BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 3, Day 5: Matthew 3:13-17

Summary of passage:  Jesus went to John the Baptist on the Jordan River and asked to be baptized.  John protested but in the end consented.  As soon as Jesus was baptized, heaven opened up and the Spirit of God descended and said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Questions:

12a)  “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.”

b)  The Spirit came down from heaven as a dove.

c)  “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

13a)  Confess their sins

b)  Jesus never sinned.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  As an example to us humans what we are to do.  Jesus came to earth to not only save us from our sins and grant us eternal life with the Father but to show us how to live by his example.  We are to be baptized as an outward sign of our belief in Jesus; thus, he did it as well.

Jesus was identifying with us.

Only in Matthew is it recorded why Jesus said he needed to be baptized “It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”

You could also say this was a symbolic end to Jesus’ old life and the beginning or birth of his new life because he began his ministry after being baptized.

Conclusions:  Wish this was a bit more challenging but maybe it’s supposed to be a simple passage.  Did enjoy the different versions and it was interesting how God’s words are recorded the exact same in each passage.  Shows the importance of what God says.

Note also this is one place we see the Trinity all together:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 3, Day 4: Matthew 3:11-12

Summary of passage:  John the Baptist is speaking and he says he will baptize the people with water for repentance but to be prepared for one is coming who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire.  He will clear the threshing floor and burn up the chaff (basically judge).

Questions:

8 )  He baptized with water.  He did not baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.

9)  Jesus would be more powerful than him.  He would not be fit to even carry his sandals.  He will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.  He will judge.

10)  Joel 2:28:  The Spirit will be poured out and people will prophesy, dream dreams, and see visions.

Ezekiel 36:25-27:  You will be clean and cleansed from all your impurities and idols.  God will give you a new heart and spirit, which will move you to follow God’s decrees and keep His laws.

John 7:37-39:  Streams of living water or the Spirit will flow from within for those who believe in Jesus.

Acts 1:5, 8:  Baptized with the Holy Spirit and will receive power.

Isaiah 44:3:  The Spirit will be poured out as well as God’s blessing.

11a)  John the Baptist baptized with water as a symbol of repentance and forgiveness by God for people’s sins.  It was an outward symbol that one was ready to receive the Holy Spirit.  Since Pentecost and Jesus’ death on the cross, when we are baptized we are not only repenting our sins and asking for forgiveness from God for our sins but we are also accepting that Jesus died on the cross for our sins.  This faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior allows the Holy Spirit to indwell within us and now we are marked at His and guided by Him forever and accepted into His kingdom.

Romans 6:3-4:  Paul writes:  “…all of us who were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

Ephesians 1:13-14:  “Having believed [in Jesus], you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession…”

John 3:5-15:  “…no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit…no one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man…everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I love review and getting my thoughts straight.  Just remembering that when we accept Jesus, we are marked, we are His, and the Holy Spirit is there to help us follow Him.  Also, great comfort in remembering always where my true home is:  heaven.

Conclusions:  It is interesting to note  how much the Spirit is mentioned in the Old Testament before it even came upon us in the New.  I love how we can see and read how prophecy has been fulfilled and how it reassures us that prophecy will continue to be fulfilled in Jesus’ Second Coming.  Great ‘little’ lesson today!

Great little site I found that explains how one can receive and how one knows they possess the Holy Spirit:

http://www.gotquestions.org/receive-Holy-Spirit.html

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 3, Day 3: Matthew 3:1-12

Summary of passage:  John the Baptist came to Judea preaching to the people that the kingdom of heaven is near (i.e. Jesus was coming).  He wore camel hair as clothes and ate locusts and honey.  People came from all over to confess their sins and be baptized by him in the Jordan River.

When the Pharisees and the Sadducees began coming, John warns them to repent for no longer can they hide behind Abraham as their father for Jesus is coming to judge.  He will baptize them with water but after him Jesus will come, baptizing them with the Holy Spirit.  He will clear out the evil-doers, gather his believers, and burn up whoever is left.

Questions:

4a)  Zechariah was a priest so he would have been an ideal choice to teach John the Baptist the laws.  His parents were upright and observed all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.  He was born about 6 months before Jesus and they were cousins.  I wonder if they played together as kids and learned from each other.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I was raised a Christian.  I was raised knowing I had a purpose in this world and I believe I have all the experiences I need in order to fulfill His purpose for my life.

5a)  We are told the advice John gave to those wishing to avoid the fire.  He told those who have more than others to share.  He told tax collectors to not collect extra for themselves.  He told soldiers to not extort people.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The same.  Those who have more should give to those who have less.  We should not collect more from others than we need.  We should be content with what we have.  We should not be greedy and treat others how we want to be treated–Golden Rule.

6a)  Repentance for the forgiveness of sins and preparation for Jesus’ arrival

b)  In essence, John’s job was to tell everyone to ready their hearts for Jesus is about to come and set them free.  Thus, he baptized them with water as they repented (regretted) their sins and asked for forgiveness.  He doesn’t mention accepting Jesus into their hearts but I believe this is implied in believing the Messiah was coming.

7a)  I interpret this passage differently than BSF.  I see John’s job as making the path straight to Jesus and God.  Jesus levels every playing field for all are equal to come to him.  No more Old Testament stipulations of cleansing to come to God, which would be the mountains and the valleys and the hoops you had to perform to get to God.  Only Jesus is the way to Him now.

John’s job was to prepare the way for Jesus.  To tell those to repent and cleanse your hearts to receive him inside–to rid yourself of anything (mountains or valleys) standing in the way of Jesus.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  My sins are the rough places but they are not a mountain or valley or rough place to overcome for Jesus had done that for me.  I know when I stumble, God picks me up, and I keep walking His path no matter the obstacles (mountains or valleys) that lay before me.

Conclusions:  Challenging lesson that’s for sure as we were all over the place in the Bible.  I had an “ah-ha!” when I connected the dots in my brain with Elizabeth and Mary. Before, we hadn’t read Luke 1:5-25  just Luke 1:26-38 in Lesson 1 so I hadn’t realized the relationship between Elizabeth and Mary.  I had always heard John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin but had never quite connected the dots.  Yeah, BSF, for making me read those passages TOGETHER!

I definitely had a different take on question 7 and an interpretation of the verse so would be curious to see your all’s answers.  In my life, I don’t see mountains anymore.  I see Jesus.  Plain and simple.

Interesting Notes:  Again, we see God choosing people off of ability, not what they look like.  John the Baptist dressed differently and ate bugs.  Not your ordinary guy in ancient times and not one you’d expect to deliver the life-changing message that the Messiah is coming.  God knows the heart; that is all that matters to Him.

It was commonly believed that if you were Jewish, you couldn’t go to Hell because of Abraham.  John tells them not to rest on their laurels but to be ready for if you are evil and produce bad fruit you will be cut down to Hell.

Begin to notice the predominance of the word “repent” in the New Testament and Jesus’ teachings.  Here, it is the first word recorded that John the Baptist said.  And it is the dominant message of Jesus:  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”  Matthew 4:17

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 3, Day 2: Luke 2:40-52

Summary of passage:  Jesus grew strong and full of wisdom and God’s grace.  At age 12, Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover and stayed behind unbeknownst to his parents.  When his parents realized Jesus was not in the convoy, they returned to Jerusalem to find him.  He was in the temple, sitting among the teachers, asking them questions.

Mary asked Jesus why he worried them by staying behind.  Jesus said they should have known he would be in his Father’s house.

Jesus returned to Nazareth with them and continued to grow in wisdom.

Questions:

3a)  He was blessed by God and grew strong and wise.  God was with him.  He was eager to learn from others and his wisdom was already beyond others at age 12.

b)  Hebrews 2:10-18:  Because Jesus was made flesh and blood, he was able to suffer and experience temptation like man does and thus able to help those (us) who are being tempted.  By his physical death, Jesus freed us from the power of death and won for us an eternal life with God the Father and also cleansed us of our sins through his blood.

Hebrews 4:15-16:  Jesus has been tempted in every way like we have and he never sinned. He can sympathize with us and thus we are able to approach the throne with confidence that Jesus will help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 5:7-9:  Jesus submitted to God’s will while he was on earth and prayed and was heard.  He was taught obedience through his suffering and offered eternal salvation for all those who obey him.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus being human strengthens our faith.  It wasn’t just some magic trick that saved us or an omnipotent being who waved his wand and poof, it happened.  Jesus was just like us in every way, faced the same things we face every day of our lives, and therefore can understand us more.  It was for our benefit, not God’s, that He became human so that we may believe in Him and trust in Him and be with Him.  Jesus set us free through his physical death.  In no other way could this have happened.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus shows us how to live a Godly life.  Through his example, it is easier for me to submit to God’s will, to overcome temptation, to pray to God to help me every day of my life, to obey unquestioningly, and to accept God’s grace and His eternal gift for my life.  Life is just easier knowing God is on my side every step of every day.

Conclusions:  This story is not recorded by Matthew so I’m assuming that’s why we are reading it now.  Plus, it picks up right after Jesus returned to Nazareth from Egypt so it fits in chronologically with Jesus’ life.

If you followed me last year, you know I dubbed the study of Genesis “The Study of Hebrews” as well since we read Hebrews umpteen times last year.

My study bible says this of Hebrews:  “The book of Hebrews explains why it matters that God descended to the earth and became a human being.  Hebrews goes further than any other New Testament book in explaining Jesus’ human nature.”

Since we are studying Jesus, it is only fitting we study why Jesus existed.

Interesting Facts:  The commandment to attend the Feast of the Passover can be found in Exodus 23:17 and Deuteronomy 16:16.

These are Jesus’ first recorded words.  Isn’t it cool they are about God?

We also must remember in ancient times, a 12 year-old was considered a young man, eligible for marriage.  He could have stayed in Jerusalem and not returned with his parents if he had so desired.  But here we see Jesus as faithful in his human duties as well, following in his father’s footsteps and being obedient to his parents before his calling from God.

Here, we see that at age 12 Jesus already knew who His father was and the calling on his life.  Normally, Jesus would have been a carpenter like his father for the rest of his life but here he makes it clear this will not be the case.

Age 12 is significant here because that is the time boys began to learn their father’s trade. Here, Jesus is learning God’s trade.

The mention of Mary in verse 51 probably means this story came to Luke through Mary.