BSF Study Questions John Lesson 24, Day 2: John 18:1-27

Summary of passage:  Jesus and his disciples left the upper room, crossed the Kidron Valley, and stopped in an olive grove.  Judas shows up with officials and soldiers armed with weapons.  They ask for Jesus who declares himself.  Peter drew his sword to defend Jesus and cut off the ear of a servant named Malchus.  Jesus chastises Peter, telling him this is his destiny.

Jesus was arrested and taken to Annas, Caiaphas’ father-in-law.  Peter and John followed Jesus.  John went with Jesus while Peter waited outside.  When asked by a little girl if he was one of the disciples, Peter denies Jesus for the first time.

Annas questions Jesus who is struck by a soldier.  He’s shipped off to Caiaphas.  Meanwhile, Peter denies Jesus a second and third time.  A rooster crows.

Questions:

3)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus does not hide.  He admits who he is.  He answers truthfully questions put to him.  He does not lie to save his skin.  He goes to the garden knowing he will be arrested when he could have ran and hid.  It’s inspiring to do the work God has for me like Jesus did God’s work for him.

4)  He knew he would be arrested that night and he still went anyways.  He admits who he is.  He dies so not one of us will be lost.  He tells Peter not to fight for him.  He denies nothing to Annas about who he is or what he said.  He willingly takes the hits and the punches and eventually his death for us.

5)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  He never shrinks from any of this.  He accepts his fate and goes out with dignity and self-respect.  He never denies who he is.  He willingly takes all of our sin on him and suffers.  My sufferings pale in comparison.  I remember what Jesus did for me and live for him every day.

Conclusions:  Major focus today on Jesus’ demeanor during his arrest and how that strengthens us.  We are spending all week on this passage so we’ll probably break it down further.  No fear in the face of God’s plan.  Perfect!

End Notes:  The Kidron was a small stream that was the drainage from the temple, and would be reddish from the blood of thousands of Passover lambs.  This would have been a vivid reminder to Jesus of His soon sacrifice.  Info on Valley HERE  Cool Maps of Jesus’ last 24 hours and his movements HERE and HERE

John did not name this as the Garden of Gethsemane, but the other Gospel writers did (Matthew 26:36 and Mark 14:32). Jesus often met there with His disciples, perhaps to sleep for the night under the shelter of the olive trees or in a nearby cave.  Hence, why Judas knew Jesus would be there that night and why Jesus went–so Judas could easily find him knowing he was searching for him.

John does not go into detail in the Garden, leaving that to the other apostles to do so.

Judas came with many soldiers, expecting a struggle.  How he didn’t know our Lord!  Jesus could have wiped them out with a word.  This harkens to the Garden of Eden.  Man lost that round.  He would win this round!

Jesus speaks first for 2 reasons:  1)  He wanted any potential violence to be directed to Him and not to His disciples.   2)  Jesus wanted Judas and the detachment of troops to announce their evil intention.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  I am: Jesus answered them with two words in both English and in the Greek (ego eimi). He did not say, “I am he”–that was added by translators and not in the original text.  Jesus was consciously proclaiming himself God, just like he did throughout his testimony on earth (John 8:58; 6:48, 8:12, 9:5, 10:9, 10:11-14, 10:36, 11:25, 14:6).

This explains why all fell back.  When Jesus proclaims himself “I am” the power and presence of God overwhelms the soldiers and they are afraid.  We’re talking probably upwards of 500 soldiers sent to arrest Jesus and all were petrified.  Jesus could have escaped then, but he didn’t.  For our sakes.

Jesus asks them again who he is in order to shock them back to reality.  He repeats I am but with less force.  He willingly gives himself up and asks for his disciples to go free.  Sacrificial love.  The show of power was to protect them as well.  This was a command to let them go.  He promised the Father he would protect them (John 17:12).  There would be no harm to his disciples as long as Jesus was there!  This was also the signal for the disciples to slip away, which they did all except Peter and John.

John is the only writer to identify Peter as the one with the sword.  Peter was fulfilling his promise to protect Jesus (Matthew 26:35).

Cutting off the right ear is significant.  Scholars say this meant Peter, holding the sword in his right hand, must have attacked the high priest’s servant from behind, because it would be near impossible to cut off his right ear if he was facing the servant Malchus. It is entirely possible that Peter deliberately chose a non-solider, and attacked him from behind. This was not a shining display of courage.  And given the fact we know Peter is about to deny Jesus 3 times, this was probably an impulsive display that was safe for him.

Why is the servant mentioned by name here?  Scholars speculate that Malchus may have eventually become a Christian and would have been known to the early Christian community at the time of this writing.  This is a pattern we see throughout the rest of the Gospels and Acts.

Peter’s thoughtless action may have erupted into violence and the disciples getting hurt.  Jesus stops Peter for his own good and for the disciples.  And so he could die on the cross.  John leaves out how Jesus healed the man’s ear (Luke 22:51).

The cup signifies suffering and the wrath of God.  It came from the Father.  God is in control.

The captain was a Roman and the others were Jews.  Both were complicit in Jesus’ death.  Jesus consented to be bound.  He could break those easily.

Annas was the power behind the throne in Jerusalem. He himself had been High Priest from AD 6 to 15. Four of his sons had also held the high priesthood and Caiaphas was his son-in-law.  His name meant “Yahweh is gracious”.  He is still called the high priest in Acts 4:6 when Peter and John are arrested.

One reason John reminds us of what Caiaphas said in John 11:49-52 is to show that the judgment against Jesus was already decided. It would not be a fair trial.  He would die for the people.

John who had the connections is the reason they had access to the high priest’s house and the reason we know what went on there.

A mere girl scares Peter enough to deny Christ and then he tries to blend into the crowd and shrink himself by standing around a fire with others.  How tragic!

Jesus was not going to throw his disciples under the bus.  He never mentions them.  He asks for evidence in asking for others to testify to his words.  This should have been the first step Annas should have taken for one accused of crimes.  But there would be no fairness here for Jesus.  He was a threat that had to be annihilated.

The first blow is laid upon Jesus be an unnamed official.  Jesus calls the man out and having no answer, Annas sends Jesus on, still bound.

Luke 22:61 indicates that Peter could see Jesus and see him being slapped.  No doubt his fear increased and he lied twice more.  John is also present and Peter lied in front of John. The same question is asked in the same way, using the negative.  The questioners expected the answer “No”, not expecting a follower of Jesus amongst them.  The questioner is identified differently in all  Gospels (Matthew 26:71; Mark 14:69; Luke 22:58).

John would know Malchus’ relative and a relative would be eager to know if this was the man who cut off his relative’s ear.  Matthew 26:74 tells us Peter cursed this denial.  He was adamant and he was a coward.

The rooster crowing fulfilled what Jesus said in John 13:38, and would have immediately reminded Peter of the prediction Jesus made in the upper room.  And I would imagine shame would have flooded Peter.

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BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 24, Day 2: Revelation 19:1-5

Summary of passage:  Nothing new here.  The roar of the great multitude praised God’s glory and power and salvation and His just judgments against the great prostitute.  The servants’ blood has been avenged by the burning city and the 24 elders and 4 living creatures fell down and worshiped God.

Questions:

3)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Salvation, glory, and power.  Salvation means eternal life with God.  Glory is God’s amazing holiness and justice.  Power is God’s control over the universe.

4)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God’s justice, truth, power, glory, and salvation.  Salvation for I am forgiven and promised a place in heaven by God’s side for all of eternity.

We’ve been asked about God’s attributes as well before:  Lesson 2 Day 4, Lesson 14 Day 3

5a)  Salvation, justice, and permanence (the city of Babylon has been destroyed and it will never rise again).

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We’ve been asked this before (Lesson 2 Day 4, Lesson 3 Day 5, Lesson 9 Day 2 & Day 5, Lesson 10 Day 5, Lesson 14 Day 3, Lesson 16 Day 4 .  It doesn’t do either of those listed.  My worship stays the same.

Conclusions:  All personal application questions.  Like I said in my summary, no new information here.  It’s a repetition of what we’ve just seen in heaven.  John is summarizing.  This day’s questions should have been combined with the third day’s.  Weak lesson.

End Notes:  In Revelation 18 the inhabitants of the world mourned Babylon’s fall.  Here, God’s people celebrate it.  We see heaven rejoicing throughout the book of Revelation for Christ’s return and God’s culmination of His plan for mankind happening or about to happen (Revelation 4, 5, 7, 11, 15, 16).

We saw the great multitude in Revelation 7:9-14 who came out of the great tribulation.  It was in Revelation 6:10 where the martyred saints cried out for justice and here we see that prayer answered.  Revelation 4 is where we met the 24 elders and the 4 living creatures.

Fun Fact:  Hallelujah appears 4 times here in Revelation 19 but no where else in the New Testament.  Hallelujah is a two-word transliteration of the Hebrew phrase for “Praise the Lord”.  It is found 24 times in the book of Psalm.

In verse 5 the “voice from the throne” could be Jesus but more likely is one of the attending angels at God’s throne.  The words the voice speaks is from Psalm 113:1; 115:13.

Similar language in terms of speaking of the End Times judgement:  Isaiah 34:10 and Deuteronomy 32:43.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 24, Day 2: Numbers 22:1-41

Summary of passage:  The Israelites are headed to the Promised Land and camped along the Jordan River across from Jericho.  Balak, the king of the Moabites, was scared of the Israelites so he asked Balaam to curse the Israelites.  God came to Balaam and warned him not to curse the Israelites for they are blessed.  So Balaam refused to curse the Israelites.  Balak sent more messengers to try and convince Balaam to curse the Israelites, offering him a handsome reward.  Still, Balaam refused but promised to speak to God again for them.  This time God said to go with the men and do only what He commands.

So Balaam starts his journey with the princes of Moab.  However, God is angry so He sends and angel who stands in the road to block their path.  The donkey sees the angel and turns off the road.  Balaam beats the donkey for disobedience.  Again, the angel blocks their path; again the donkey is beaten.  Again, the donkey sees the angel; again the donkey is beaten.

God made the donkey chastise Balaam for beating her three times.  Finally, the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes to see the angel. The angel says the donkey saved his life because she turned away.  Balaam repented and God told him once again to go with the men to Balak.

Questions:

3a)  “Terrified because there were so many people”; “filled with dread because of the Israelites”.  “This horde is going to lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.”  “Come and put a curse on these people because they are too powerful for me.”

b)  If Balaam cursed the Israelites, then they could be defeated and driven out of his country.

c)  Sent ambassadors to see what the Israelites wanted.  Prayed to the One, True God about it.

d)  Kill them (Shiities killing the Sunnis and vice versa, various African tribes killing each other (Darfur region), Muslims killing Christians, terrorists indiscriminately killing).  Hostility, discrimination, etc.

4a)  Balaam obviously knew of the One, True God since he spoke to Him and feared Him.  Does that make him a believer?  No.   Joshua tells us he practiced divination.  In Deuteronomy, we see the Lord would not listen to Balaam and God listens to His children.

Numbers 22:7 speaks volumes here:  Balaam was working for a “divination fee”.  No true prophet of God is out for himself.  If any thing, being a prophet is more of a burden than a reward in terms of money here on earth.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Don’t jump to conclusions.  As the donkey pointed out, the donkey’s behavior was way out of the ordinary, but Balaam did not take the time to figure out why.  Do not court temptation for in the end it will get you.  Some people will go against God’s will and nothing can stop them (not even Jesus himself) their hearts are so twisted.  People will do anything for money.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Have patience when things are out of the ordinary.  Pray for God to be with me more.  Listen for God’s voice and not man’s voice.  Run from temptation.

Conclusions:  Could have done without personal questions.  I would hope most of us don’t beat our animals when they disobey.  They are after all lower animals and God charges us to care for them as such.  I would also hope if Jesus appears before us we won’t ask him for permission to sin.  If God says go one way, we go His way, not ours.  I love how God uses a beast of burden to tell Balaam he’s an idiot.  How humbling!

End Notes:  Balak had no need to fear the Israelites.  If he had known God’s word, God had commanded the Israelites to not harm the Moabites as their land was not part of the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 2:9).

This is the first time in the Bible we meet Balaam and we are given no background on him as to how he’s a prophet or comes to be held in such high regard by Balak.

Balak wants the people cursed so he knows enough about the Israelites to know they follow a powerful god.  And Balaam he believes is the man for the job.

Taking the divination fee was the first sin.  The second sin was even asking God when his heart was not right and knew the men were evil.  God, out of mercy, spoke with Balaam–for Balaam’s sake–in order to try and turn his heart to Him.

From Balaam’s answer to the elders, it is clear he wants to go but ‘mean, ol’ God’ won’t let him. Hence, Balak tries again, this time promising more riches, which is what Balaam wants.  Even though Balaam knows God’s will, he refuses to put away his sin.  He allows temptation in once more.

God does not change His mind when he allows Balaam to go with the men; He is setting Balaam up for judgment.

God is angry at Balaam’s rejection of His word.

Note how the donkey is more spiritual than Balaam, seeing a representative of its Creator and rightfully being fearful.  The donkey is a representative of all followers of God and Jesus:  he obeys and because he obeys he annoys the unbelievers and is punished by them and often killed.

Balaam should have known by the donkey’s reaction that something was wrong with this trip.  When the donkey speaks, Balaam’s heart is so twisted by his own desire and sin he doesn’t bat an eye at this miracle.

Scholars believe the angel is Jesus because he accuses Balaam of sinning against him personally (verse 32).

Balaam still wants to go and asks so.  God gives him over to judgment by allowing him to go.

With these actions, Balaam earns himself a place as a lover of money in the Bible and is held up as an example of what NOT to do:  2 Peter 2:15-16 & Jude 11.

Map Showing where Israelites are Encamped:  http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/images/EglonAndAmmon2.jpg

Clear Delineation of Negev and Moab:  http://www.bibletrack.org/notes/image/Israel_to_Moab.jpg

Fun fact:  The donkey is the only Biblical account of an animal speaking.  And an angel (Jesus) praised the donkey, proof God loves all His creations.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 24, Day 2: Matthew 24:1-14

Summary of passage:  Jesus leaves the temple and predicts that the temple will be leveled (70 AD).  As Jesus sits on the Mount of Olives, the disciples ask him when this will happen and what will be the signs of his Second Coming and the end of the age.  Jesus replies to be wary for many will come in his name.  There will be wars, famines, and earthquakes.  You will be persecuted because of him.  Many will turn away and turn to false prophets.  Love will lessen but those who stand firm in the end will be saved.  This gospel will be spread all over the world.

Questions:

3a)  “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” Verse 2

b)  “When will these things happen?  And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” (Luke 21:7)

“When will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”  (Matthew 24:3)

“When will these things happen?  And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?” Mark (13:4)

c)  That Christ’s kingdom will reign until the end of the age.

d)  The temple fell in 70 AD when the Romans sacked the city to put down the Jewish rebellion.  Soldiers knocked down every massive stone in search of the melted gold that had run down as the temple burned.

4a)  Jesus is speaking of different time periods in the future.  He mentions things such as people coming in his name, wars, revolutions, earthquakes, famines, pestilences (verses 8-10).  Some of these have already happened and continue to happen.

Then Jesus switches to the immediate future, once he is gone, how the disciples will be persecuted, brought before kings and governors, betrayed, and put to death (verses 12-16).  This begins right after his death.

Jesus speaks of the End Times as well when he will come down in a cloud of power and glory to set up his kingdom on earth (verse 27).  He says this will take place when Jerusalem is surrounded (verse 20).

b)  “They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations.  Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”  Jerusalem has to wait on ALL nations and UNTIL the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, which is an indefinite amount of time.

5a)  Many will come in his name.  False prophets.  One William Miller in 1846 predicted Jesus would return and many believed.  When he didn’t, many fell away.  This is the warning to us all.

Wars and revolutions.  Too many to list: WWI, WWII, American revolution, French Revolution, Thirty Years War, Civil War, etc

Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.  Too many to list:  all the conflicts between England and France, American revolution where it was the US against England, conflict now in the Middle East, Turks versus the Ottomans, etc.

Great earthquakes, famines, and pestilences.  Too many to list:  Tsumani in 2004, Great San Francisco Earthquake, Dust Bowl, famines in Africa, Bubonic Plague, AIDS, etc.

Jerusalem will be surrounded by armies.  Too many times to list:  According to Wikipedia, Jerusalem has been fought over sixteen times in its history.  Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.

Increase in wickedness and loss of love.  Society will deteriorate, which I think most of us will agree is happening.  There will be less love for others and caring.

b)  The gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Through Christian missionaries in all parts of the world and even to the new generations at church and to current believers.  I don’t “preach the gospel.”  I teach it to my kids.  That’s about my extent.  I give to my church and they support missionaries.

Conclusions:  We spent most of this lesson in Luke.  Mark was ignored, a shame since I loved this nugget in Mark:  “And the gospel must first be preached to all nations (Mark 13:10)”, which makes question 5b clearer.  Jesus also mentions the Holy Spirit guiding the disciples during persecution, which must have been a great comfort upon hearing such dread events to come in their lives.  This was recorded in Mark only.

End Notes:  This is the last time Jesus will enter the temple.  He is departing for good.  The disciples are attempting to cheer Jesus after having been questioned by the Pharisees in the temple.  The temple was beautiful and magnificent to behold.  It was covered in gold and huge!

Titus’ soldiers burned the temple against his orders.  He wanted to preserve it.  However, once burned, Titus ordered the temple dismantled in order to retrieve the gold that had melted.

Titus was the emperor of Rome from 79-81 AD.  Before this, he was in charge of Judea and ending the Jewish rebellion there, which he did in 70 AD.  For this victory, he was awarded a triumph (a public ceremony honoring his achievement) and the Arch of Titus was built as a commemoration for him and for his military victories. It is one of two remaining arches still standing in the Roman forum and it was a model for the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

The disciples probably correlated the destruction of the temple with the End Times.  Hence, Jesus’ long answer to correct their thinking.  There is much listed here, purposely vague, that scholars say are for different reasons including to confound the devil or have every generation ready for Jesus’ return.

These signs will intensify as Jesus’ return come near.  More and more earthquakes and famines. Luke says specifically there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars.  The seas will toss; the heavenly bodies be shaken.

All we need to know is:  Jesus is coming!  So be ready!

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 24, Day 2: Genesis 32:1-8 and 2 Kings 6:8-23

Summary of passages:  Jacob leaves Mesopotamia and heads for the Promised Land. On the way, he sees angels of God who meet him and camp beside him.  He sends messengers ahead to tell Esau that he is coming.  He calls himself Esau’s servant and asks to find favor in his eyes.

The messengers return, telling Jacob that Esau is coming to meet along with 400 men. Jacob is afraid and assumes Esau will attack him so he divides his band into 2 groups in hopes if one is attacked the other group will survive.

2 Kings 6:8-23:  Aram and Israel are at war.  A man of God (Elisha the prophet) tells Israel’s king exactly what the king of Aram is planning.  This enraged the king of Aram. He accuses his officers of warning the Israelites but they tell him it is Elisha.  So the king of Aram tries to capture Elisha in Dothan.  They surround the city.

Elisha’s servant who is afraid warns Elisha.  Elisha prays and the Lord opens the servant’s eyes to see horses and chariots of fire all around (the supernatural forces of God around us).

The Elisha prays and Aram’s forces are struck with blindness.  Elisha then leads Aram’s forces to Samaria.  He prays for their eyes to be opened and the Lord does so.  The king of Israel asks Elisha if he should kill them.  Elisha responds no but instead feed and water them and send them back home.

The king of Israel prepared a great feast for his enemies and they returned home and stopped raiding Israel.

Questions:

3a)  God is with us even when we can’t see him.  If you treat your enemies humbly and serve them, God will bless you.  Jacob humbled himself before Esau, calling himself his servant (when we all know the prophecy states otherwise) and Elisha feeds the enemy with a grand feast and sends them home.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Treat even those whom we don’t like as we would want to be treated.  Remember God is all around us.  His forces surround us, protecting us from the devil even though we cannot see them.  If we call upon them, they will fight for us.  Something we need to remember.

4a)  Genesis 32:1-2:  God sends his angels to help us.  We can see angels.

Psalm 34:7:  Angels protect those who fear the Lord and delivers them.

Daniel 6:22:  Angels do God’s bidding.  Here, they shut the mouths of the lions to protect Daniel who was innocent before God.

1 Corinthians 6:2-3:  Since the saints (us) will judge the world we will judge angels as well (since we are above angels.  See Hebrews 1:4-14).

Hebrews 1:14:  Angels are ministering spirits sent to serve us.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Angels serve us and help us.  Good to know there are others sent to back me up in the spiritual battles I face.

Conclusions:  Mixed on this lesson actually.  It seems like every year we have a study of angels so I guess this was it.  I liked the 2 Kings passage.  It’s a great reminder that God is all around us, watching and helping us, even if we can’t see it, and He has sent helpers (angels) for our benefit.  And a reminder to treat our enemies kindly.  Then we will be blessed.

I would, however, like to see the camp of angels around me.  Cool, huh?

One interesting note:  Even though Jacob can see the angels around him, he quickly forgets God is with him and is still afraid–to the point he separates his group.  He should trust in God (and His army) to protect him from Esau’s wrath.

Map Work:  Map of Aram (or Syria) and Israel:  http://www.bccfbroadcasts.com/maps/Isrl_Jdea.gif

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 24, Day 2: Ephesians 4:1-8

Explanatory Note:  I will be gone next week on vacation so I am posting these ahead of time and will try to get to your comments as soon as possible.  God bless!

Summary of passage:  Paul urges the Ephesians to live a life worthy of God’s calling: humbly, gently, patiently, and lovingly.  He calls for them to keep the unity of the Spirit through peace, reminding us there is only one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and of course one God and Father of all (who granted each of us grace).

Questions:

3)  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

4a)  A humble, forgiving attitude amongst others and a unity of believers, a Spiritual unity

b)  All believers share the same fundamental beliefs:  One God, One Son, One Holy Spirit in one.  “One Lord, one faith, one baptism; One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all”.  Christ died for our sins.  We have faith and trust in God and Christ.  So surrendering our beliefs should not even be an issue here.

We keep this unity by doing what Jesus did:  forgiving others unconditionally, loving others, avoiding strife.

c)  No where in this passage is “organic unity” and “organizational conformity” mentioned.  So, we must look elsewhere for this answer.

According to Wikipedia, organic unity is “the idea that a thing is made up of interdependent parts.”  Like the body is made up of organs all working together.

Organizational conformity is when everyone in an organization is doing the same thing.

Thus, the difference is organizational conformity the parts are doing the same thing. Organic unity the parts work together to accomplish a goal.

d)  To work together, to keep the peace, maintain focus on what’s important:  God.

5)  One body–we all share in the body of Christ

One Spirit–we all receive the same Holy Spirit

One hope–we all hope in Christ

One Lord–there’s only one God

One faith–we all have faith in the One God

One baptism–we are all baptized in the Spirit upon believing

One God and Father of all–There is only One, True God

Churches all work for the same goal:  to bring those lost to Christ and to grow in Christ once found.  Everything else is secondary and churches should not get bogged down in other beliefs that are not paramount.  Our differences should not hinder the common goal.

Conclusions:  Anyone else think this lesson was stretching it?  Still baffled as to what 4c has to do with anything especially since it wasn’t really applied to another question.  I was also disturbed since “organizational conformity” is a sociology term mainly used to describe businesses.  I just don’t see churches as a business.  I don’t think Paul did either.

4b I thought was also out of place.  I just didn’t get how keeping the peace involved surrendering basic beliefs (something we should never surrender).  Any other thoughts would be very much appreciated.

The only thing I truly got out of this was in verse one and two:  the reminder of being humble, gentle, patient, and loving.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 24, Day 2 Isaiah 52:13-15

Summary of passage:  God’s servant will act wisely and be raised up and exalted.  Despite the number of people who were appalled at his appearance which was so disfigured and marred by beatings, he will sprinkle (cleanse) many nations and kings will be silenced.  And the people will see and understand.

Questions:

3)  Because He will sprinkle (cleanse) many nations of sin.  He will act wisely.  He will triumph.

4)  He will appear glorious and exalted yet He will also appear suffering to the point where many were appalled at His appearance because He was beaten so badly.

5a)  His back was beaten, his beard pulled out.  He was mocked and spit upon.  He was beaten so much His appearance was unrecognizable.  They stripped Him, put a scarlet robe on him, a crown of thorns and a staff.  He was insulted and told to save himself if he were indeed God’s son.

b)  Acts 2:32:  God has raised Jesus to life and we are all witnesses

Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9:  Jesus blessed the people and was taken up to Heaven before them, disappearing behind a cloud

Acts 2:33; Philippians 2:9:  God exalted him to the highest place and give him a name above every name. He sits at God’s right hand and has received and poured out the Holy Spirit

Conclusions:  I like the contrasts here between the suffering Jesus endured yet His eternal reward.  Reading all Jesus endured for our sakes is heart-breaking and humbling but seeing His reward is uplifting and reassuring.

It’s comforting to us humans who go through various stages of suffering but know we will have our reward as well.  Most Americans and those in the developed word (and most of the developing world) won’t be physically tortured, paraded through the streets, and crucified.  But some face abuse (physical and sexual).  Just most crimes today are hidden behind closed doors.  Others are paralyzed by the fear of war and death.

The evils of the human heart are innumerable but Jesus saved us from them for all of Eternity.