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.

Questions:

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.

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BSF Study Questions John Lesson 18, Day 4: John 14:1-7

Summary of passage:  Jesus comforts his disciples by telling them he is leaving so he can prepare a place for them.  He will come back and take them with him so that the can be where he is.  Thomas (the first time he speaks in this Gospel) tells Jesus they don’t know the way.  Jesus answers with another “I am” statement:  “I am the way and the truth and the life.”  Philip, still not getting it, asks Jesus to show him the Father.  Jesus wants to hit Philip over the head, but instead says if he’s seen him, he’s seen the Father and he should know that by now.

Questions:

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus will come again and take us where he dwells in glory.  This comforts those who are in pain or who have lost a loved one or who are lost.  One day we’ll all be with the Father.

9)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Thomas is seeing this literally.  He thinks Jesus is traveling on a journey, not ascending to heaven.  We can’t be too hard on Thomas.  Remember we know what happens; he doesn’t.  And many are still in shock from Jesus saying he’s going to die.  It’s easy to be critical of the disciples but remember the Holy Spirit hasn’t descended yet and Jesus is still among them.  Who wants to believe Jesus is going away forever?  As far as I know, I haven’t ignored or rejected any truth.  It’s hard to ignore or reject a truth if you don’t see the truth, which for most of us, it’s hard to see our own faults.

10)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus is the only way to God.  He’s eternal life.  He’s the truth you must believe.  “The” means there’s only one way.  It’s a definite article.  An indefinite article (a or an) can refer to any way, truth, or life.  It makes all the difference.

Conclusions:  Well, it’s a good passage but all the questions are personal and once again we see a question asking what difference does it make in your life and I give my stock answer.  See End Notes for analysis.

End Notes:  The disciples had reason to be troubled. Jesus had just told them that one of them was a traitor, that all of them would deny Him, and that He would leave them that night.  All of this would trouble anyone.  Yet Jesus says don’t be troubled.  We will have trouble and tribulation in our lives but we can have an untroubled heart.  As they trusted in God so they must trust in him, Jesus, as well.  This is a command he is giving the disciples.

Jesus’ point is there is room for all.  House is better translated from the Greek as “dwelling places.”

Jesus goes out of his own accord out of love for us.  Jesus coming back is both in the sense of visiting them after death, the Holy Spirit, and the Second Coming.

Thomas is honest and asks for clarity in what Jesus means like a son would a father when he doesn’t understand something.

Jesus’ 7th “I am” statement is verse 6.  He announces he is the only way to God despite what other religions will have you believe.  Why?  Because he is God.

Fun Fact:  In the the early church, Christianity was sometimes called “the Way” because of this passage.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 18, Day 3: John 13:36-38

Summary of passage:  Peter, of course, asks Jesus where he’s going (none of them quite understanding Jesus’ words).  Jesus says they will follow him to where he’s going later.  Peter protests, saying he wants to go with the Lord now.  Jesus calls him on his bluff, saying he’s about to disown him 3 times in less than 24  hours!

Questions:

6)  Jesus says Peter is will disown him 3 times before the rooster crows.  Peter will be more able to strengthen his brothers, having been wrung through the wringer by Satan and then confessed his sin.  He can better relate to people having denied Jesus out of fear and then come to him stronger.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It gives me courage to do His will for my life when I am scared of losing income because I know He will bless me much more in the long term which will lead to me being able to touch many more lives than I do already.

Conclusions:  How many of us know a Peter in our lives?  Someone who is gung-ho on everything and then when the time comes to put the talk into action, they back down or freeze up or come up with an excuse.  How encouraging for us that even though we may freeze up in that moment for Jesus, he forgives us and strengthens us and moves us forward according to His will.  Great stuff!

End Notes:  Jesus tells Peter he will eventually follow him.  He just doesn’t mention the after you die part.

Peter is 100% committed as a disciple of Jesus.  He says he’ll lay down his life for him.  At this moment.  Later, he fails because he let emotion get in the way.

Peter’s denial of Jesus is not the same as Judas’.  Judas planned his and is deliberate.  Peter’s is in the heat of the moment, based on fickle passions, and is accidental.  It is still bad but not as bad as Judas’.  This is a whole different level.

Christ must die for Peter FIRST; then Peter can die for Jesus.

Peter denies Jesus off of very human emotions of being laughed at.  He was embarrassed.  The girl’s tongue is sharper than a sword!  Peter denies he even knows Jesus, let alone denying he will lay his life down for him.  Peter does go from bad to worse. However, Jesus forgives those who make very human mistakes (all of us) with the right heart.  Dark hearts (like Judas’) are not forgiven.

Jesus knows Peter’s heart here and says so!

The time is halfway between midnight and dawn is when the rooster crows.  It was the 3rd of 4 Roman nightwatches.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 18, Day 2: John 13:31-35

Summary of passage:  Once Judas leaves, Jesus’ death is cemented.  He declares now the Son of Man and God are glorified.  He tells his disciples they cannot go with him.  He commands them to love one another as he has loved them.

Questions:

3)  He speaks of being glorified by his death and resurrection and the results:  all those who believe in him will go to heaven with the Father.  Many today think if people idolize you or you did something big you will gain fame and fortune.  In reality, no one cares.  All that really matters is the glory we will receive in heaven from knowing and believing in Christ.

4a)  Jesus tells them to love one another as he has loved them.  This is different than love one as you’d love yourself because the love of Jesus is infinitely more.  Also, this is directed to loving the disciples.  We extrapolate this to loving fellow Christians.  Difference is explained in the End Notes.

b)  John 15:9-12:  If you love one another as God and Jesus love you, you will remain in Jesus’ love and have complete joy.

1 John 2:9-11:  If you hate, you live in the darkness and do not know where you are going because you are blinded.  If you love your brother, you live in the light and nothing will make you stumble.

1 John 3:16-18:  Jesus loved us enough to die for us and so must we love others.  We must have pity on those in need.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My immediate family.

Conclusions:  I liked 4b the best.  John’s further explanations of the love of Jesus help to give us concrete ideas to know more what the love of Christ looks like.

End Notes:  The cross in Roman times meant humiliation, condemnation, and death.  Jesus here is pointing out it means glory for him.  By dying, we see the heart of Jesus and his love.  We know him.  By knowing him, he is glorified.

Fun Fact:  Jesus says “glory” 5 times here in 2 verses.

Fun Fact:  This is the only place in the Gospels Jesus calls his disciples “little children” or “my children”.  This is in the sense of how we are all God’s children.

Note how Judas is absent during these most intimate words of Jesus.  These words are for those with God’s heart.

The Greek word for “new” here means freshness.  The command is not new (in fact it’s been around since Moses.  See Leviticus 19:18) as in just invented but is seen in a different, fresh way.

Spurgeon points out the difference between this command and the one in Mark 12:31 BSF had us read:  “We are to love our neighbor as ourselves, but we are to love our fellow-Christians as, Christ loved us, and that is far more than we love ourselves.”

Jesus is defining love from his example, not as we humans often view it.

Jesus said that love is now the distinguishing mark of his disciples and of all of Christ’s followers.  It wasn’t that love for the outside world was not important or relevant, but it wasn’t first. There are other measures of discipleship, but they come after this mark.

Our standard is now Christ’s love for us.

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

Summary of passages: Various passages for the day.

Questions:

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 Revelation Lesson 18, Day 4: Various Passages

Summary of passages: Various passages for the day.

Questions:

8 )  Part personal Question.  My answers:

Psalm 73:26-28:  God is the strength, refuge, and portion forever when flesh and heart fail.

Proverbs 3:11-12:  God disciplines those He loves.

Romans 5:3-4:  Suffering produces perseverance, character, hope, and love through the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:17:  Suffering allows us to share in Christ’s glory.

Philippians 3:8-9: (Read verse 10 as well)  Sharing in Christ’s suffering produces more knowledge of Christ, fellowship with him, becoming more like him, and attaining resurrection from the dead.  Giving up or losing all things results in a gain of Christ and righteousness through belief in the Savior.

Hebrews 5:8-9:  Suffering produces obedience to God and eternal salvation for believers.

When you have nothing, all you have is Him.  You rely more on God and the Holy Spirit.  You know him more and become more like Christ.  It humbles you to the point you cry out to God.  And that is what God wants–all of you.  This I’ve experienced throughout my life’s trials and tribulations and my current closeness with God.  Life is amazing when you have Him and nothing else.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  When I was in college, I had a hard time concentrating because songs kept playing over and over in my head.  I wondered where God was during this time and cried out to Him repeatedly.  However, He never left me and eventually they went away as I channeled my thoughts towards Him.  It strengthened me and I knew He never left me.  Now I know He’s always there even when we are hit with inexplicable events in our lives.

Conclusions:  God is more concerned about character rather than comfort.  Suffering is small compared to knowing Christ.  Suffering teaches us the greatest good of Christian life is not absence of pain but being Christ-like.  The important thing to take away is this:  there is a purpose in suffering.  God has a purpose.  You may not be able to see it now but through faith you will persevere and emerge stronger and more dependent on Him.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 18, Day 3: Various Passages

Summary of passages:  Various passages for the day.

Questions:

6)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  By God’s Will Jesus took on our suffering as a guilt offering to satisfy God and to justify us (Isaiah).  Jesus says he must suffer, be killed and risen to life (Matthew).  Acts says God planned Jesus’s death for His purposes.  “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”  Romans–no mention of suffering here though except through death.

Truthfully, I haven’t and I don’t believe I can ever come close to expressing my gratitude and appreciation for what Jesus has done on the cross for me.  I try to though by doing His will in my life, putting Him first, caring for His people and creatures and all He has given me, giving the glory to Him for all the good in my life, thanking Him repeatedly, and trying to live the life He wants me to by being like Jesus.

7)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  This is the exact same question as Lesson 3, Day 4 Questions 10b & 11a & Lesson 4, Day 5 Question 15 & in Lesson 12, Day 4 Question 11a.

In Mark Jesus says we must deny ourselves and take up our cross daily to follow him in order to gain eternal life.  Acts tells us if we suffer for Him, it makes us worthy.  Suffering allows us to know Christ more and the power of his suffering and fellowship with him and becoming more like Jesus.  (Philippians)

Suffering increases your faith no doubt about it.  Through faith, we know Him more, depend on him more, and love Him and His ways more.  It makes us more like Christ and our gratitude grows along with our character.  I have definitely experienced all of this and more through various trials:  bankruptcy, death, hard times, moving, etc.  But the gains have SO been worth it and eternity is near.  A life led for others is richness indeed.  See yesterday’s LINK for more purposes of suffering.

Conclusions:  Day of recounting our sufferings as we’ve seen/done in previous lessons.  Feel beaten down and we still have 2 more days of this!

End Notes:  Brief Note on Mark 8:34-38:  This passage is often misunderstood.  Denying yourself and taking up your cross simply put means we surrender ourselves to Christ and take up His will.  In the first century, the cross meant crucifixion.  It meant death.  It didn’t have any traditions or rituals or fuzzy or spiritual feelings attached to the cross and it wasn’t a symbol or associated yet with Jesus and Christianity.  The cross was death.  Period.

Deny self, take up cross, follow Jesus means:  We cannot save ourselves; hence, we follow the one who can save us–Jesus.  This is why we deny ourselves–to find life.

See this LINK.  Great reference for suffering in the Bible and its purposes in the passages quoted.