BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 14, Day 5: Matthew 13:51-58


The disciples say they understand. Jesus says then they are like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new and old treasures.

Jesus's journey to Nazareth where he is rejected matthw 13

Jesus then traveled to his hometown of Nazareth to teach. They were amazed by his wisdom and miraculous powers. They knew he was Mary’s son and his brothers were James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, and his sisters. The took offense because they couldn’t see how he could have these powers. Jesus told them he was without honor amongst those who knew him. Since they lacked faith, Jesus did not do many miracles there.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 14, Day 5: Matthew 13:51-58

11a) The responsibility to teach others.

b) The “old” treasures refer to the Old Testament laws and the “new” treasures refer to Jesus and the redemption he brings. Alternatively, you can think of this as the “old” as the truths and mysteries that Jesus (the “new”) fulfilled.

c) Having both the knowledge of the Old and the New Testament gives you a full picture of how to live your life on this side of heaven. The treasures God has given me is helping others through this medium know him. And, helping my family and those I know understand God’s Word, too.

12a) They took offense.

b) He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

c) Some people will never turn to the Lord no matter what they see or hear.

13) None, in truth.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 14, Day 5: Matthew 13:51-58

I always love the idea of old and new, like putting on your new self (Ephesians 4:22-24). It gives me hope when I sin that I can be new again.

Great resource!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 14, Day 5: Matthew 13:51-58

The disciples say they understand, but how many times have you said you understood when in reality, you had no clue? More would be revealed as time goes on, which is how our journey in Christ looks, too. The more we know, the deeper we grow with God and the more we understand.

The parable of the household or homeowner is Jesus’s last parable of the kingdom of heaven.

You bring items out of a storeroom to share.

Since the disciples understand, they must now impart that knowledge to others. Teachers of the Word must understand so that the people do.

No one can believe a lowly carpenter’s son can do such things. He was a normal boy when they knew him.

We can infer that most people of extraordinary talent or ability are normal people.

Note how important belief is again in Jesus’s healing and helping others. You must believe if you are to be helped.

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parable of the hidden treasure and the pearl matthew 13

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 14, Day 3: Matthew 13:44-46


Jesus tells the parable of the hidden treasure and the pearl. He says that the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found the treasure, he hid it and then sold all he had to buy the field where the treasure lie. The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he sold everything he had to buy it.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 14, Day 3: Matthew 13:44-46

6a) Similarities in two tales: Both times the man sold all he had to acquire what he wanted. Something extremely valuable is discovered, desired, and purchased. Differences: the man could have kept the treasure the first time without having to sell everything he owned to acquire it.

b) That the man would give up everything he had to have what he desired.

7a) In order to have the kingdom of heaven, you must be willing to give up everything you have. Philippians 3:8 says you must be willing to lose all things to know Christ. In  Colossians 2:2-3, Paul says his purpose is to that all of us have complete understanding to know the mystery of God and Christ where all wisdom and knowledge are hidden. Psalms 16:5-6 says God has assigned us our portion and cup and made our lot secure as our inheritance. Romans 8:32 says that God gave up his own Son for us and give us all things.

b) That we must be willing to give all we have to follow Christ.

8 ) It’s encouraging to know that the more you give up in Christ’s name, the more you will know him. This is sacrificing time to study the Bible, tell others about the Bible, and grow deeper in your relationship with God.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 14, Day 3: Matthew 13:44-46

It’s important to note the differences here. You must be willing to sell everything to follow Christ. However, do so smartly. For Christ, we are worth it. Is he worth it to you?

Great resource!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 14, Day 3: Matthew 13:44-46

In the parable of the hidden treasure, the man is Jesus and the field is the world. Jesus gave everything to purchase his treasure (believers). At the time, whoever owned the land would get the treasure; not the one who found it.

Consider how rare it is to find buried treasure. That shows how valuable we are to Jesus.

So we go from corruption to value added in Jesus’s parables.

In the parable of the pearl, Jesus is the buyer of the pearl, and the believer is the pearl that is so valuable to him that he would be happy to sell everything to have it. A pearl in ancient times was extremely valuable and desired. People would have instantly recognized this value. This shows you just how much Jesus values you.

Fun Fact: “Kingdom of heaven” appears more than 60 times in the Gospels.

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picture of mustard seed tree parable of mustard seed

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 14, Day 2: Matthew 13:31-35


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 17:2331:3-9Daniel 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 12:812:15-20

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.

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the world is your oyster

Friday Digest: BSF’s Study of Genesis Lesson 14


  • God tests us for our own good
  • God does it all; we do nothing
  • God cares more about the heart than about outcomes
  • Jesus covers our sins so when God looks at you, He sees Jesus in you
  • God’s grace is there when we fail
  • Every test is an opportunity to grow with God
  • Everything (including your loved ones) are His; sometimes you just need to let go and give them back to Him

Take Away: When you hold nothing back from God, God holds nothing back from you. The world is your oyster; how will you open it?

cave of the patriarchs by hebron

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 14, Day 5: Genesis 23

Summary of Genesis 23:

Sarah lived to be 127 years old. She died in Hebron. Abraham offered to buy a burial plot from the Hittites, and they told him he could pick any plot to bury her in, free of charge. Unsatisfied, Abraham approached Ephron and offered to buy his cave. Ephron offered to give it to Abraham. Abraham refused and offered to pay for the land. Ephron reluctantly agrees, and the land is deeded to Abraham. Abraham then buries Sarah.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 14, Day 5: Genesis 23

14) Personal Question. My answer: Inspirational. God is a personal God and wants a relationship with all of us.

15) They call Abraham “a mighty prince among us.” His reputation has spread, as well as his blessings from God.

16) Abraham purchases his first piece of the Promised Land, thereby owning it.

17) Personal Question. My answer: I’m unsure if they do nor do I know how. All I worry about is trying to do God’s will each and every day. The rest just falls into place.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 14, Day 5: Genesis 23

We see Sarah honored and buried here in a fitting manner. We also see her death. In today’s world where everyone is scared of dying so they put their life on hold and instead trust in masks and medical doctors, we see here that everyone lives, everyone dies, and the truth is death is better because you get to go home. The lies the devil has fed us has spread and put the fear of death in people when it should be the fear of God.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 14, Day 5: Genesis 23

map of cave of machpelah

Fun Fact:  Sarah is the only woman in the Bible whose age when she died is recorded. She led a good life and stands to be an example for us all.  (Isaiah 51:1-2 and 1 Peter 3:3-6). She is also mentioned more often than any other woman in the Bible as well.

Here we see one of the patriarchs of the Bible weep over the loss of his soul mate. Where we get tears as a sign of weakness is beyond me.

Abraham’s foreigner remark alludes to heaven as our real home.

Abraham wants this cave as the place to lay his wife. He built an altar to God here (Genesis 13:18) and believes it fitting for Sarah. It’s no different than us picking out a nice place to bury our loved ones.

The exchange between Ephron and Abraham is an example of how bargaining was done in that time and in that culture. Ephron had no intention of giving Abraham the land but that is how the bargaining started off. Kindness took precedent and is still predominant in the Middle East today when bargaining. This also testifies to the truth of the Bible.

As we continue our study of the book of Genesis, we’ll see this cave of Machpelah become the family burial plot of Abraham, with Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah, Leah, and Jacob buried here.

You can still see the Cave of Machpelah, which is considered the second holiest place for the Jewish people after the Temple Mount. It has a really cool history and would probably be a really cool place to visit one day.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 14, Day 5: Genesis 15:9-21

Summary of passage: Again, Abram questions God, asking for reassurances of this promise.  God tells Abram to bring him a heifer, goat, ram, dove, and a pigeon.  Abram cut these in half (except the birds).

Abram fell asleep and the Lord revealed that Abram’s descendants will be strangers and enslaved for 400 years.  But that God would punish this nation and they will emerge with great possessions.  Abram will die in peace and at an old age.

Then the Lord appeared (many believe) in the smoke and united the pieces, making a covenant with Abram, giving his descendants this land.


11)  God says that Abram’s descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and they will be enslaved and mistreated for 400 years (Exodus 6:1; 12:31-36; 40 and most of Exodus tells of God’s plan to free the Israelites from the Egyptians).

God will punish the nation they serve as slaves and afterward the descendants will come out with great possession.  This is shown in Exodus as God punished the Egyptians when Pharaoh refuses to release the Israelites.

In modern history, Egypt as an empire and great civilization no longer exists thanks to Alexander the Great and the Roman Emperor Octavian.  Also, the country of Israel exists today.

Abram will go to his fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age (Genesis 25:7-8).

In the fourth generation, your descendants will come back to Canaan to the land God gives them.

12a)  God as fire:  Genesis 15:17; Exodus 3:2-6 God appearing in burning bush; Exodus 13:21 God leading the Israelites at night as fire; Exodus 19:18 the Lord descending on Mt. Sinai in fire; 1 Kings 18 has Elijah answering the challenge by God coming as fire.  This is God as fire.

God used fire as a sign He accepted sacrifices:  Judges 6:21; 1 Kings 18:38; 1 Chronicles 21:26; Leviticus 9:24

God uses fire as judgment:  Genesis 19:24 when He burned Sodom and Gomorrah; Exodus 9:23; Numbers 11:1; Numbers 16:35 where God consumed people in fire.

Fire used to show God’s glory and holiness:  Daniel 7:9; Isaiah 33:13-15

God himself is a consuming fire in Deuteronomy 4:24

God the Son as light: 1 John 1:5, John 3:18-20; John 9:5; Romans 13:12

b) Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m reminded of a Greek myth that tells of how man first received fire.  It was given to them as a gift by Prometheus who was punished by Zeus because Zeus did not want man to have fire.  Prometheus was chained to a rock and forced to endure an eagle pecking at his liver for the rest of his days.

Fire is essential for living and surviving.  We have to cook our food and fire is what has been used for millenia.  Light is essential for seeing.  Otherwise we are blind.

Basically, God is essential for living since He is fire and light.  Without Him we cannot eat.  We cannot survive.  We cannot see.

Man could not exist without fire.  For the Sun itself is a ball of fire from nuclear explosions.  Furthermore, fire changes things.  Look at wood and metals.  Thus, if God is fire and fire changes things, then God changes things, namely us.

13)  Because He wants as many as possible to see the “light” and come to Him; to see His kindness and repent before it’s too late.

14a)  To the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.  This would be from modern-day Egypt to Iraq, which would include Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, and parts of Egypt and Saudi Arabia.  The river in Egypt is most likely the Nile River.  The Hebrew word for the river used here means “large river” so probably the Nile.

b)  Under Solomon (1 Kings 8:65) and possibly under Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:25).

Conclusions:  I loved the study of fire in the Bible and I only mentioned a tid-bit of ways fire is used.  It also symbolizes evil, the devil, greed, the Holy Spirit, etc.  Fire changes and purifies.  This I LOVE!  Since God is fire God changes and purifies!  Awesome!

I was also reminded by this SITE where I learned about fire how Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew are much more expressive languages than English and the way fire is used depends on translations and meanings.  These languages have many more meanings for some words than English does.

This is just an interesting ARTICLE on the Promised Land boundaries with maps.  However, this article is propounding a world viewpoint.

Maps of Promised Land:  This was interesting.  I found various maps of the Promised Land the Scriptures used to back up the boundaries.  Here is what I found:  This Link specifically uses Genesis 15:18-21  This one shows King Solomon’s boundaries with references.

MAP of Modern Day Israel against Solomon’s Empire in 990 BC.

Another MAP of Modern-Day Israel, showing Gaza, West Bank, and Golan

End Note:  I liked this lesson because it prompted me to learn more.  I spent two days looking up references and finding all these websites.  If I hadn’t of done this, this lesson wouldn’t have had the impact it did on me.  Please see HERE for the spiel this one comment inspired.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 14, Day 4: Genesis 15:1-11

Summary of passage:  Abram received the word of the Lord in a vision:  Do not be afraid for I am your shield and your very great reward.

Abram questions God as to where is this promised heir.  God assures Abram he will have a son from his own body and his offspring will be as numerous as the stars in the heavens. God also reiterates to Abram that He brought him from Ur to give him this land.

Again, Abram questions God, asking for reassurances of this promise.  God tells Abram to bring him a heifer, goat, ram, dove, and a pigeon.  Abram cut these in half (except the birds).  As Abram awaits God’s arrival, birds of prey come to feed on the carcasses so Abram drives them away.


8 )  No.  Justification is being right with God.  We achieve this through faith in Jesus Christ who eradicates our sins and allows us to be clean, right, and thus justified before God.  We are given works by God to do while here on earth that James says proves our faith.

Here’s the crux:  when you are justified you have the Holy Spirit within.  When you have the Holy Spirit, you have no choice BUT to do good works for you are changed and now desire to do good works, which are a sign of your faith and your justification.

We discussed this James passage last year (see HERE) and my opinion is you can be justified with no good works for all that is required is faith.  There is no “work” we must do to get to heaven and be justified for this is a gift from God.  All we must do is accept Jesus as our Savior and we’re there.

As I have seen in the study of Genesis, everything is a gift from God.  Man does absolutely nothing nor does he deserve what he gets.

9a)  We are all dead unless we accept Jesus as our Savior.  Then we are reborn with the Holy Spirit and only then will be have eternal life.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Life is meaningless without a purpose.  If I didn’t have God, my life would be empty.  It would be full of “busyness”, things to distract me, and an inner peace would not exist.  Working for God’s-given purpose, gives life to the mundane, life to the evil, and life to the dead.

All those diapers are for a purpose.  Those long days at a dead-end job are serving a purpose.  When the most horrific thing happens to you such as the death of a loved one, rape, bankruptcy, abuse, loss of a job and every other evil, unfair thing in life and God is the only thing that remains, you have life–even if all you feel is dead.

10a)  Abram believed in God’s promises and they were all fulfilled.  He was strengthened by these promises and gave glory to God while he waited.  He had faith.  He obeyed.  He acted.  He took steps out of obedience.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The same.  Believe in God, who He is, in His promises, and have faith they will come true in God’s timing.  Have patience.  Give God the glory.  Be strengthened by my knowledge in Him.  Obey God and what He is telling me to do.  Take those little steps of faith.

Conclusions:  I feel as redundant as when I teach my kids their letters but I’ll say it anyways:  Didn’t like this lesson either.  We didn’t once refer to the passage at the beginning, instead exploring Romans and James and we explored James last year.

That being said, I did like re-reading works and faith.  And I did like the reminder we are not dead even though at times I feel dead, indifferent, lost, and immune to the world around me.

My qualm is this:  if this is a study of Genesis, then let’s study Genesis.  If it’s a study of works and justification in the Bible, then don’t bill it as “Genesis 15:1-11”.

End Commentary on Faith and Works taken from Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary by J D Douglas and Merrill C Tenney:

Being made in God’s image, human beings perform works as they live in God’s world. These deeds are based on the condition of the heart.  Works can be done out of evil motivation or even done in order to earn favor with God.  These are unacceptable to Him.

True works arise out of an inner gratitude to God for what He has done for us.  These naturally spring from our faith in Him.  Thus, Paul in Romans emphasized the need for faith in God for good deeds, James stresses that good works are evidence of true faith.  (P. 1532)

I believe the point is this:  you naturally do good works because God dwells inside of you. Works is not a requirement set forth by God in order to be loved, cherished, and accepted by Him.  This is where history went awry in the Middle Ages with indulgences, the Crusades, and earning your way to heaven.

Works is a gift from God that we as Christians just do without thinking.  We’re not trying to prove how Godly we are (for all of us would fail in that realm).  We’re merely following the Holy Spirit and doing what Jesus would do.  Because of our faith in Him.

It’s a simple as that.

Intellectual faith is not what God is seeking; He is seeking faith of the heart.  It’s the difference between saying and doing something.  Many say they are Christians; but is God in their hearts?

Salvation is a gift from God that is by faith alone.  Yet we are created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10).  It’s a two-fold process.  One, you accept Jesus.  Two, good works are produced.  And if you truly have Jesus in your heart you have no choice:  good works will follow.  A life lived for Jesus.

The notes from BSF of Acts Lesson 27 have a great explanation on the James’ passage.