BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 18, Day 5: Romans 10:18-21

Summary of passage:  Israel heard the Good News, but chose to be disobedient and obstinate.  Instead, the Gentiles believed when the Good News was revealed to them.


12) God revealed Himself to the Gentiles in an attempt to make the Israelites jealous and then turn to Him.  Hearing is listening to words but no action.  Understanding is knowing what the words mean but no action.  Believing is taking action and agreeing with the words.  For example, “Go pick up your room.”  My kids hear the command.  They understand it.  Then they ignore me and don’t do it.  Same with God.  “Believe in my Son.”  The Israelites heard this.  They understand it’s meaning.  But they turned their backs on Christ.

13)  The Israelites who did not believe in Christ.  The Gentiles who heard the Good News.

14)  Personal Question we just answered in Question 8.  My repetitive answer: Where is everywhere I encounter others whom He puts in my path whom He desires to be there.  I encourage others just by listening and sharing God’s truths about love and comfort and purpose, etc.

Conclusions:  Paul is saying Israel has no excuse for they have heard the message and declined.

End Notes:  Israel is ignoring God and the prophets, Moses and Isaiah, making them more accountable and responsible.  This, however, God knew.  God’s chosen people ignored Him, all the more heart-breaking to God.  He holds out His hands and they slap it away.  He continues to reach out to His people in spite of their disobedience.  Same for us.  God hurts when we reject Him.

Conclusions BSF Romans Lesson 18:  Not a lot of verses covered and a simple message by Paul:  All have heard the message and it is simply have faith in Christ.  Nice respite and should be fairly quick to complete.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 18, Day 5: John 14:8-14

Summary of passage:  Here, Philip really doesn’t get it and Jesus chastises him for it.  He asks Jesus to show him the Father and Jesus answers by saying he has seen the Father since the Father is in him.  He will do whatever they ask in his name to bring glory to the Father.


11)  “even after I have been among you such a long time.”  “How can you say” such a thing.

12)  He is speaking God’s words, doing God’s work through miracles, and anyone who asks of him he will do it in God’s name.  Jesus was at the beginning and the Word and he is the Word and the Word is God so thus Jesus is God.  He is light.  He is the way, the truth, and the life.  He is God.

13)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Anyone who has faith in him.  He grants them whatever they ask.  Those in Christ will accomplish his will–which is greater than our will.  We can accomplish great things with Christ at our backs.  The Holy Spirit is the help Jesus has promised us.

Conclusions:  I almost think Jesus wants to hit Philip over the head he’s so dense.  He’s spent 3 years with Jesus and still doesn’t get it.  You’d think he’d at least get the fact Jesus is God but he doesn’t.  Jesus, exasperated, lays it out for Thomas and us.  He is God and believe in him will lead to great things in your life.

End Notes:  Philip wants to physically see God with his eyes.  Philip was so close to Jesus yet still did not understand him.  Many are like this today.

Jesus repeats himself again, saying all he says and does is by and through God.  I wonder how often he said this that’s not recorded.  Mankind is dense, aren’t we?

“I tell you the truth.”  This is the 1st of 3 assurances Jesus will give his disciples on the night of his arrest. He says this is not the end but the beginning of much greater works.  He expected the disciples to carry on his good works after he’s gone.  This will be with the power of the Holy Spirit in them.

After Peter’s speech at Pentecost more people believed than all combined under Jesus’ recorded ministry.  Christianity is now spread throughout the entire world.  This is what Jesus meant.

Jesus will do anything you ask for in his name–true to his character and in his will–not yours.  Prayer aimed at carrying forth the work Jesus did.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 18, Day 5: Various Passages

Summary of passages: Various passages for the day.


10)  Part personal Question.  My answers:

Psalm 23:  God gives everything:  green pastures, quiet waters, restores the soul, righteousness, Himself, comfort, food, overflowing cup, anoints us, goodness, love, and eternal life.

Matthew 11:28-9:  God gives rest and knowledge.

1 Corinthians 10:13:  He does not give us any more than we can bear and provides us a way out when we are tempted.  He is faithful.

1 Corinthians 12:6-10:  God gives us the Holy Spirit which gives us wisdom, knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues.

Hebrews 4:14-16:  Mercy and grace through faith in Jesus.

Revelation 21:4:  He wipes away every tear and after the Second Coming there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain.

Honestly, I’m not suffering right now.  I’m in a season of blessing and extremely grateful for it.  However, knowing God provides grace, mercy, comfort, basic needs, wisdom, a way out of temptation, and goodness is indescribably empowering in any season of life.

11)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  “Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12  Rejoice in suffering for it is a privilege and a way to participate in Christ’s glory. 1 Peter 4:12-19  We comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we have received from God so they may have patient endurance as well.  2 Corinthians 1:3-7  Love says Colossians 3:14  Verse 17 says whatever we do, do all in Jesus’s name, thanking God.

I try to offer words of comfort when those around me are in pain or suffering, or grieving.  I try to love as Christ would love.  Recently, an acquaintance’s dog passed away and an old colleague of mine lost his wife.  I tried to offer up words of comfort in those situations.

Conclusions:  Good reminder of how to help others who are suffering because often without God those who lose a loved one can become lost.  Ironic how we brought suffering into this world and death and God could easily have turned His back on us and let us wallow in our own misery.  Instead, He is there and He comforts for He feels our pain.  What an awesome God we worship!

Conclusions to Lesson 18:  Whole lesson on suffering.  Not sure we’ve ever done this before in BSF where we’ve deviated so much from the book(s) we are studying and dived into a topic in the Bible.  The Bible does speak on suffering a lot and we’ve looked at the majority of the passages on suffering.  We could call this the study of Revelation and Suffering in the Bible.  Fitting?  You make the call.

Didn’t realize there were so many ways to ask the same question:  why do we suffer, how do you suffer, and what is its purpose.  It all points back to Jesus (even when we comfort others) and I wish we could have kept it that simple.

This Lesson for me was relatively quick to complete because we have done so much previous work on suffering. Looking up the passages is time consuming but answering them is not.  Back to Revelation next week!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 18, Day 5: Numbers 9-10

Summary of passage:  Numbers 9:  We are again in the second year after the Exodus from Egypt.  God instructs Moses in the celebration of the Passover.  A few who were ceremonially unclean on account of a dead body asked Moses if they could still celebrate the Passover.  Moses asked God who said yes, they could.  God then said though is someone chooses not to celebrate the Passover than that person will be cut off from his people and bear the consequences of sin.  Aliens could celebrate as well according to the rules.

When the Israelites were encamped, the cloud covered the tabernacle.  At night the cloud looked like fire.  Whenever the cloud lifted, the Israelites set out.

Numbers 10:  God had Moses make 2 silver trumpets used as communication tools with the Israelites.  When one sounded, the leaders assembled before Moses.  When both sounded, the whole community assembled before Moses.  A blast on the trumpet would be a signal for setting out.  The signals are to be different. The priests alone are to blow the trumpets.  It is to blow during battle as well so the Lord will remember His people and be rescued.  Finally, at festivals the trumpet is to be sounded over the offerings as a memorial to God.

Finally, the Israelites leave Mount Sinai in the second year in the second month, day 20.  The camp of Judah went first followed by the tabernacle.  Reuben went next followed by the holy things.  Then Ephraim.  Then Dan at the end.  Moses asked his father-in-law to accompany them and he said no.  Moses said he knows the desert so they needed him and he promised to give him food if he came.  The ark of the covenant went before them as they marched.


11a)  2 years

b)  First, because it had been two years.  Second, the purpose of the Passover was to remember their slavery and exodus from Egypt so many wanted to celebrate God’s goodness and give Him thanks.  Third, because it was ordered by God as a command and as God later says in Numbers 9:13, it is a sin NOT to celebrate it, resulting in dire consequences of being cut off from their people.  Celebrating the Passover was an act of obedience by God’s people.  To not do so was a sin.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Usually not all that eager.  To remember His blessings, His goodness, His sacrifices, His grace, His mercy, and His centrality in my life.

12a)  When the Israelites were encamped, the cloud covered the tabernacle. At night the cloud looked like fire. Whenever the cloud lifted, the Israelites set out.  If the cloud moved, they moved.  If the cloud stayed, they stayed.  Simple directions the Israelites could not mess up.

b)  God had Moses make 2 silver trumpets used as communication tools with the Israelites. When one sounded, the leaders assembled before Moses. When both sounded, the whole community assembled before Moses. A blast on the trumpet would be a signal for setting out. The signals are to be different.

c)  Part Personal Question.  My answer:  Here, we see the Israelites with clear signs of God’s will and guidance:  a cloud they can see and a trumpet they can hear.  God guides us as well just with not quite so easily seen and heard methods.  I feel prayer and His word are the best way to hear God speak and see Him and His character.  Then I see Him guiding me in my life as I read His words and speak to Him.  I feel I hear Him speak as well through others who offer godly advice.  He is everywhere if we would only pay attention.

Conclusions:  12a was the same question as number 11a in Lesson 13 Day 5 where we were even told to read Numbers 9:15-23.  After doing this lesson, not sure why we studied the cloud the same way in Exodus 40 when the cloud was only briefly mentioned in relation to why Moses couldn’t enter the tabernacle.  Seems redundant here to study the same passage twice.

Overall, this was my favorite day of Lesson 18.  All the questions were good and meaningful.  I liked the trumpets.  That was cool.  Gets me ready for Revelation next year.  I liked the eagerness of the Israelites to celebrate the Passover and God’s openness to exceptions.  The lesson of obedience stuck out to me again.

End Notes:  Numbers 9:  Today we remember what Jesus did for us on the cross–sparing us judgment and forgiving us our sins once and for all–when we take communion, which is very similar to the Israelites’ remembrance of Passover every year.

Even the foreigner could partake and must partake of the Passover.  This shows God’s infinite love and how even the Gentiles are included as God’s people.

Some scholars say it is better not to have the visual of the cloud for what would happen if the cloud left?  People would be devastated.  I don’t believe this.  I think more people would believe and more would desire God even more if He left like the Israelites, begging God to stay with them (Exodus 33) and not forsake them when they sinned at the golden calf.

Numbers 10:  God’s people have been prepared:  given the laws, taught the ceremonies, cleansed, and organized for the Promised Land.  Still, the journey would not be easy, but preparation is key to have any hope of completing their journey.

Great example by Moses asking for help.  God provides others for us to help us on our journey as well.

This is one of the most famous of the prayers in the Bible and still applies to us today.  Amazingly, for all of the rebelliousness of the Israelites, they did follow the cloud faithfully.  So must we.  We go when God says go and stay when God says stay and we pray for our enemies to be scattered where we are and for God to be with us wherever we are.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 18, Day 5: Matthew 17:22-27

Summary of passage:  After Jesus descended the mountain, he gathered the disciples together in Galilee and told them he is going to be betrayed, killed, and raised again.  The disciples were full of grief.  Then they traveled to Capernaum where tax collectors asked Peter if Jesus paid the temple tax.  Peter replied yes.  Then Jesus asked him if he needed to pay the tax since he is the son of a king.  Peter (I think still slow to get this) said no and then Jesus told Peter to go catch a fish which will have a gold coin in it for the tax.


12a)  Because they were up on the mountain with Jesus and overheard his conversation with Elijah and Moses who were talking about Jesus’ forthcoming death and resurrection (Luke 9:30-31).

b)  Because they were filled with grief.  Before they had been in denial and thought he was joking.  Now they realize it will be true.

c)  Honestly, I can’t say either way.  We are not given enough information here in Matthew to conclude such an inference.  Mark, however, tells us outright that they didn’t understand what Jesus meant and were afraid to ask him about it (Mark 9:32).  Luke tells us that “they did not understand what this meant.  It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it (Luke 9:45).

Hence, I would say nothing in Matthew reveals this but Mark and Luke do.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Again, not sure I have experienced the same kind of grief as I have never been told a loved one of mine is about to be killed or is dying.  However, there have been many times in my life I have been frustrated, angry, sad, confused, and dumbfounded because I couldn’t see God’s purpose in my circumstances.  Most of these have to do with money.  But as I’ve gotten older I put more and more of my faith in God and what He is doing in my life so the “grief” which is not the word I’d use is lessened.  I’d call it more frustration and anxiety than anything else.

13a)  It is atonement money, to atone for their lives.  It was used for the service of the Tent of Meeting and as as memorial for the Israelites before the Lord.

b)  Personally, I thought this was just weird but I think Jesus used it as another example of his power over all things and how anything is possible with belief in him.  Also, this shows God’s provision for all His people, including His Son.  Jesus relied on the Father; therefore, so must we.

Conclusions:  Not sure why BSF did not send us back to Mark and Luke for 12c where this is stated clearly for Matthew leaves out that detail.

It’s hard to interpret “filled with grief”.  For what is grief?  The definition is “suffering, distress; deep and poignant distress cause by bereavement; sorrow” but grief looks different for every person.  Thus, it’s hard to say from Matthew if they got it for their grief could have been so deep over it all.  One could argue that they would be joyous because Jesus is dying for their sins.  But is death every joyous?  Not for loved ones left behind as is the case in the disciples.  They are losing their friend, teacher, and leader and I’m sure the depth of love between them all would be hard to imagine.

I know you are supposed to be joyful that Jesus died for our sin but the fact he had to die for our sins is sad to me.  I can’t imagine watching it happen before my eyes; seeing him beaten and tortured and hung on a cross–suffering for my inadequacy.  I can understand the disciples sorrow here and that is why inferring they didn’t understand from sorrow to me would be a stretch if Mark and Luke hadn’t have outright said so.

Thus, to me, Jesus’ death is both sad and joyful like death of believers who are going to a better place today.  I would bet sorrow trumps joyfulness especially right after death for most people.

The temple tax supported the temple and the worship services.

Map of Capernaum and Galilee:  I liked this simple map I found showing the whole region of Galilee:

End Notes: We can use the temple tax collection as a way to date the Bible because the temple tax was collected either at Passover or about a month earlier depending on where you lived.  So Jesus has about one month to live.

Only men paid this tax.  Note also once the temple was destroyed in AD 70 the money was still collected but went to Rome instead.

Rabbis were exempted from this tax as was princes (Jesus) but he paid it anyways to avoid controversy.

Note Jesus who didn’t owe anything paid anyways and paid for Peter.  See any parallels here?  Jesus paid for us when he didn’t have to.

This story is found only in the Book of Matthew and we all know Matthew himself was a tax collector, which makes sense why it was recorded only here by him.

I tried to discover more background on this story for you all but every thing I read was a speculation and contradicted each other.  Thus, I decided to leave it stand as is and take the simplistic road.