BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 21, Day 5: Romans 12:1-2

Summary of passage:  Paul urges Christians to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to God as an act of worship.  He urges us to not conform to this world but to allow God to renew our mind so that we can know His will for us.

Questions:

13)  Renewing of your mind through the power of the Holy Spirit/God.

14)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Renewing the mind is the opposite of conforming the world.  The battle takes place in the mind.  Hence, Christians must think differently than non-believers.  Paul says here we must know what God’s word says in our mind. We cannot blindly follow our whimsical feelings and follow the crowd of doers who are “doing” but accomplishing nothing.  Speaking God’s Word into the minds of others when the opportunity arises.  Taking my kids to church and bible study.  Teaching them to put God first in their world.

15)  “his good, pleasing, perfect will.”

“Good”:  That which leads to the spiritual and moral growth of the Christian.

“Pleasing”:  To God, not necessarily to us.

“Perfect”:  No improvement can be made on the will of God.

Most people confuse their will with God’s will and justify their will as God’s.  People also use God as a scapegoat for their sinful actions.  Reality is it is hard to know God’s will since we can’t know everything like God does.  But if you know His Word, His character, His heart, and His justice then through prayer He will reveal it.  But if it has anything to do with sin, it’s not God.

16)

John 14:15:  God’s will can be found in loving Him and obeying His commands.

2 Corinthians 10:5:  Take captive your thoughts to make them align to God’s will and obedience to Christ and rid ourselves of arguments and pretensions that is against the Word of God.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-7:  We should live a sanctified/holy life, avoiding sexual immorality, learning to control your own body in a holy way, and not take advantage of others.

James 5:13-16:  One should pray when in trouble, sing when happy, have others pray over you if you’re sick, and confess your sins.  Our prayers are powerful and effective.

1 Peter 2:15:  Do good to silence the ignorance of the foolish.

1 Peter 3:17:  Live as servants of God (verse 16), respect others, love others, fear God, and honor God.

1 Peter 4:1-11:  Live for God’s will, which is being clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray, loving each other, offer hospitality to others without grumbling, use your gifts to serve others, speak as if speaking the very words of God, serve with God’s strength so that God is given the glory.

Conclusions:  One of my favorite parts of BSF is when they do send us to other parts of the Bible on certain subjects.  Hence, I loved question 16 because on my own I never would have made these connections.  Yeah, BSF!  I also love 2 Cor 10:5 because it puts the power in our hands.   1 Peter 4:11 is powerful.  Speak as if God were speaking.  Awesome!

All of this shows us how powerful we truly are.  We don’t give ourselves enough credit.  You don’t have to be Martin Luther King, Jr to change the world.  Change those around you and you’ll change the world.  Because then they will change others and the ripple effect will be far more than we’ll ever know.  Live God in you.  Quit worrying about others.  Change yourself.  Change your loved ones.  God will do the rest.

Conclusions to Lesson 21:  This was my favorite lesson so far.  Small verse focus but great questions that re-enforced key ideas we all need to be reminded of.  It all starts with you.  Change yourself first.  Live the life God wants you to live.  Remember others and love others.  Live for Him.  He’ll doe the rest.

End Notes: [Same as Day 2‘s]  Chapters 12:1-15:33.  Paul now turns to the practical application of all he has said previously in the letter.  This does not mean he has not said anything about Christian living up to this point because as we saw Chapters 6-8 touched on this already but now Paul goes into detail to show that Jesus Christ is to be Lord of every area of life.  These chapters are not a postscript to the great theological discussions in Chapters 1-11.  In a real sense the entire letter has been directed toward the goal of showing that God demands our action as well as our believer and thinking. Faith expresses itself in obedience.

“Therefore”  It is Paul’s pattern to begin a letter with a strong doctrinal section and follow with exhortations to Christian living. Paul begs Christians to live a certain way in light of what God did for them.  Here, God gives us all things.  Now, how do we show Him gratitude for that?  With our bodies and our minds.

“Urging us” reminds us that we still have a choice in how we live for God.

“In view of God’s mercy” reminds us we do this because of the mercy God grants us (Romans 1-11).  In fact, we are only able to offer ourselves to Him because of His mercy.  Some of the mercies Paul has told us about already:

· Justification from the guilt and penalty of sin

· Adoption in Jesus and identification with Christ

· Placed under grace, not law

· Giving the Holy Spirit to live within

· Promise of help in all affliction

· Assurance of a standing in God’s election

· Confidence of coming glory

· Confidence of no separation from the love of God

· Confidence in God’s continued faithfulness

Think of “body” here as your entire being for your heart, soul, spirit, and mind are in your body. Paul is saying here give God your entire self.  God wants you!

Many today let their body rule in terms of engaging in physical pleasures.  Paul says no!  Our mind is the will and our mind brings the body as servant to God.

Ancient Greeks dismissed the body as unspiritual so this teaching would have shocked them.  Paul says God is concerned about our bodies, which were dearly bought at a price (1 Cor 6:19-20).

A living sacrifice is a dichotomy especially in the first century AD where sacrifices involved death.  The whole idea is the sacrifice is ongoing.  Paul could be contrasting dead animal sacrifices here as well or perhaps “living” in the sense of having the Holy Spirit.

“Holy and pleasing to God”:  The standard for sacrifices made to God under the New Covenant are not any less than the standard under the Old Covenant.

Sacrifices in the Old Testament:

· He shall bring a male without blemish (Leviticus 1:10)

· But if there is a defect in it, if it is lame or blind or has any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 15:21)

The idea of a sweet aroma to the Lord is almost always linked to the idea of an offering made by fire. There is a “burning” in this matter of a living sacrifice. It also shows that Paul has in mind the burnt offering, in which the entire sacrifice was given to the Lord. In some sacrifices, the one offering the sacrifice and the priest shared in the some of the meal, but never in the burnt offering.

Today, the holiness we bring to the altar is a decision for holiness, and yielding to the work of holiness in our life.  As we present our bodies a living sacrifice, God makes our life holy by burning away impurities.

“Spiritual act of worship”:  This was translated as “reasonable service”.  The ancient Greek word for reasonable (logikos) can also be translated “of the word” (as it is in 1 Peter 2:2). Reasonable service is a life of worship according to God’s Word.

Another translation says “true and proper worship”.  This is to emphasize not merely ritual worship activity but the involvement of heart, mind, and will in worship and obedient service.

Verse 2:  So the world system with all its evil and corruption is opposed to God and His ways and is in rebellion.  Paul reminds us we must resist it.

Renewing the mind is the opposite of conforming the world.  The battle takes place in the mind.  Hence, Christians must think differently than non-believers.

Today the world is based on feelings.  Do what you feel is right.  Oh, you don’t want to work today.  Then don’t.  The government will take care of you.  Etc.  Also, the world is based on doings.  Just tell me what to do.

Paul says here we must know what God’s word says in our mind. We cannot blindly follow our whimsical feelings and follow the crowd of doers who are “doing” but accomplishing nothing.

“Transformed”:  This is the ancient Greek word metamorphoo – describing a metamorphosis. The same word is used to describe Jesus in His transfiguration (Mark 9:2-3).

Fun Fact:  The only other place Paul uses this word for transformed is in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  For Paul, this transformation and renewing of our minds takes place as we behold the face of God, spending time in His glory.  Note this is a process, not a single event.

“Then”:  After the spiritual transformation just described has taken place.

“Test and approve what God’s will is”:  The proof is the life that you live.  What God wants from the believer here and now.

“Good”:  That which leads to the spiritual and moral growth of the Christian.

“Pleasing”:  To God, not necessarily to us.

“Perfect”:  No improvement can be made on the will of God.

In sum, from Chapter 11 Paul writes if we keep in mind the rich mercy of God to you – past, present, and future (by the mercies of God) and as an act of intelligent worship, decide to yield your entire self to Him (present your bodies a living sacrifice) and resist conformity to the thoughts and actions of this world (do not be conformed) by focusing on God’s word and fellowship with Him (be transformed by the renewing of your mind) then our life will be in the will of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.  And others will witness this.

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BSF Study Questions John Lesson 21, Day 5: 1 John 4:7-5:21

Summary of passage:  1 John 4:7-21: God is love and showed it to us by sending His Son so that we may live.  We ought to love one another.  If you love, you know God.  If you acknowledge Jesus and God’s Son, then God lives in you.  You should have no fear.

1 John 5:  To love God is to obey His commands.  Only those who believe Jesus is the Son of God will overcome this world and have eternal life.  The Spirit, the water (baptism), and the blood all testify the truth.  If we ask anything according to his will, God hears us and will answer us.  We are born of God.  He keeps us safe from the evil one.  We are God’s children.  Jesus gives us understanding.  Stay with the truth.

Questions:

12)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  He sent His Son to dies for us so that we might live.  He has given us the Holy Spirit as a guide.  He has taken away our fear.  I am more loving towards others and compassionate.  Love overflows from God’s love.

13a)  We have eternal life through faith in Jesus.  We do not continue to sin as the Holy Spirit is our guide.

b)  We do not continue to sin and are kept safe from the evil one.  We are God’s children.  Christ gives us understanding so that we may know the truth.

Conclusions:  John repeats himself here, summing up what he just said and what’s most important:  loving God and others and obeying his commands.  Jesus’ baptism, death, and Spirit testify to who he is and are a gift from God to us.

End Notes: 1 John 4:  We love one another because and only because we are loved by God.  Otherwise, we’d all hate each other.  Man is still capable of love because we are made in God’s image.  But it’s imperfect and messy like man.  The Greek says is best:  agapetoi agapomen, “those who are loved, let us love.”

When you are born of God, you have a love you didn’t have before, one you weren’t capable of.  Because it’s God’s love, not man’s, which is non-existent without God.

This is the agape love, the love without expecting anything in return.  If we want to love one another more, we need to draw closer to God.  Love is a triangle with God at the apex.

God does everything out of love.  He’s righteous and holy and just because He loves us.  He is incapable of hating.

Love is also the giving of the Father as much as it is the sacrifice of the Son.  This should read only begotten Son, indicating God and the Son are of the same substance or being.

The love of the Father takes away our sin and allows us to live.  Both are important for we still deserve death but God wants us with Him.

His love for us initiates our relationship of love with Him, our love only responds to His love for us. We can’t love God the way we should unless we are receiving and living in His love.

Love is the constant.  Wherever there is love, there is God.  This is our evidence since we cannot see God that He exists and is working in our lives.  However, God is also spirit (John 3:24), light (1 John 1:5), righteous (1 John 2:29; 3:7), holy (1 John 2:20), powerful or great (1 John 4:4), faithful (1 John 1:9), true (1 John 5:20), and just (1 John 1:9).

We know (not hope) that Jesus is in us (through the Holy Spirit) and we are in him (giving us this knowledge is the Holy Spirit).

“We” are the disciples and the eyewitnesses.  Believers must acknowledge of confess that Jesus is the Son and believe God loves them even when they don’t feel His love.  God’s love will be complete on the day of Judgment.

Fear here is not the fear of God of his awesomeness but the fear that robs us of having a life full of peace in Him.  We should not fear judgment when Christ has taken it all on him.

“We love because he first loved us.”  We love God and Christ.  God has always loved us since before time.  Our love for God is always in response to His love for us; He initiates, and we respond. We never have to draw God to us; instead, He draws us to Himself.

Loving others is a choice and that is why it is a command from God.  We must choose to love others even when it’s not easy; otherwise, God is not in us if not.  To love God more is to love others more. If you want to love God move, love fellow Christians more.

1 John 5:  John wants to make sure you understand that you don’t earn salvation by loving others. You trust in Jesus and his atoning sacrifice on the cross to earn salvation.

Our love and obedience to God is a demonstration of love to the body of Christ.  Love for God will show itself in obedience.  Commandments are gifts from God to show us the most fulfilling life possible.  The Holy Spirit enables us to obey.

The key to victory is faith (reliance upon, trust, etc) in Jesus as Son and Savior.

“water and blood” has perplexed scholars for centuries.  What exactly did John mean here?  Some think water is our baptism and blood is communion (Luther and Calvin).  Some think this is the water and blood that flowed from Jesus when he was pierced with the spear at crucifixion (Augustine).  Others think the water is Jesus’ birth from the womb and the blood is his death.

Most likely, John means the water of Jesus’ baptism, and the blood of His crucifixion.  This was when Jesus’ ministry began and ended.  This explanation is the oldest recorded Christian understanding of the passage.  Jesus identified with man when he was baptized and saved us with his death.  This also supports John 3:5.

A priest was always ordained by sacrificial blood, cleansing water, and oil that spoke of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  So Jesus also had these same three witnesses to His priestly ministry.

John keeps harping on this point because of the Gnostics.  If Jesus was not fully God at death, then his death was not sufficient to pay for our sins.

The Holy Spirit testifies that Jesus is the Son of God in two ways:  When the Spirit descended upon Jesus at his baptism and he continues to affirm this truth in the heart of believers.

Note on 1 John 5:7-8:  This passage is disputed.  Some words were added to the Latin manuscript that never appeared in any Greek manuscript that still appear in some Bible versions.  The NIV has it correct however.  Words were probably added to clarify the Trinity late in the Middle Ages.

If you reject Jesus, you are calling God a liar with your unbelief.

Eternal life is a gift from God receive in Jesus.

Ask anything and everything in His will.  Why doesn’t God just answer prayers?  God wants us to work with Him, and that means bringing our will and agenda into alignment with His. He wants us to care about the things He cares about, and He wants us to care about them enough to pray passionately about them.  God is delighted when we pray His promises. It shows our will aligned with His, our dependence on Him, and that we take His Word seriously.

We pray for our sinful brothers.  There are sins that lead to death but not all.  This could refer to the Gnostics adamant denial of the truth and their shameless immorality.  This is a spiritual death. Another view here is a physical death because a believer continues to sin so God takes their life (1 Corinthians 11:30).

If we are in Jesus, Satan cannot harm us.  Some bibles say “touch” instead of harm here.  It means “grasp” or “lay hold of”.  The only other place in his writings where John uses this particular verb for touch is in John 20:17, where He literally tells Mary to stop clinging to Me.

Significantly, this understanding must be given. We cannot attain it on our own. If God did not reveal Himself to us, we would never find Him.  Jesus is fully man and God.

Idols interfere with our relationship and fellowship with God.  Remember, putting anything (wealth, money, others, clothes, power, self, food, etc) above God is an idol.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 21, Day 5: Romans 5:6-11; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-10

Summary of passages:  Romans 5:6-11:  Christ died for the ungodly, demonstrating God’s ultimate love for us.  We are now justified by Christ’s blood, saved from God’s wrath, and reconciled to God through Jesus.

Romans 6:23:  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Ephesians 2:1-10:  We were dead before Christ’s sacrifice as we followed Satan and his ways and sins, making us objects of God’s wrath.  Then God made us alive through Christ because of His love, grace, and mercy for us through faith in Jesus.

Questions:

10a)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  God has provided us His Son so that we may live forever with Him.  I’ve accepted it and honored God with my life and being.

b)  Although we were sinners and completely undeserving of grace and mercy, God sent His Son to the cross to die for our sins so that we may become righteous before God.  All God asks is faith in His Son.  Those who believe are saved.  Those who don’t believe are not saved.  That is God’s justice and mercy.

11)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  To devote your life to Him and for Him and His people.  We are to walk in the light and confess our sins and ask God to forgive us every single day.  Let His mercy flow through us and from us to others.  I will show mercy to all as Jesus did.

Conclusions:  Could have been called the “Study of Romans” for the day.  God has forgiven us permanently with His Son, Jesus Christ.  All we have to do is accept Jesus as our Savior and live for God. Simple, right?

End Notes:  Romans 5:6-11:  Jesus died for all of us, the ungodly.  The difference between righteous and good here seems to be the righteous man does not care for others but only about himself; whereas, the good man is kind and benevolent towards others.

Ephesians 2:1-10:  Paul wants us never to forget where we came from:  death and sin to life and salvation.  We should feel different being alive in Christ than when we were dead in sin.  Here, we have past, present, and future:  God loved us so much He sent His Son to make us alive in Christ and live eternally with Him forevermore.  All through faith and God’s gift to us.

God’s workmanship.  What an amazing thought!  We are God’s creation.  One Greek translation uses the word poiema which is a poem.  We are God’s poems and poems are beautiful works of art.  How cool!

Now we are to do good works out of our faith, not to earn anything.

Conclusions to Lesson 21:  I groaned most of the time doing this lesson, especially Day 4 which was a repeat of last year’s Study of the Life of Moses.  This could be called “The Study of Romans” for this week.  Not for sure how this lesson will bolster my understanding of the Book of Revelation.  This was a study of God’s character, His justice and mercy, which is prominent in all the books of the Bible.  What I want to gain out of the study of Revelation is just that:  the study of “Revelation”, the End Times, the signs I need to be on the lookout for, the coming wrath, the impending doom for the unsaved whom I may be able to help save (although God is ultimately in charge of that).

Like I said before, Revelation is only 22 chapters so BSF is stretching this study.  This is a filler lesson, plain and simple.  I just wish we could have filled it with more of in-depth study of Revelation.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 21, Day 5: Numbers 17-19

Summary of passages:  Numbers 17:  In an effort to end future rebellions, God told Moses to get 12 staffs, one from each leader of the tribes, put them in the Tent of Meeting, and God will make the staff of the one He chooses sprout.  Aaron’s staff sprouted, bloomed, and produced almonds.  God told Moses to put Aaron’s staff in front of the ark as a reminder to the people of His choice.

Numbers 18:  God told Aaron he and his sons were responsible to bear the offenses against the sanctuary and the priesthood.  The Levites are to help Aaron but not go near the furnishings of the Tabernacle or the altar.  Aaron is responsible for the care of the sanctuary and the altar.  God gives the priests a portion of the sacrifices for their consumption including meat, olive oil, wine, and grain.  Everything.  They are to receive no land.

The Levites are to receive the tithes for their work but are to give a tenth of that to God, which goes to Aaron.

Numbers 19:  God commands Eleazar the priest to sacrifice a red heifer without defect, sprinkle its blood in front of the Tent of Meeting, and burn it up.  The ashes are to be gathered up for use in the water of cleansing to be purified of sin–specifically to be used when touching a dead body, removing a dead body, or touches a human bone or grave.  If the person does not cleanse themselves, they are to be cut off from the community.

Questions:

10a)  God told Moses to get 12 staffs, one from each leader of the tribes, put them in the Tent of Meeting, and God will make the staff of the one He chooses sprout. Aaron’s staff sprouted, bloomed, and produced almonds.

b)  Here, God wants to end all rebellion against Him.  The responsibility of the high priest is to atone for the people and make them right with God.  Every high priest is selected by God to administer such an important role.  Jesus was selected by God to be our forever high priest and atone for our sins.  God chose Jesus like He chose Aaron.  It shows God’s keeps His promises to man.

11a)  They were responsible to bear the offenses against the sanctuary and the priesthood. Aaron is responsible for the care of the sanctuary and the altar.

b)  God gives the priests a portion of the sacrifices for their consumption including meat, olive oil, wine, and grain.  The priests also received the firstborn, which would usually be redeemed with money.  The Levites are to receive the tithes for their work but are to give a tenth of that to God, which goes to Aaron.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That the Israelites were to use the ashes of a dead animal to cleanse themselves of touching a dead person.  That death cleansed death.  Like Jesus.

Conclusions:  The Hebrews passage is a long one.  Focus on Hebrews 7:11-8:6.  Questions 12 was a throw away in my opinion.  A waste.  Didn’t learn anything from it.  A question on the symbolism of Jesus here would be more edifying.

The lengths God goes to just for us is amazing.  He does all these miracles just to save us from ourselves.  Love is everywhere here and anyone who doubts God’s love for them should read Numbers 13-17.

End Notes:  Numbers 17: The staff is a symbol of an apostle’s Godly-authority over the people.  We see this since God gave Moses the staff of God (Exodus 4:17, 20).

The grumbling is an indication of the heart.  God here is giving them one more chance to show His sovereignty.  After this, judgment only.

God gives us more than enough as evinced by the blossoming of the staff.

Jesus is of the order of Melchizedek and thus is our high priest.  We studied this either in Acts or Matthew I can’t remember.

Note there are now three things in the Ark:  The Ten Commandment tablets, manna, and now Aaron’s staff.

The people are definitely afraid now and realize the severity of their sin.  But are their hearts changed?  We shall soon find out!

Numbers 18:  God grants Aaron authority and accountability.  They always go together.

Salt was considered pure and unchangeable.  A covenant of salt then was a covenant to last forever and never be amended.

Tithing is not mandated by the New Testament (and therefore the New Covenant).  However, we are to be a giving people and that looks different for all (2 Corinthians 9).  Deuteronomy 14:28-29 extends this and shows how once every 3 years, the tithes were shared with the poor.

The Levites had a job to do and were expected to do it in return for their pay–just as we are.

The Levites had to give a tenth of their tenth; they needed to be givers as well.

We have seen the amount the Levites gave was well over the tithe.  They gave offerings and freewill offerings and all the special offerings for festivals and any special projects like the building of the Tabernacle (Exodus 35:4-9).  The Israelites were a giving, generous people.  God commanded all of this so they would become giving and generous like He wants us to be–like Jesus.

Numbers 19:  A heifer is a female cow that has never been pregnant.  So we are looking for a pure cow of a red color with no defects–quite rare.

The difference between this sacrifice and others was that the cow’s blood was to be burnt up as well instead of being drained out.

Cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet was used in Leviticus 14:4-6 to cleanse a leper.  These three items point to Jesus–some say Jesus’ cross was made of cedar.  Hyssop was offered to Jesus while he hung from the cross (Matthew 27:48), and scarlet represented Jesus’ blood.

Being unclean was not a sin; it just meant you couldn’t be with the community or with God.  Luckily for us, we are bathed by Jesus every day (John 13:5-11).

A dead body was the result of sin; hence, if you touched it, you were touching sin in essence and thus unclean.  The primary reason here was not the spread of disease because most people who die are found relatively soon afterwards.

Note the symbolism:  ashes of the heifer (Jesus) combined with living waters (Word of God & Holy Spirit).

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 21, Day 5: Matthew 21:1-17; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19

Summary of passages:  Matthew 21:1-17:  On Jesus’ approach to Jerusalem, he sent two disciples to the village ahead of them to retrieve a donkey and her colt, which fulfilled Zechariah’s prophecy (Zechariah 9:9).  The disciples brought the donkey, which Jesus rode into Jerusalem.  The crowd spread cloaks and branches cut from trees on the road for him.  He caused quite the stir.

Jesus entered the temple area and drove out those selling there.  He overturned the money changers tables and benches of the dove sellers, accusing them of turning his temple into a den of robbers.  Jesus healed the blind and lame and children shouted his praise.  The chief priests and teachers of the law were unhappy with this.  Jesus stayed the night in Bethany.

Luke 19:28-44:  Jesus approached Jerusalem  and when he reached the Mount of Olives he sent two of his disciples ahead to bring him a colt.  The owners of the colt asked why they were taking it and the disciples replied because the Lord needs it.  Jesus sat on the colt and rode it into Jerusalem.  The whole crowd of disciples began praising God and some of the Pharisees in the crowd told Jesus to rebuke them.  Jesus refused.

Jesus wept over the crowd because they did not recognized Jesus for who he was.  Jesus predicts a day when their enemies will surround and kill them and tear down everything because of this.

John 12:12-19:  The crowd who had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.  They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting praises.  Jesus found a donkey and sat upon it, fulfilling Zechariah’s prophecy.  His disciples still did not understand and wouldn’t until after Jesus’ resurrection how he fulfilled prophecy.

The crowd that had witnessed Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead spread the word and so many came out to meet him, causing great distress amongst the Pharisees.

Questions:

11a)  Jesus knew where the donkey and the colt were.  He told his disciples that if anyone asks, tell them that the Lord needs them and they will send the donkey, implying that they know who the Lord is.  Luke says that Jesus says the donkey has never been ridden, a fact he would only know if he had met the owner before.

b)  Matthew 21:8:  “A very large crowd”  Luke 19:37  “The whole crowd of disciples”  John 12:12:  “The great crowd that had come for the Feast”  Mark describes them simply as “many people” Mark 11:8

c)  Matthew 21:15-16 says the chief priests and the teachers of the law.  Luke and John say the Pharisees (Luke 19:39) & (John 12:19).  Mark says this does not mention this on Jesus’ entry but says how the next day the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for a way to kill him because of his teachings (Mark 11:18).

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The same words as the crowd:  “Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!”.  John calls him “The King of Israel.”

12)  Zechariah 9:9 says how Jesus the king will be riding on a donkey.  Daniel 9:24-27 gives the exact days of when the Anointed One will come in relation to the re-building of the temple and how the people will not recognize this.

Psalm 118:24: This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  The day Jesus enters Jerusalem is “the day” here.

13a)  To be a house of prayer

b)  John 2:18-22:  As a symbol for the body, specifically Jesus’ body

1 Corinthians 6:19:  To describe the body and a dwelling for the Holy Spirit.  “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit”

Ephesians 2:21–22:  The temple is again described as our body being built to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.  You (believers) are build and joined together on and by Christ which will rise to become a holy temple.  So here, the body of Christ (the Church).  Read verses 19-20 as well for a clearer picture.

c)  The Holy Spirit cleanses us when it indwells us.  It washes us and we are reborn and renewed.  We receive the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus as our Savior and his death on the cross that took away our sins.  Therefore, his blood washes away our uncleanness.

Conclusions:  Why aren’t we reading Mark and comparing it here (Mark 11:1-19)?  All 4 gospels record Jesus’ triumphal entry.  I would think that’s kind of important to study, wouldn’t you?  So I did anyways (since this is my bible study as well) and threw in the verses where appropriate.  Mark has his triumphal entry separated into two days:  The first just entering and the second day where he enters the temple and is there confronted by the priests.

Map from yesterday that shows how close Bethany is to Jerusalem and Jesus’ descent into Jerusalem:

http://www.bible-history.com/maps/images/matthew_jesus_comes_to_jerusalem.jpg

End Notes:  This is Jesus’ last week alive in human form on this earth.  Gone is all the secrecy as Jesus is ready to proclaim himself as King and fulfill prophecy doing it.  The entry is very public and Jesus knows he will garner attention and face his critics.  It is the Passover feast in Jerusalem which explains the crowds.

In the time of Abraham, donkeys were used by royalty for transportation.  The horse has only recently been introduced to Israel and thus royalty now rides on horses.  Now, only the poor ride on donkeys.  Jesus is coming in humility and peace.

The palm branches symbolized victory and success.  Hosanna means “Save!” and the crowd used it as a form of praise.  We praise God in loud voices because we need to praise God.  Use whatever you have.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.  It can be as simple as a palm branch.  Or, in response to Him, the people laid down their cloaks.  This was a much bigger sacrifice for in ancient times people usually only had one set of clothes.  So this was literally giving the clothes off of their back for Jesus.

Jesus cleanses the temple of all those defiling it and then heals the outcasts.  Note how the chief priests and the teachers of the law do not care that Jesus is praised by children and healing others nor about the greed and thievery in the temple.  All they care about is the threat to their power.  This is the one place Gentiles could come and worship and for the moneylenders and sellers and buyers to be there, they were preventing the Gentiles (all nations) coming to Jesus.

Jesus weeps as God weeps over our sins and our hard hearts for he knows what is to come for those who do not choose him.

It was common for pilgrims to stay outside the city during the Feast.  The inns were probably booked and the prices were probably higher.  Just like in modern times.  You stay in the suburbs to save money!

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 21, Day 5: Genesis 25:27-34

Summary of passage:  Genesis 25:27-34:  Esau became a hunter while Jacob stayed home.  Isaac loved Esau while Rebekah loved Jacob more.  Esau sold his birthright for a meal, implying he despised his birthright.

Questions:

11a)  That Jacob had obeyed his parents by traveling to and taking a wife from Paddan Aram instead of a Canaanite woman.

b)  After God spoke to Jacob in a dream, he vowed for the Lord to be his God and he set up the pillar upon which he slept as God’s house, promising to bring God a tenth of what God has given him.

c)  Jacob worked for 7 years in order to win the hand of Rachel.

d)  God is with Jacob and has allowed no harm to come to him.  God has blessed Jacob with Laban’s livestock.  While Jacob cared for Laban’s flock, the flock never miscarried nor were attacked by wild beasts.  Jacob worked for 14 years for 2 daughters and 6 years for the flocks.  God rebuked Laban for his deception and ill-will towards Jacob.

e)  Jacob prays to God to protect him as he finally returns home to the promised land from his brother Esau whom he is still afraid.  But God has told him it is time to return home so Jacob has obeyed.

12a)  Faith

b)  Jacob is one of the patriarchs of His chosen people–the people who will obey God and shine His light into the world.  God chose Jacob to receive His inheritance and to love him and to be His treasured possession.  To serve God (Isaiah 41:8-9).  To redeem him and summon him by name.  To protect and lead.  (Isaiah 43:1-2).  Continuing in Isaiah 43, we are precious and honored in God’s sight, loved, and He is with us (4-5).  To be God’s witnesses here on earth (10, 12).  To save (11).

13)  He sold his birthright for a meal.  He married Hittite women.  He married more women in an attempt to be like Jacob and win the birthright back but it was all an act in my opinion.

Conclusions:  In ancient times as soon as the  words God of Abraham, Isaac, and/or Jacob was mentioned, everyone knew which God you were talking about.  And that is how they identified God since there were so many pagan gods in ancient times.  Most knew who Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were and no more need be said.

Today, that is not the case.  Even in Christian circles I believe the names are recognized but the details are not known as they were in ancient times.  Important details were memorized since not many could read.  We don’t memorize Scripture like the ancients since we take it for granted that we can look it up in the Bible.

For me it has been fun throughout the study of Genesis to cement in my mind who’s who. I was talking to my husband about Isaac and Rebekah and my husband had forgotten a few details about it all.  So now when the Bible refers to the “God of Isaac” I know exactly what Isaac did and why God is referred to as the God of Isaac and its significance.

I was reading to my kids about how people today don’t take the time to notice nature and observe it like they did long ago.  With the wealth of information out there about God and what we know I think sometimes it was easier to get closer to God in ancient times because they did more praying, more contemplating, more thinking, more studying of God than we do. We are so distracted by technology that we may miss God in a simple book.  Something to ponder at least…

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 21, Day 5 Isaiah 48:12-22

Summary of passage:  God addresses Israel with the same words as before, “I am he; I am the first and I am the last.”  God is the Creator.  He chose Babylon to carry out His purpose.  God teaches us what is best for us and directs our ways and if His people would only listen, they would have peace and righteousness and numerous descendants.  When Israel leaves Babylon, shout out God’s greatness, their redemption through Him.  He will provide water to drink.  The wicked shall not have peace.

Questions:

11a)  44:6, 46:4, 41:4, 43:10, 43:13  Idols

b) God is the Creator, the one and only God, the true God

12a)  To listen to Him and obey His commands.  To do so.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Israel was punished because they didn’t listen and disobeyed God.  If I can follow the path He has set out, I will be blessed beyond imagining.

13) Personal Question.  My answer:  Verse 17 “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go”  Reminder that God is in charge, not me.

Conclusions:  Nothing new was expressed here that we haven’t heard before from Isaiah.  I feel repetition is good but at some point you beat a horse to death with the same old.  I feel like I’ve tuned out–like a child tunes out his parents when they repeat the same old advice.  “Yeah, Mom, I get it.  God is the Creator. Obey Him and all will be peachy.”  When this happens, the message loses its impact.  Anyone else get this feeling?