BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 22, Day 5: Matthew 22:1-14

Summary of passage:  Jesus told another parable, saying the kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.  He invited guests but they refused to come.  He told the guests about the succulent meal and they still refused to come.  Then they beat the servants who carried the message and killed them.  The king then sent an army and destroyed the murderers and their city.

Then the king invited anyone they could find both good and bad on the streets to come and the wedding hall was filled with guests.  The king discovered a man not wearing wedding clothes and had him thrown outside into the darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Many are invited but few are chosen.

Questions:

11a)  God invitation to us to accept Christ as the sacrificial lamb, believe in him, that he paid our penalty on the cross

b)  The servants would be prophets or missionaries or believers doing God’s work and then punished or martyred because of it.  All the disciples were martyred except John and Judas Iscariot.  Stephen.  Most likely Paul.  Joan of Arc.  Kenneth Bae.

c)  Jesus’ crucifixion or Jesus’ second coming

d)  Believers in Christ

e)  Isaiah says garments of salvation and a robe of righteousness and jewels.

f)  The will have God’s army sent upon them and be destroyed as murderers and their cities burned.  They will also be thrown out of heaven out into the darkness where there is weeping and a gnashing of teeth.

12a)  Same.  They are too busy to come or they are too preoccupied with things they bought (material items) or too distracted or they are worshipping an idol such as a new spouse.  Anything that is more important than God.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Those who reject God and Christ will not have a taste of God’s banquet.  This is a warning to believe in Christ or face eternal damnation.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Yes because I have faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior and are thus justified by His grace through Jesus’ blood.  Thus, I am therefore clothed in a robe of righteousness and a garment of salvation with jewels that symbolize the Holy Spirit within.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God extends His invitation to all but in the end He only opens the eyes and ears of those chosen to receive Him and His Son and accept Him and believe.  Those who put God first will be chosen.

Conclusions:  I like the wedding parallel as most people can relate to the symbolism.  A wedding is usually one of the biggest events in a person’s life.  Here, a royal wedding would have been a spectacular affair, one everyone would have prized an invitation for.  Similar to Prince William and Kate’s royal wedding.  This illustrates just how illogical people can be when refusing God’s invitation.

Those cast out of the party were because they did not have a heart for God.  They were there for selfish reasons (free food) and could care less about the people involved.

End Notes:  In Jewish culture invitations were often sent out twice, once announcing the event and second when the event was ready.  God is always ready for us.  Are we ready for Him?

Man chooses as does God.  Man refused to come.  God chose to not accept him.  The great dichotomy of the Bible.  We must choose God.  God must choose us by His grace.  It’s a two-way street.  Many hear the call.  Few respond.  Few God chooses to respond.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 22, Day 4: Matthew 21:33-46

Summary of passage:  Jesus tells the Pharisees another parable.  A landowner planted a vineyard, put a wall around it, dug a winepress, and built a watchtower.  Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey.  When harvest approached he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.  The tenants beat his servants and killed them.  They even killed his son.

The Pharisees said the landowner should kill the tenants and find new ones.  Jesus said that the kingdom of God would be taken from them and given to people who will produce fruit.  The Pharisees understood the parable and knew Jesus was talking about them but they couldn’t arrest him because of the people.

Questions:

9a)  God

b)  Isaiah says it’s the house of Israel and the men of Judah.  I was thinking earth.

c)  Unbelievers

d)  Believers or prophets

e)  Jesus

f)  AD 70 when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple

g)  New believers who would give the landlord his share of the crops (the fruit) or give him their belief in Jesus as a Savior.  Or the apostles and the early church (the new tenants) who would bear fruit for God, serve Him, and give Him all the glory as deserved.

10a)  Psalm 118:22-23

b)  1 Peter 2:7-8:  The stone and rock are Jesus who is rejected by builders which has become the capstone and will cause unbelievers to fall

Romans 9:32-33:  The stumbling stone, stone, and rock are Jesus who will cause unbelievers to stumble and fall.

1 Corinthians 1:23:  Jesus is the stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.

c)  By not believing in Christ as God’s Son and Savior

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Romans 9 says one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.  Ephesians says believers will be joined together and rise to be a temple as the Holy Spirit indwells them.  It is encouraging to know with God will never fall or stumble but will rise.

Conclusions:  My one quibble is Ephesians does not talk at all about how people reject and stumble over Christ.  In fact, none of the passages really do.  They merely say that people will stumble and fall.  We have to infer that this is because of their unbelief.

I know we have studied stone and block before and its meaning, I believe last year in Acts.  I think we would have been better off examining Mark and Luke where the parable of the tenants is told. Especially Luke where the people cried out to never let this be.  Interesting.

End Notes:  Other places the Bible mentions the vineyard as Israel:  Deuteronomy 32:32, Psalm 80:8, Jeremiah 2:21, and Isaiah 5:1-7.

Jesus is condemning the Pharisees here as the tenants who are plotting to kill him.  They deserve judgment and punishment as they themselves state.  Jesus clearly states that he is finding new leadership or tenants who will carry on his work, specifically the apostles and the early church.

Other stones in the Old Testament depicting Jesus:  The stone of Isaiah 8:13-15 that people stumble over, the foundation and cornerstone of Isaiah 28:16, and the stone of Daniel 2:34, 44-45 that destroys the world in rebellion to God.

When we fall we surrender to God or you can reject Jesus and be crushed by judgment.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 22, Day 3: Matthew 21:23-32

Summary of passage:  The day after Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and his cleansing of the temple, Jesus returns to the temple to teach.  The chief priests confront him and ask him under whose authority he preaches.  Jesus once again answers a question with a question:  Where did John’s baptism come from?  The elders discussed it and realized they didn’t couldn’t answer the question.  Thus, Jesus didn’t answer theirs.

Jesus told a parable instead of two sons, both told to go and work in the vineyard.  One said no but later went and the other said yes and didn’t go.  Jesus said the ones who initially said no but went will go to heaven for they believe in him.  The others never believed.

Questions:

5a)  They asked Jesus who gave him the right to preach.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The leaders were worried what the people would think or do if they answered the question.  They were worried they’d be stoned.  They weren’t willing to stand up for what they believed in.  Fear was more powerful than their faith.  They were earthly centered, not God-centered.

6a)  They refused to admit who Jesus was, repent, and believe in him.  Instead of embracing Jesus, they plotted to murder him.

b)  The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been hidden from Jesus’ opponents. They do not understand who Jesus is nor see his miracles.  Their hearts are calloused and they do not hear.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m not sure if it’s a refusal but it’s hard to apply:  speaking positive words in the life of those around me.  It’s hard to overcome my ego and stress and selfishness and put others first.  It’s hard to get over the distractions in life (see post HERE about distractions) and focus.  I would say it’s more of a failure to prioritize than a refusal to apply God’s teachings because I do do this just not consistently. Thus, I must prioritize better and not let distractions creep in.

7a)  Unbelievers who later believed.

b)  Believers who said they believed but in their hearts they didn’t.

8a)  The son who said no but later changed his mind are those converted to Christ, those who were initially hard-hearted but now are God-hearted.  The son who said yes but did not actually go to the fields are those who profess Christ but have no heart for him.  Those who go through the motions with no feeling whatsoever. Those who want to please man and not God.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The first.  I see these as reluctant in the beginning because of the sacrifices Christ-followers make but then go and do His work.

Conclusions:  I can almost see Jesus sighing as he once again has to deal with incompetents.  He has no patience it seems for hypocrites and those delaying his final days on Earth.  He quickly dismisses them with a question he knows they will not answer so that he can continue his work.

Good lesson on those who are too busy pleasing man to please God.  What men think don’t matter.  It only matters what God thinks.

Do you go when asked?  Or will you spend your days pondering if you will, only in the end to never take that final step and lose eternal life?

It’s a matter of doing the right thing, not saying the right thing.  Which are you?

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 22, Day 2: Matthew 21:18-22

Summary of passage:  The next day as Jesus was traveling back to Jerusalem from Bethany, he was hungry.  Jesus saw a fig tree without fruit and commanded it to never bear fruit again.  The tree withered.  The disciples wondered why the tree withered so quickly.  Jesus said if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.  You can even move a mountain to the sea.

Questions:

3a)  “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” (Mark 11:14).  “May you never bear fruit again!” (Matthew 21:19)

b)  The tree withered.

c)  The religious hypocrites appeared healthy (with leaves) but upon close examination bore no fruit.  Their heart was twisted and unhealthy and they brought no one closer to God.

4a)  He encouraged them to have faith and not to doubt for if you have faith a mountain will throw itself in the sea at your command.  With faith all your prayers will be answered.  Mark adds to believe you have already received whatever you asked for in prayer.  It is about having the right heart and not about appearances.  It is about pleasing God and not man.  You will bear fruit with faith.

b)  As you pray, you must have a repentant, pure heart that is not holding grudges or grievances against others.  Forgive so God may forgive you.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jobs for my husband.  Guidance on which path to take.  God’s will for my life.  Fired from my job that was standing in the way of God’s path for my life.  I am currently praying God moves the monumental mountain of publishing.  I am praying for faith and patience and trust in this respect since rejection is everywhere.

Conclusions:  Again, sent immediately to another passage.  Mark should have been included in the required reading for this day if that were the case.  Good lesson on trusting God to move mountains for you so you can traverse His path.  Straightforward lesson on prayer and faith.

End Notes:  This is the second of Jesus’ two recorded destructive miracles (the other being the pigs that Jesus put demons into in Matthew 8:30-32) and both are not against mankind.

Fig trees typically do not bear leaves without fruit as BSF told us.  Hence, this is a sign of all show and unfruitfulness as the questions draw us to the parallel between the religious hypocrites and Israel in general.  God wants us to be fruitful and not just go through the motions in our lives.

Note Jesus is speaking to his disciples here or followers of him.  This message is for believers.  Have faith and you will have it.  Unbelievers this does not apply.

Note Jesus is hungry.  I love when we see the human side of Jesus!