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BSF Matthew Lesson 25 Additional Bible Resources: Leftover New Year’s Edition

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Here are some great additional Bible tools. Enjoy!

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Friday Digest BSF Matthew Lesson 25

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN MATTHEW 25 BSF LESSON 25

  • We are to anticipate and prepare for Christ’s return
  • No one knows when Jesus will return
  • Jesus rewards the faithful by giving them more opportunities and greater influence in His kingdom
  • All we have and are comes from God
  • A redeemed heart is seen in ordinary, everyday acts of love and compassion
  • You are either eternally saved or eternally damned — there is no middle ground
  • Jesus has something better for us
  • We all have kingdom work to do
  • Are you using your talents for God?
  • Your life’s purpose is to know and love Jesus — that is it

TAKE AWAY: We are to be faithful and serve whole-heartedly.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 25, Day 4: Matthew 25:31-46

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 25:31-46

Still on the Mount of Olives, Jesus tell about when he returns. He will have all of the angels with him, and he will sit on his throne in glory. He will separate everyone like a shepherd separates his sheep and goats. The sheep will go to his right; the goats on his left. Jesus blesses the sheep on his right, and they will have their inheritance, the kingdom prepared for them since the creation of the world. For they cared for Jesus, giving him food, drink, and clothes.

Confused, the righteous wondered when they did these things. Jesus responded that they did it for him every time they did it for one of their brothers.

Those on the left will be cursed to the eternal fire for they did nothing for him or his people. They will have eternal punishment, while the righteous has eternal life.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 25, Day 4: Matthew 25:31-46

9) He will have all of the angels with him, and he will sit on his throne in glory. He will separate everyone like a shepherd separates his sheep and goats.

10a) The sheep on his right are blessed and will have their inheritance, the kingdom prepared for them since the creation of the world. For they cared for Jesus, giving him food, drink, and clothes and they cared for Jesus every time they cared for one of their brothers. They are believers.

b) Those on the left will be cursed to the eternal fire for they did nothing for him or his people. They will have eternal punishment. They are unbelievers.

c) We are here to help others, which is what Jesus would do. Since he is not here, we are to take his place.

d) Luke 6:45 says good men brings good things stored up in his heart. Faith has action associated with it, according to James 3:14-17. Faith and deeds go hand-in-hand. 1 John 3:16-18 says we are to love with action and truth. Because Jesus laid down his life for us, we are to do the same for our brothers. This is how we will know we belong to truth (verse 19)

11) I would say more in the little things I do. Smiling to others. Lending a helping hand. Volunteering. And helping those close to you, such as family and friends, when they need help. Donating time and money to worthy causes and those who need the help.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 25, Day 4: Matthew 25:31-46

I love the emphasis on doing things for others because that’s what Jesus would do. This needs to be more on our minds.

Classic book! I wish more modern children’s authors would write on Jesus.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 25, Day 4: Matthew 25:31-46

Jesus gives more details about his Second Coming here. His throne will be on earth.

Fun Fact: Jesus usually called himself “Son of Man” when speaking of himself.

Most Bible scholars agree that this judgment is different than the Great White Throne Judgment in Revelation 20:11-15.

  • The Great White Throne Judgment happens after the 1,000 year reign of Jesus. This judgment happens right after Jesus returns.
  • This Judgment of Nations only includes the nations, or Gentiles, who are judged on their care of others. The Great White Throne Judgment is everyone.

Goats and sheep usually naturally separate themselves when it gets cold at night because the goats huddle for warmth, but sheep don’t need to.

Some Bible scholars believe this Judgment of Nations will happen after the Great Tribulation Matthew 24:21 The rapture will have already happened  1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

Jesus separates those who will receive the kingdom of heaven and those who will not. Jesus judges them by their works here.

This is a lesson to us all to help others whenever we can for Jesus may come at any time.

God prepared Hell for the devil, his angels, and now those who are condemned.

The purpose of the Judgment of Nations is to separate people before the beginning of Jesus’s millennial kingdom.

Jesus came first to free us from sin.

Jesus will come again to judge and rule.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 25, Day 3: Matthew 25:14-30

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 25:14-30

Jesus tells the Parable of the Talents. A man calls his servants and gives them talents each according to his ability. He gives one man five talents, another two, and another one. The men who received five and two gained more. The man who received one hid his master’s money.

When the master returned, he settled accounts with them. The man who had five talents and gained five more and the man who had two talents and gained two more were praised and called “good and faithful servant.” Since they was faithful with a few things, Jesus put them in charge of many things and shared in their master’s happiness.

The man who hid the talent was called wicked and lazy. He was chastized for not putting the money on deposit at least to earn interest. The one talent was taken from the man and given to the man who has 10 talents. Everyone who has will be given more in abundance. Whoever does not have will lose what little he has. The lazy servant was thrown out into the darkness and the weeping and gnashing of teeth.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 25, Day 3: Matthew 25:14-30

6a) A man calls his servants and gives them talents each according to his ability. He it entrusting them to use their talents to grow his money while he is away.

b) When the master returned, he settled accounts with them. The man who had five talents and gained five more and the man who had two talents and gained two more were praised and called “good and faithful servant.” Since they was faithful with a few things, Jesus put them in charge of many things and shared in their master’s happiness.

The man who hid the talent was called wicked and lazy. He was chastized for not putting the money on deposit at least to earn interest. The one talent was taken from the man and given to the man who has 10 talents. Everyone who has will be given more in abundance. Whoever does not have will lose what little he has. The lazy servant was thrown out into the darkness and the weeping and gnashing of teeth.

c) He was chastized for not putting the money on deposit at least to earn interest. The one talent was taken from the man and given to the man who has 10 talents. Everyone who has will be given more in abundance. Whoever does not have will lose what little he has. He basically did not try or do anything while the man was away.

7) Don’t waste what God has given you. Use your talents to grow His kingdom.

8 ) Unsure. I always ask myself this, as I do think I have gifts. Writing is one of them. Perseverance. Drive. Tenacity.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 25, Day 3: Matthew 25:14-30

Such a harsh penalty is you don’t use the gifts and talents that God has given you in order to do His work. Something to think about in your own life, that’s for sure. The Olivet Discourse is so rich that it’s great to dive into.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 25, Day 3: Matthew 25:14-30

A talent was worth about $1,200 in today’s terms, which was a lot for back then. We get our word “talent” from this parable, which is a gift given to you by others.

Each person in the kingdom of heaven is given a certain number of gifts and talents to serve God. We can either waste those opportunities or talents or use them to further His kingdom.

The good servants used what they had to gain more. The other servant did absolutely nothing with the money.

The reward matched what they were given. He called them good and faithful because of it. There is also a place of joy — some Bible scholars say even heaven — as a reward.

Note the lazy servant tried to come up with excuses as to why he didn’t grow the money. He thought his master didn’t need his help and would be pleased that he did not lose the money.

The lazy servant faced condemnation. He could have done something, but instead he chose to do nothing.

The Old Testament did not allow Israelites to charge interest when money was leant to other Israelites  (Exodus 22:25Leviticus 25:35-37Deuteronomy 23:19; cf. Psalm 15:5. However, if the money involved Gentiles, it was permitted.(Deuteronomy 23:20)

The servant was not a true servant and thus was thrown out of the master’s house.

The master represents Jesus. The time between his departure and return may represent the time between his First and Second Coming. The different amounts represents how humans today are given different talents and abilities for Jesus.

We are all called to invest the treasure God has entrusted to us to build his kingdom and bear fruit. Jesus will return to accomplish his plan. Everything that happens is purposeful and good.

Theme of the Parable of the Talents:  our readiness for Jesus’ return is seen by our stewardship of the resources and talents He has given us.

Readiness is doing God’s work. So, are you ready?

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Friday Digest: BSF’s Study of Genesis Lesson 25

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN GENESIS CHAPTERS 41-42:

  • God is infinitely gracious to reveal His plans to Egypt and to save them along with His chosen people
  • God uses the good and bad for His purposes
  • Even though our paths are different, they are all controlled by God
  • There is a greater good in suffering
  • Life is infinitely easier when you believe God has got this
  • Pray for life’s highs and pray through life’s lows

Take Away:  God is in control.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 5: Genesis 42:21-38

Summary of Genesis 42:21-38:

The brothers are at least smart enough to know that this is happening because of what they did to Joseph. Reuben blames his brothers for this, saying he tried to save Joseph (let’s face it, they are all guilty). Joseph was overcome and began to cry. He has Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.

He filled their bags with grain and had the silver they had brought with them returned in their bags. He gave them provisions for their journey. Along the way, they realized that their silver had been returned. They now sense that God is most definitely admininstering justice.

The sons returned and told Jacob all that had happened in Egypt. When they saw all of the silver returned, they were even more frightened. Jacob says everything is against him now that he has lost two sons.

Reuben promises to bring Benjamin back or Jacob can kill both of his sons. But Jacob refuses to let Benjamin go because he claims he will die without him.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 5: Genesis 42:21-38

14) They are very afraid. They realize this is some sort of punishment for what they did to Joseph and are now extremely compliant for the demands.

15) Jacob did not respond with faith (hence, he is called Jacob here and not Israel). He blames his sons for losing two of his other sons, and he refuses to let one brother save another, claiming he will die if Benjamin does. Not very Godly at all. Leaving your one son to rot in jail.

16) God is in control. All things are happening for a reason. God will work good out of the situation. That God has got this.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 5: Genesis 42:21-38

I would not want to return and tell Jacob that effectively they had lost another brother. They were probably dreading the entire trip backing, knowing that Jacob would never let Benjamin go. Poor Simeon. He probably resigned himself to a life in prison, knowing the exact same response of his father.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 5: Genesis 42:21-38

Five time in the Book of Genesis we see Joseph in tears (Genesis 43:30; 45:2, 14-15; 50:17) with his brothers. You can almost feel Joseph’s hurt and pain, like when they were talking about the incident in front of him, not knowing he was listening. Yet, he loves his brothers, but it is so hard when you’ve been hurt. This shows that pain that happens in childhood runs deep throughout life and can affect you in ways you don’t even realize.

Listen to Your Conscious

Having a conscious is something that sets humans above other animals. Animals have no feelings if they have hurt others; whereas, we do. All of Joseph’s brothers are struggling with their sin against Joseph and know that in some way this is the penalty. If humans did not have a conscious, a knowledge from right and wrong, we’d be little more than animals and society would be in trouble, indeed.

Joseph wept at his own emotions, but also in the fact that they still have not gotten to the point of confession and admittance as we see in Reuben who is blaming his other brothers for this mess. Joseph knows God has more soul work for them to do.

Simeon either was chosen or volunteered to stay behind. Poor guy. Most likely he knew he might rot in jail the rest of his life since Jacob parting with Benjamin was a long shot. Simeon was the second oldest and was one of the leaders in the slaughter of Shechem (Genesis 34). Perhaps this was God’s punishment for that sin.

Grain was expensive. After all, there’s a famine going on. Most likely directed by God, Joseph put their money back in their sacks. This was a lot of money. He gave his brothers provisions for the trip back home. Before any apologies were given, Joseph gave. This is a lesson for us as we see Jesus here as well. Before we believe, Jesus gives.

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God Works to Bring Us to Him

They were afraid, knowing they could be accused as thieves now since they had the silver returned. The only prudent thing would be to try to return it when they returned to show them to be honest. If they kept it for personal gain, this would not be good. I would be suspicious as well. The silver was there for a reason; it could be good or bad. Was it a gift from God? Or, was it a trap?

Here, we see the brothers tell the truth of what happened, rather than what happened to Joseph. While many Bible scholars laud this as a step in the right direction, it’s truly hard to compare the situations. They lied to cover up an evil they did to Joseph the first time. Here, they had no evil/sin to cover up, so why would they lie? You truly cannot compare the two situations.

Jacob knew in his heart that the reason he has now lost two sons was due to the behavior/sins of his other sons.

Jacob is Bound by Selfishness

Note Jacob lack of faith and victim mentality. We don’t see him praying, asking God about allowing Benjamin to go to Egypt. We see Jacob in self-preservation mode. He does not want Benjamin to die; nothing else matters. He is blind here, and only God can make him see.

We also see the power of lies in people’s lives. When you lie, it affects others. In this case, Jacob believed for over 20 years Joseph was dead. That is indeed a cruel sin to let your father believe that. Imagine those years of heartache Jacob felt, while the brothers did not care — until God made them care.

Reuben, the oldest, the one who slept with his father’s concubine (Genesis 35:22), the one who did too little too late to save Joseph, offers his own sons if he does not bring Benjamin back. There is always room in life to make up for sin.

Here we see human selfishness defined. Jacob seems to care nothing for Simeon. In his mind, his only son is Benjamin. Simeon probably has a family. Did he mean to leave Simeon’s kids orphans? Jacob never once is seen praying or trusting God here. All he sees is himself, so he sins aginst his other son, Simeon. Sometimes humans fail miserably under sin. Even the bond of love is breakable without the love of Jesus.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 4: Genesis 42:1-20

Summary of Genesis 42:1-20:

Jacob sends all of his sons to buy grain from Egypt except Benjamin, afraid that something will happen to Benjamin like Joseph. Famine is in Canaan as well. Joseph was in charge of selling all the grain, and when he saw his brothers, he recognized them, but they did not know him. He pretended not to know them, and questioned where they were from.

Joseph accuses them of being spies and of coming to see where the land is unprotected. Here, they say they are the sons of one man and how one is not with them and one is dead. Joseph says that one must stay with them while the rest return home to fetch the younger brother in order to prove if their story is true. The one shall remain in prison until they return. He would allow them  to leave with grain.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 4: Genesis 42:1-20

11a) God made the brothers come for grain, which Joseph was in charge of.

b) Joseph was but a boy when he left at 17. You can change a lot in that amount of time. Joseph was most likely dressed like an Egyptian at the time with a headress on and heavy makeup. Plus, they thought he was dead. Who would think their dead brother sold into slavery would be second in line behind Pharaoh?

12) Joseph pretended not to know them, and questioned where they were from. Joseph accuses them of being spies and of coming to see where the land is unprotected. Joseph probably was feeling not-so-generous when he saw his brothers. Perhaps hurt and anger arose from what they had done to him. Perhaps it was time to give them a taste of their own medicine.

13a) We see how God put Joseph in the position to save the chosen family of Jesus. All things happen for God’s purposes.

b) Every event in my life has a purpose, for me or for the future. Even the bad.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 4: Genesis 42:1-20

I love this. It’s giving the brothers a taste of their own medicine. Surely they were extremely worried during the time they were in jail. Now, they would know what it felt like to be wrongly imprisoned just like Jospeh did.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 4: Genesis 42:1-20

Bible scholars believe this event happened at the very beginning of the famine (Genesis 45:11).

The strange expression was most likely the face of guilt. Egypt reminded the brothers of the terrible deed they had done, and no one wants to live with that. How they lived 20 years with that on their conscious I don’t know.

God uses events and circumstances in our lives to move us, to push us to do things we normally would not do. The brothers had to reconcile with Joseph. Here was the impetus to do so.

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Joseph’s Dream Comes True

The brothers bow down before Joseph, just like his dream said they would. By selling Joseph into slavery, the brothers made Joseph’s dreams come true when their whole intent was to make sure they never would bow before Joseph. Ironic, isn’t it? And another piece of evidence that God is in control of everything.

Joseph would have used an interpreter here. He would not have spoken directly to his brothers, which would have revealed he knew Hebrew. But this was probably common place for high officials not to speak to commoners as well. Funny, Jesus recognized you before you recognize him.

Joseph remembered his dream of the brothers bowing down and would use this to restore their relationship. First, the brothers had to admit what they had done. Instead, they lie about Joseph still, saying he is dead. They did not say that one brother is a slave. The brothers must learn the hard way to confession. Like Jesus, Joseph was alive and well even if no one knew it.

Joseph gives the brothers the reason for what they are doing: for the fear of God. All of us need a healthy fear of God.

Note that the whole point of this is to prove they are honest. Ever since Joseph was sold into slavery, none of them have lived an honest life, and still they are denying Joseph’s existence. Surely, both Joseph and the brothers knew bringing Benjamin would be a fight with Jacob.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 3: Genesis 41:33-57

Summary of Genesis 41:33-57:

Joseph advised Pharaoh to look for a discerning and wise man to be put in charge of the land of Egypt. Commissioners should be put in charge of the land to take 1/5 of the harvest during the years of abundance and store it for the years of famine. Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge, second only to him in all of Egypt, for this plan. Pharaoh gave Joseph his signet ring, gave him clothes, and a gold chain. He had him ride in a chariot as his second in command. He was put in charge of all of Egypt.

Pharaoh gave Joseph the Egyptian name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him an Egyptian wife, the daugther of Potiphera, a priest of On.

Joseph was 30 when this happened. He traveled throughout the land, saving the grain as planned. He had so much grain saved that he stopped keeping track as he could no longer measure it. Joseph had two sons, Manasseh, meaning forget, and Ephraim, meaing twice fruitful. When the famine hit, Egypt was prepared. They sold grain to the people of Egypt and to other coutnries who had no stored up food.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 3: Genesis 41:33-57

7) Joseph advised Pharaoh to look for a discerning and wise man to be put in charge of the land of Egypt. Commissioners should be put in charge of the land to take 1/5 of the harvest during the years of abundance and store it for the years of famine. Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge, second only to him in all of Egypt, for this plan.

8 ) God is preparing all of us for His purposes in life. Trusting in the Lord always is the key to peace as we find His purpose for our lives.

9) I’m so bad at these broad questions. Again, I have no specifics, but, in general, prayer has gotten me through a lot and my drive to keep on, keeping on.

10) I have faith that everything is in God’s plan. Although we are struggling financially right now, we are confident this is what God wants for our lives moving forward, and in the end, it will all work out. Because Romans 8:28 assures me everything is for Him and my good to be like Jesus.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 3: Genesis 41:33-57

I had forgotten that it was Joseph/God who advised Pharaoh what to do. Love that.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 3: Genesis 41:33-57

Other translations say “perish” instead of ruined. Perish is a much better translation here because it tells of the seriousness of the coming famine. If nothing were done, many people would likely perish. This is a much stronger word than merely ruined.

One-fifth of the food would be a big chunk of people’s food. But sacrifices had to be made so that survival would come out the other side. Some Bible scholars speculate that this could be up to 20% of the food from families, instead of the normal 10%.

The key would be someone who could coordinate and organize this monumental effort to save the people of Egypt. And who has been training in administration almost his entire life AND has God at his back?

Note that “the Spirit of God” here mentioned by Pharaoh is the Holy Spirit. You may have missed this like I did when I first read it.

Fun Fact: This is the first time in the Bible the Holy Spirit is seen coming to humans.

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Joseph’s Rise

Joseph had to have been shocked that Pharaoh chooses him to not only coordinate this life-saving effort, but also to have no one above him on earth except Pharaoh. Joseph, who mere moments before, was a slave, is now insanely powerful.

Yet, this was years in the making, designed by God, and promoted/exalted by God alone (Psalm 75:6-7).

The success you have in life is from God alone. Even your efforts of hard work, determination, perseverence, and more are from God. He alone grants you life, abilities, and talents to use for His glory. And as you advance in life, you rely more on Jesus who himself rose from nothing to be the almighty King.

Joseph would now be showered with wealth and gifts. He had Pharaoh’s authority as demonstrated by Pharaoh’s ring. He had beautiful clothes, gold chains, and chariots. He even was given a beautiful Egyptian wife who was high-born. Joseph has total authority over everyone except Pharaoh. Anyone see Jesus here?

Joseph is Given a New Name

Egyptians did not like Hebrews. Plus, Joseph was a slave. He had to be given a new identity in order to be respected. Pharaoh gave him an Egyptian name and an Egyptian wife to erase his past from others. Some Bible scholars speculate Joseph’s Egyptian name meant “the god speaks and this one lives.” This would be the only wife Joseph took. Yet, Joseph’s sons are given Hebrew names. This shows Joseph did not forget where he came from.

Famine is common in the Middle East. However, it was rare to have a famine that affected both Canaan and Egypt at the same time due to the fact that they depended on different waterways.