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Who is the Church?

Many people wonder, “Who is the Church?”

In Matthew 16, Jesus talks about the Church for the very first time.

The English word “church” is derived from a Greek adjective, kyriakos, which means “the Lord’s” or “belonging to the Lord.” The Church was officially born on the day of Pentecost in Acts. Jesus, however, prophesies about the Church here.

The Church is not a physical building; the Church is every person who has ever believed in Christ as God’s Son and Savior of humanity. Christ is the head of the Church, and we are called to meet together, to support one another, and to help each other in our earthly journey of following Christ and doing his will over ours.

Thus, some people in a church building are not Christians.

We are made for community, and when you embrace community and one another, the burden you bear, as a Christian, will be a lot less.

Find your “Church.” There, you will find love, support, acceptance, and help at every turn.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 4: Matthew 16:17-20

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 16:17-20

Jesus blesses Simon, saying God revealed to him who he was. He names him Peter, which means rock, and he will build his church that Hades (hell) cannot overcome. Jesus will give Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven and whatever he binds on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever he loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven. He told his disciples not to tell anyone he was the Christ.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 4: Matthew 16:17-20

9) Jesus blesses Simon, saying God revealed to him who he was.

10a) Jesus will be the rock (the foundation) of the church.

b) He will build his church that Hades (hell) cannot overcome. Whatever he binds on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever he loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven, meaning whoever believes he is the Son of God will be free from sin; those who don’t will be bound forever.

11a) The Gospel frees those from Old Testament laws.

b) In every way (such a broad question with so many answers). Freedom allows me to follow Christ’s path for me.

Conclusion BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 4: Matthew 16:17-20

My answers are short here. See more explanation in the End Notes.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 4: Matthew 16:17-20

God divinely inspired Peter when he spoke, saying who Jesus was.

Jesus renamed Peter the rock, and he would become a rock for the disciples after Jesus’s death.

“This rock” is Jesus. The church will be built upon Jesus, although some Bible scholars say the rock here is Peter or even the confession itself.

Fun Fact: This is the first use of the word ‘church’ in the Bible. Fitting it is spoken by Jesus.

Jesus was prophesizing the founding of the church.

The Greek word for church, ekklesia, meant group. Thus, the church is a group.

Note Jesus says “my church.” We belong to him.

Hell will not penetrate the church, meaning God’s people will overcome sin, death, and Satan.

Peter the Disciple

Jesus will give Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven. This is why Peter is usually depicted in art with keys. This symbolizes Jesus giving Peter the authority to unlock the Gospel to the world.

This passage is a basis for many images of Peter. There is no doubt that Peter was special. Some think he stands at the gates of heaven, letting people in or blocking their entrance.

  • He is always listed first when the disciples are listed in the Bible.
  • He paved the way for the Jews Acts 2:38-39 and the Gentiles Acts 10:34-44 to come to heaven.

Binding and loosing is an idea during that time that pertained to the law. To be bound was to be prohibited and be put under the law. To loose was to permit and be free from the law. Here, Jesus gives Peter and the disciples the power to define the New Covenant church and set the rules.

Sinners would be set free from sin and death (loosed). Those who refuse to believe are bound in sin.

Jesus set the rules for the disciples, which explains them taking the grains in the fields  (Matthew 12:1-8).

Peter and the disciples would set the New Covenant, including dietary rules. Still, Jesus was not ready for all to know he was the Christ (probably because the disciples were not ready and he needed more training time).

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 13, Day 2: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 13:1-9

Jesus was sitting by the lake (Sea of Galilee), but the crowds were so big that he got into a boat so the people could see and hear him better. He told the parable of sower. Some of the seeds that the farmer scattered fell on rocky places. They sprang up quickly, but because the soil was shallow, they withered due to a lack of root. Other seeds fell among thorns, which choked the plant. Other seeds fell on good soil where it produced a good crop.

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 13:18-23

Jesus explains the meaning of the parable of the sower. When people hear the message about the kingdom of God and do not understand it, the evil one takes away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed along the path.  The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places hears the Word and receives it with joy. But he falls away when trouble arises because he has no root. The seed in the thorns is the man who hears the word, but is unfruitful because of his worries and deceitfulness of wealth.  The one who received the seed on good soil hears the Word and understands it. He produces a good crop.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 13, Day 2: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

3) He told the parable of sower. Some of the seeds that the farmer scattered fell on rocky places. They sprang up quickly, but because the soil was shallow, they withered due to a lack of root. Other seeds fell among thorns, which choked the plant. Other seeds fell on good soil where it produced a good crop.

4)

The sower signifies: God or Jesus

The seed signifies: the Word of God

The soil along the path signifies: those who hear but don’t take action

The birds that snatch the seed signifies: the evil one

The rocky soil signifies: problems that arise that prevent one accepting God’s Word

The thorny soil signifies: those who don’t truly accept God’s Word even after growth

The good soil signifies: those who accept Christ as their Savior

5a) The seed that fell on good soil. It was the only one that produced a crop.

b) The same in all four accounts was God and Him extending His hand to us to believe His word. The seeds all started out equally, meaning they all had a chance to be fruitful. What was different was the soil and how each responded to God’s Word and let hindrances keep them from God.

c) We need to ensure our roots are deep so we can withstand the evil one’s attacks on us. We need to not let circumstances sway us to turn from God. We need a solid foundation of knowing God’s Word in order to spend eternity with God and survive and thrive in this world.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 13, Day 2: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Great life lessons we can glean from this parable. I love Jesus’s parables because they all apply to us today and we can learn so much when we study the meaning in depth.

Here are some great parable readings for you!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 13, Day 2: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

MATTHEW 13:1-9

The boat gave Jesus a platform to speak from (Mark 4:1). With rising opposition, Jesus could no longer preach in synogogues, so he taught outdoors.

Parables are meant to teach one main principle to those listening. They made the idea easier to remember, and it stayed longer with the people. The parables of Matthew 13 focus on God’s kingdom. Your response determines if you will have eternal life or eternal damnation.

Jesus spoke to things the people would understand. Everyone understood farming.

The seeds fell on four places:

  1. Next to the path — this was where many people walked and thus the seeds would be trampled and not grow.
  2. In rocky places — characterized by thin soil as we are told
  3. Amongst thorns — fertile ground, but with hazards
  4. On good soil — fertile and free of other plants growing

Jesus uses “he who has ears, let him hear.” to call attention to his words.

The meaning behind his words would make no sense to those with spiritual deafness. Those who recognized Jesus would understand his words.

MATTHEW 13:18-23

Each soil type represents one of four ways that we respond to Jesus:

  1. Next to the path — those who hear God’s Word, but are unaffected. Their hearts are hardened, so they have no real understanding of what they are hearing. You must understand God’s Word before you can take action.
  2. In rocky places — those who are super excited when they first hear God’s Word, but then their excitement quickly fades and they fade away, too when times get rough
  3. Amongst thorns — those who grow with God for a while, but then are taken down by the evil one, temptations, worries, and deceitfulness of wealth
  4. On good soil — those that hear God’s Word and stick it through, bearing fruit along the way

What the Parable of the Sower Means to Us

We all go through the different types of soil in our lives — times where our faith wanes or where we are on fire for God. However, what matters in the end is that we strive to be the good soil and bear fruit in all that we do.

It can be helpful to ask yourself which soil are you and what can you change to become the good soil.

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BSF Matthew Lesson 12 Additional Bible Resources: Arts & Crafts Edition!

Hey all!

Since the holidays are coming, I thought I’d do an arts and craft resources day to keep the kids, grandkids, (and you) occupied when the family is over!

Happy art-making!

 

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 5: Matthew 12:22-50

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 12:22-50

Jesus healed a demon-possessed man, and the Pharisees said it is only by Beelzebub, or the devil, that Jesus can drive out demons. Jesus pointed out that why would Satan go against himself by driving out demons he put into people? And the priests drive out demons, too. Are they working for Satan, too? A house divided against itself cannot stand, Jesus says, and whoever is not with him is against him.

God won’t forgive anyone who speaks against or blasphemies the Holy Spirit, calling God’s work evil. A good tree will bear good fruit; a bad tree bears bad fruit. By your words, you will be condemned.

The Pharisees ask Jesus for a miraculous sign, and Jesus calls them wicked for asking. Jesus will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth like Jonah was three days and nights in a fish’s belly.

Jesus’s mother and brothers came to see him. Jesus calls all of his disciples who do the will of the Father his brother, sister, and mother.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 5: Matthew 12:22-50

13a) His power over evil and the devil.

b) You have to subdue the person before you rob him. Jesus overcame Satan first to heal the man. He binded Satan’s power. He is stronger than Satan.

14a) They are not genuine. They are looking to trap Jesus and try to get him to prove himself. Jesus does not have to do that.

b) Jesus will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth like Jonah was three days and nights in a fish’s belly. There will be a sign (Jesus’s death) and a call to repentance.

15) Treat everyone as family.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 5: Matthew 12:22-50

Long passages of Jesus fighting against the Pharisees. The fact of the matter is that the Pharisees want to see Jesus go away, which is why they are plotting to kill him. He is ruffling too many feather and changing the way things have always been done. They want to maintain power here. why Jesus essentially only humors them.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 5: Matthew 12:22-50

Why would Satan cast out Satan? Jesus says the Pharisees are making no sense right now.

Jesus uses the Spirit of God to heal.

He tells the Pharisees since they are not for him, they are by default against him. If the leaders reject Jesus, they are rejecting the Holy Spirit. God will not forgive them, and they will face eternal consequences.

Jesus points out to the Pharisees that they are bearing bad fruit (or are evil) as they condemn him.

“Brood of vipers” is like calling them the “sons of Satan.”

Careless or idle words do nothing for Christ. Our words reflect our hearts, and you can often tell where a person’s heart lies by their heart. That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

The Sign of Jonah

Jesus had already given countless signs; the fact they asked for a sign shows their unbelief.

Jonah was effectively dead in the fish’s belly and then he was given new life. This reflects Jesus’s resurrection. The three days and nights could mean a portion of those days and nights and not the full effect. The Ninevites recognized Jonah; the Queen of Sheba recognized God in Solomon. The Pharisees have failed to recognize Jesus.

Jesus says he is greater than Solomon, a king who is very highly regarded in Jesus’s day.

Jesus will judge the Pharisees moreso than the people of Ninevah as his light is greater.

Evil spirits look for those who are empty of the spirit of Jesus. If you are filled with Jesus, you can never be empty.

True Believers in Christ

Bible scholars believe that Mary and his brothers have arrived to maybe bring Jesus back home and somehow end or curtail his ministry. They are probably worried about him. They do not hold any special privileges. Instead, it’s those who do the will of God who are special.

Jesus sees every believer like his mother, brother, and sister. How cool!

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 4: Matthew 12:1-21

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 12:1-21

Jesus and his disciples were walking through fields of grain. His disciples were hungry, so they began to eat the grain heads. The Pharisees claimed this was unlawful. Jesus responded that David ate consecrated bread when he was hungry and the priests desecrate the day by doing temple work. He says one greater than the temple is here, since he, the Son of Man, is Lord of the Sabbath.

The Pharisees ask Jesus if it’s lawful to heal on the Sabbath. He uses the example of if a sheep had fallen into a pit on the Sabbath, would they not rescue it? It’s lawful to do good on the Sabbath. Jesus healed a man with a shriveled hand, and the Pharisees plotted how to kill Jesus.

Jesus withdrew and healed all the sick, telling them to tell no one who he was. This fulfilled prophecy in Isaiah.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 4: Matthew 12:1-21

9a) No. The law was to do no work on the Sabbath. Picking heads of grain was not only allowed according to Deuteronomy 23:25, but it most definitely is not work. The law did not say, “starve on the Sabbath.”

b) Jesus responded that David ate consecrated bread when he was hungry and the priests desecrate the day. He says one greater than the temple is here, since he, the Son of Man, is Lord of the Sabbath. Mark 2:23:27 says the Sabbath is made for man and his rest. In 1 Samuel 21:4-6, we read that the priests gave David and his men consecrated bread to eat as long as they had kept themselves from women. Jesus meant that as Lord of the Sabbath, he can do what he pleases.

10) He cared more about people than laws.

11) The Pharisees are beginning to plot against him. Jesus knows he still has work to do before he is called home to God, so he withdraws to protect himself. He’s trying to keep a low profile and not draw attention to himself, so he tells those to not tell others, so he can continue his ministry here on earth.

12) I love how in his name, there is hope. Jesus’s name is so powerful that all we need to do is hope in him.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 4: Matthew 12:1-21

Human nature is to bring those down around you who are more successful than you, more popular, and who are helping others. Here, we see Jesus begin to suffer for his goodness.

If you love Bible maps like I do, check out this Bible resource!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 4: Matthew 12:1-21

This passage shows us how the Bible can be misinterpreted and the consequences thereof. The Pharisees would have Jesus and his disciples starve because in their minds they were doing work on the Sabbath. This is not what the Bible says at all.

Jesus, of course, never broke a law; he did break man’s interpretation of that law, and sometimes on purpose, to make a point.

Here, human need is more important than the rules of the Sabbath. Besides, Jesus says, the priests break the laws of the Sabbath constantly by performing their rituals, which is work. Mercy is more important than sacrificing for principles (Hosea 6:6)

Jesus once again proclaims his deity with his declaration that he is Lord of the Sabbath and greater than the temple, which was everything to the Jewish people at that time. He  himself is worthy of love, admiration, honor, sacrifice, service, and worship.

Jesus Healing on the Sabbath

Jesus sets the example of us going to church on the Sabbath.

The Pharisees try to set Jesus up with a man who needs healing, knowing Jesus will have compassion on the man and heal him.

Here, the Pharisees turn from just rejecting Jesus to plotting to murder him.

Jesus withdrew to preserve God’s plan for him. He healed all who came to him in faith, and this probably took a long time.

Jesus is the chosen Servant of God.  Matthew 20:25-28Matthew 23:11Mark 9:35Mark 10:43-45. He still serves us by being our guiding light, our Savior, and loving us despite our sins every day.

Jesus doesn’t need to draw attention to himself; his deeds speak for themselves.

Jesus is gentle with those who are bruised and nourishes us who are like smoldering flames.

“The nations” refers to Jesus’s ministry to the Gentiles.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 2: Matthew 11:1-15

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 11:1-15

Jesus is continuing his ministry in the towns of Galilee. John the Baptist was in prison, and when he heard Jesus had come, he sent his disciples to ask if he was the One. Jesus told them to tell John that he has come to help the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, and raise the dead. He has come to preach the Good News to the poor. All who hear and believe will be blessed.

Jesus then spoke about John the Baptist, saying he is the Elijah who was to come, a prophet who none have been risen greater than he. The kingdom has been advancing thanks to John.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 2: Matthew 11:1-15

3a) John is in prison, so he is probably hoping to get out when the One comes. He wants to know if Jesus will rescue him.

b) Jesus quoted Isaiah who prophesied about the Savior, saying when he (Jesus) comes, the deaf will hear, the blind will see, the lame will walk, and the humble will rejoice. He preaches Good News to the poor and binds up the broken hearted (Isaiah 14:3-5).

c) Many times: in our moves, our past bankruptcy, and even now as we try to navigate another move possibly and career changes. All changes test your faith in some way, and you learn to lean on God more and more.

4a) John the Baptist was probably confused if Jesus was a political Messiah, sent to overthrow Rome, or the one he is — the one to save our souls instead. So, he asked Jesus himself, as we all should.

b) By asking Jesus. By bringing their questions to him and asking and waiting for him to respond.

5) He said no one born of women has been greater than he.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 2: Matthew 11:1-15

Great example of how it’s okay to doubt who Jesus is and ask him to reveal himself. Many people come to Christ this way. Doubting is human, so give yourself some grace when you arrive at these moments in your life and continue to bring your doubts to Jesus.

Great historical fiction on the life of John the Baptist!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 12, Day 2: Matthew 11:1-15

Some Bible scholars say that John sent his disciples to ask who Jesus was for the disciples’ sake and not his own.

John the Baptist was in jail for calling out Herod Antipas, the ruler of Judea at this time. Herod had seduced his brother’s wife and ended up marrying her. John rebuked him for it and ended up in prison Matthew 14:3-12.

John is confused here, no doubt. He may be expecting a political Messiah — one who will rescue him. Perhaps, he didn’t want Jesus to forget about his troubles, too. Being in prision is hard, no doubt.

Jesus uses the prophecies of Isaiah to say he has come — but not in the political way many crave.

Jesus commends John the Baptist as the greatest prophet and man for being Jesus’s herald.  Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 3:1. Note that Jesus bears witness to John as he had done for him.

The kingdom of heaven is forceful in pushing back the darkness and in converting people to Jesus.

John the Baptist was in the spirit of Elijah  (Luke 1:17). John was the last of the Old Testament prophets. We see Elijah at the Transfiguration  (Matthew 17:3), and we’ll see him as one of two prophets to come in Revelation 11:3-12.

Fun Fact: “He who has ears, let him hear” was a saying of Jesus after he said something important he wanted his followers to remember.

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BSF Matthew Lesson 11 Additional Bible Resources

Hey all!

Great Bible resources on the commissioning of the 12 disciples.

Enjoy!

 

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