goods for Canaan.  Rachel stole all of her father’s household gods and Jacob left without telling Laban.  They crossed the Euphrates.

Laban found out after three days that Jacob had fled.  He pursued him and caught up with him in Gilead.  God came to Laban in a dream, warning him not to speak to Jacob. Laban, in his infinite wisdom, speaks to Jacob anyways, and asks him why he had fled without saying good bye and why he has stolen the idols.

Jacob replies that he was afraid Laban would take his daughters from him (can’t blame him here) and that if someone has stolen the idols, may they die.

Laban searched and found nothing for Rachel was sitting on them and said she was having her period so she couldn’t stand to greet him.  Laban found nothing.

Jacob is mad at Laban for accusing him of stealing.  He points out how he has worked 20 years for him, 14 for his daughters and 6 for his flocks even though Laban has changed his wages on him 10 times, and God Himself even rebuked Laban for his behavior.

So Laban and Jacob made a covenant, asking Jacob not to mistreat his daughters or take any more wives and neither will cross the other’s “side” to harm each other.  They offered a sacrifice, spent the night, and the next day Laban bid his daughters farewell and left.

Summary of Hebrews 12:3-15:

The Lord disciplines those He loves and punishes everyone He accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline for God is treating you as a son.  For if you are not disciplines then you are not sons of God.  Everyone is disciplined.  God disciplines us for our good so we may share in His holiness.

Discipline is never pleasant, but it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace. Make every effort to live in peace and be holy; without holiness, no one sees the Lord. Do not be bitter.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

11) Jacob had noticed that Laban’s sons believed he had stolen Laban’s wealth, and Laban’s attitude towards Jacob had changed, too. But it was God who told Jacob to return.

12a) ) Verse 7 “God has not allowed him (Laban) to harm me.” verse 9 “God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me.” Verse 11-13 “I am the God of Bethel” and God made the animals born spotted. verse 42 “If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you (Laban) would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.” They made a covenant together that resolved the bitterness.

b) Pray and thank God.

13) Verse 3 “And I will be with you.” Verse 42: But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you. It encourages me that all my work is worth it, and God is with me.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

Unsure whey we read Hebrews here since we weren’t asked about it. Rachel is most definitely smart in hiding the idols. However, taking them? Not so smart. She has God. She needs nothing else.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

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Just as Rachel is jealous of Leah, Laban’s sons are jealous of Jacob’s wealth. Love does not envy  (1 Corinthians 13:4). Envy is bad; it killed Jesus. (Matthew 27:18).

God is nudging Jacob back home (Genesis 30:25) and encouraging him, too.

God reminds Jacob of his Bethel (Genesis 28:10), where God has spurred him on to find Rachel. It’s good for all of us to remember times and places where God has shown up. This strengthens us and encourages us in times we feel God is far away.

It was important for Jacob to have the support of his wives. After all, they would be leaving their family for the first time ever, taking their kids with them, to an unknown land. Both women agreed for once and were ready to help in any way they could.

One cool detail you might have missed is that Jacob’s entire family road camels. This is like saying everyone drove their own car here in the US. It’s a sign of Jacob’s immense wealth.

Jacob snuck away when he did not need to. God had already told him to go. It’s evident he would be protected. Perhaps Jacob is so mad at Laban at this point he just wanted to leave.

Rachel Steals her Father’s Idols

We are not told why Rachel stole the idols. Obviously, you should not steal, especially from your mother and father (she broke two of God’s ten commandments here yet to be given to Moses). Scholars debate the reasons:

  • She herself secretly worshipped these idols
  • She didn’t want her father to worship these idols
  • She didn’t want her father to catch them through divination
  • Idols were traditionally used as deeds to property
  • She didn’t like her father, so she took something of his to anger him
  • She wanted protection on the long journey

The reason didn’t matter. She stole; this is wrong.

They left Paddan Aram and Haran for Gilead, which is about 300 miles away and close to the sea of Galilee. Since it took 3 days for Laban to notice, the families must have lived a considerable distance away from one another. Note that God cautions Laban to deal fairly with Jacob. Laban was probably angry and did intend to harm him. God’s warning meant “you touch him and you will pay.”

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Jacob and Home

Jacob is close to home when Laban catches up. It took Laban 7 days to catch up to Jacob who is now near the Jordan River and very close to home. Laban tried to shame him with a celebration and a chance to say good bye to his family. He threatens harm as well. Jacob fervently denies he stole the idols, not knowing Rachel had.

Jacob let Laban have it, citing all he had done for him in 20 years and showing him how ungrateful he was being. He was angry over it all, maybe even remembering the trickery of Leah. He helped Laban. Jacob replaced any lost animal of Laban’s with his own and tells him that God sent him away.

Note that Jacob does not claim God as his own, only Abraham and Isaac’s.

Mizpah meant God is watching and He will repay you if you sin. Laban still claims everything is his, but says he’ll let Jacob have it. The pillar was a sign of their separation. It appears they still left with much animosity between them. From here on out, Jacob’s family will be separated from everyone else.

Laban will never see his daughters or grandchildren again. He now disappears from Bible history, presumably returning home and living out his life as he always had. The separation between Laban and Jacob had to happen. Like this example shows us, it is not always pretty.