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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 16, Day 5: Matthew 15:29-39


Jesus left Tyre and Sidon and returned to the Sea of Galilee. He went up a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came and he healed many. The people were amazed and they praised the God of Israel.

Jesus called his disciples to him. He tells them he has compassion on the people who have not eaten for three days and he doesn’t want to send them away hungry or they may collapse. His disciples wonder how they will get the food. Jesus asked for the loaves of bread they had and the fish. He gave thanks for the bread and fish and broke them. He gave them to his disciples who distributed it to the people.

Everyone ate and was satisfied. They had seven basketfulls of broken pieces left over. Four thousand ate plus women and children. Then he traveled to Magadan.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 16, Day 5: Matthew 15:29-39

12a) Similar: Jesus was moved by compassion to feed the crowd. Both times, the disciples didn’t know what to do. Both times, everyone sat and Jesus gave thanks for the bread and fish. He distributed the food through the disciples’ hands. They all ate and were satisfied.

b) Different: In one account, Jesus feeds 5,000; here, he feeds 4,000. The miracles happened in different locations in Galilee. Here, Jesus takes the initiative to feed the people. In the feeding of the 5,000, the disciples wish to send the people away to buy their own food. In the feeding of the 5,000, they had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Here, they have 7 loaves of bread and a few small fish. In the feeding of the 5,000, there were 12 basketfuls of broken pieces left over. Here, they had 7 basketfulls left over.

13a) To see that Jesus’s power is consistent and now a fluke. He is the Son of God.

b) He is showing others who he is, as well as setting the stage for the future when Gentiles will be welcomed into God’s kingdom.

14) Contentment in life

map of decapolis www.atozmomm.comConclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 16, Day 5: Matthew 15:29-39

I love seeing how Jesus cares for his people’s physical needs and provides food and sustenance when they need it. I had forgotten about this miracle since the Feeding of the 5,000 overshadows it.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 16, Day 5: Matthew 15:29-39

This is the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee in a region known as the Decapolis. It was mostly Gentiles or unbelievers. The fact they gathered and believed in the power of Jesus to heal shows his impact on the region.

Whether they had faith before, we are not told. We are told that after they were healed, they glorified the God of Israel, presumably turning to God.

Jesus came to relieve human suffering and show God on earth by opening spiritual eyes.

Again, God provides out of His abundance by having leftovers. Many see the feeding of the 5,000 and the the 4,000 as a precursor to the Messianic banquet and showed that Gentiles would be accepted there.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 16, Day 2: Matthew 15:1-9 With Mark’s Parallel Account in Mark 7:1-13


The Pharisees and teachers of the law come to Jesus and ask him why his disciples break the Old Testatment law of washing their hands before they eat. Jesus countered, asking them why they break the command of God for the sake of their traditions. He uses an example of honoring your mother and father. He calls them hypocrites and tells them Isaiah was right when he prophesied about them, saying their hearts are not God’s and they worship in vain as their rules are taught by men.


The Pharisees and the teachers of the law came from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They say the disciples were eating food with “unclean” or unwashed hands. Jewish people ceremonially wash their hands before they eat in the tradition of their elders. They asked Jesus why the disciples weren’t following the tradition of the elders.

Jesus replies that Isaiah was right in saying that they do not follow God, but instead follow the traditions of man. Jesus points out they make their own rules, setting aside God’s law, saying they teach that they don’t need to help their father and mother if they’ve received help elsewhere.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 16, Day 2: Matthew 15:1-9 With Mark’s Parallel Account in Mark 7:1-13

3a) The Pharisees ask Jesus why his disciples break the Old Testatment law of washing their hands before they eat and eat with unclean hands.

b) Jesus answered their question by pointing out how they have given up following God’s law for the sake of following their traditions instead.

4) Exodus 20:12: Honor your father and mother.

Mark 7:11-13: The Pharisees apparently don’t honor their father and mother

Ephesians 6:1-3: Honor your father and mother and obey them.

He exposed how the Pharisees did not promote honoring your father and mother.

5a) Jesus’s primary message to the Pharisees and teachers was that they set aside God’s law for their own law, putting themselves above God.

b) Good question. I try not to be a hypocrite, but I know I am in some respects. I can be very selfish, but I admit when I am. I try to do what is right and good in all respects.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 16, Day 2: Matthew 15:1-9 With Mark’s Parallel Account in Mark 7:1-13

I love how Jesus just doesn’t even bother to answer the Pharisees directly because their question is so trivial. In the grand scheme of things, who cares about washing your hands? Jesus came to wash hearts with God, not hands.

Great read if you are struggling!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 16, Day 2: Matthew 15:1-9 With Mark’s Parallel Account in Mark 7:1-13

Matthew 15:1-9

We see the Pharisees travel all the way from Jerusalem (about 70 miles) to Galilee in order to check out Jesus.

The Pharisees admit this is a tradition, not a law. So why bother asking? It’s trivial when compared to Jesus’s work.

The teachers of the law were condemning people for not following tradition, not the law. Over the years, the religious leaders had extended God’s law to many rituals that were meant for show and that they used to leverage their power. However, these rituals only blocked people them from God essentially.

Honor your mother and father speaks to helping them when they are in need. Apparently, by declaring resources dedicated to God, you could withhold them from your parents.

Jesus quotes Isaiah who points out that you can outwardly be close to God, but inwardly be far away.

Mark 7:1-13

It is plain from the Pharisees that they are just out to get Jesus and trap him. They truly don’t care about the good he is doing for others. They used their traditions to try to trap Jesus instead of God’s word.

In Old Testament times, there was the written law and the oral law. The oral law was the interpretation of the written law, and many put the oral law above the written law.

The washing of hands before eating was taken very seriously by most Jews, and it was a very elaborate ceremony. They would pour water over their hands and cleanse the palm. They believed unclean food was like eating excrement. The Pharisees were concerned about losing power, and nothing else.

Note how many traditions seem good, but in the end, turn bad.

Uncleanliness is not the food itself, but the disobeying of God instead.

The Pharisees were too concerned with the trivial, which is why Jesus labels them hypocrites. This kept people from drawing near to God.

They were putting their word equal with God’s and promoting it as God’s.

If possessions were labeled as dedicated to God (Corban), they could not be used for any other matter, including helping your parents.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 3: Genesis 25:19-26

Summary of Genesis 25:19-26:

Isaac was forty when he married Rebekah.  Isaac prayed when he discovered Rebekah was barren and God granted her twins. The Lord told her she carried two nations, one will be stronger and the older will serve the younger. Esau was the first born (his name may mean hairy. He was also called Edom which means red for he was red-headed). The second born was Jacob who came out clasping Esau’s heel (his name means he grasps the heel or he deceives). Isaac was 60 years old at their birth.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 3: Genesis 25:19-26

6) Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife. The Lord answered. Rebekah inquired of the Lord as well about why her pregnancy was so difficult. The Lord answered her. Both went to God for answers and did not make assumptions. Both continually seek God.

7) Personal Question. My answer: I believe I’m right where God puts me every time. I am waiting on Him to move, and I follow. This has been the story of my life since I was little. He doesn’t necessarily speak, but I take one day at a time to what He brings me.

8 ) “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 3: Genesis 25:19-26

It seems that Isaac and Rebekah have a very strong marriage (at least at this point) that points toward God. Great example of going to God with all of your questions. I love how Isaac prays for his wife. Great, indeed!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 3: Genesis 25:19-26

Note that nothing comes easy, even to the chosen ones. Isaac and Rebekah had to wait as well for children. This should be encouragement for all couples waiting on a baby. Note too they did not use a suroagate as Abraham did

Esau and Jacob will be Isaac and Rebekah’s only children. Two nations will come from them. Edom from Esau and Israel from Jacob.

Note how God can do anything He wants, including go against tradition and choose the second-born, Jacob, as His chosen one. Paul notes God’s sovereignty as well. Romans 9:10-13,

Note that God’s choices are not haphazard or random; everything God does is with purpose and has a plan. We just can’t see it. It is our job to trust, God’s to orchestrate.

The detail of Jacob being born holding on to Esau’s heel should not be lost on us. It actually was not a compliment back in ancient times and actually had a connotation of trickster, which as most of us know, Jacob is when he receives the blessing over Esau as we’ll see coming up. We must remember that no word in the Bible is wasted.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 2: Genesis 25:1-18

Summary of Genesis 25:1-18:

Abraham took another wife named Keturah and had more kids. He left everything he owned to Isaac but gave gifts to his other sons and sent them away to the land of the east. Abraham lived 175 years and was buried with Sarah in the cave he bought from the Hittites by Isaac and Ishmael. God blessed Isaac who settled near Beer Lahai Roi.

Ishmael had 12 sons who became 12 tribal rulers. He lived to be 137 years old. His descendants settled near Egypt from Havilah to Shur as you go towards Asshur. They lived in hostility towards their brothers.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 2: Genesis 25:1-18

3) Abraham sent all of his other sons away from Isaac, making it clear who would inherit his lands. He gave gifts to the rest of his sons.

4) God blessed his son Isaac. God told Abraham in Genesis 15:15 that he would go to his fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. Genesis 21:11-13 says God will make Isaac into a nation. Genesis 24:7 says that a wife will be got for Isaac so that he can have sons and his descendents will inherit the land.

5) Personal Question. My answer: I learn that God keeps His promises no matter how much we sin or mess up. That God is faithful and repeats His promises to us. That God is good. And that despite our failures, His plans never alter.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 2: Genesis 25:1-18

I was surprised to see Abraham marry again. I don’t remember this the last time I read Genesis. It seems like his other kids are told to go away, which is why I’m wondering why even marry again, knowing Isaac is the promised one beside for companionship. It just seems terrible to be Abraham’s other sons, second always to God’s promised one.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 2: Genesis 25:1-18

In total, Abraham had 8 sons, and it’s very easy to forget this since the six by his second wife, Keturah, are hardly mentioned. However, these sons would from tribes of their own, perhaps the most famous in the Bible being the Midianites from Midian.

Some scholars use this passage to say it was Sarah that was the one with fertility problems. I disagree. God can open and close wombs as He chooses. His plan was to test Abraham and Sarah’s faith so He closed Sarah’s womb, not anything else.

We see God’s work be passed on from generation to generation as we read about Abraham’s death.

Fun Fact: Abraham is mentioned 70 times by the writers of the New Testament, the most out of any other OT person except Moses.

Fun Fact: We see here for the first time “breathed his last” to refer to death and “gathered to his people” to mean joining loved ones in heaven

We see that Ishmael continued to receive God’s blessing as well. The Old Testament usually lists the non-messianic line first and then the messianic line last, which we see here in Ishmael’s listing.

Beer Lahai Roi in the Bible: Click HERE

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BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 16, Day 4: Genesis 19:1-14

Summary of passage:  The angels of the Lord who had been with Abraham now arrived at Sodom and Lot was sitting at the gateway at the time (an indication he was now one of the leaders of Sodom).  Lot recognized them as angels and bowed to them.  He acted as Abraham did, inviting them to his house to wash their feet and spend the night.

At first, the angels refused but Lot insisted so they obliged.  Lot fed them.  At nighttime, all the men of Sodom came to Lot’s house and demanded that he hand over his guests so they could have sex with them.  Lot went out and offered his daughters instead, refusing to hand over the angels who were his guests.

They pushed him aside and told him he would be treated worse than the angels.  The men tried to break in but the angels pulled Lot inside and blinded the men so they could not find the door.

Then the angels tell Lot to get his family for they are going to destroy Sodom because the outcry against the city is so strong.  Lot ran to his son-in-laws and told them what was happening but they didn’t believe him.  They laughed in his face.


11a)  Lot tried to reason with the men to not take the angels to sodomize them (verses 6-8) but the men pushed him aside, called him an alien, and threatened Lot as well (verse 9).  In verse 14 Lot’s son-in-laws laugh at Lot when he tells them the city is about to be destroyed and refuse to come.

These verses don’t show Lot’s influence on his wife but verse 26 describes how Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt because she didn’t want to leave Sodom.

b)  I would have thought when Lot got kidnapped by the four kings and he lost all his possessions and Abraham had to rescue him would have been a big clue to leave Sodom (Genesis 14:12-16).  But I think because Lot regained all that was taken due to God’s goodness Lot didn’t take the warning seriously.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God often warns us and tries to re-direct our path when we are not following His will but our own.  He does this in many ways that often aren’t as dramatic as a kidnapping such as losing a job, a car accident, a death or illness in the family, or any other hiccup in your path that you know deep down inside is God.

The lesson is to heed these warnings and not to ignore them before it is too late and something irrevocable happens.

12)  He could have moved his family at any time away from the filth of Sodom to a more Godly environment.  Lot was rich enough he could have taken his flocks elsewhere and not suffered financially.  Instead, he was blinded by Sodom’s temptations and chose to stay.  He ignored God’s warnings and in the end paid the ultimate price:  degradation and loss of his family.

Conclusions:  God will keep trying to get our attention to move us to His path instead of ours.  If He has to take out our family in order to do it (like He did with Lot’s wife), He will.  Luckily, I think this is on the extreme side of God’s will for us.  But it happens.  We must remember God is in control and when we try to take control back from Him, we are in danger of being grasped by the devil and pulled under.

The key to understanding Lot is this:  he compromised his beliefs.  Yes, he was a believer. And he is in heaven today.  But he wanted to live in the world and enjoy life’s pleasures. So he allowed his family to be around evil-doers who unduly influenced them.  As Paul says, we must be careful our actions do not become a stumbling block for others who are weaker in the faith (1 Corinthians 8:9-13).  Children are undoubtedly weaker.

Lot was in such a bad situation that he felt he had to offer up his daughters to be raped to protect his guests (unjustifiable in any case but we see just how bad Sodom is).  He definitely wasn’t acting in his kids’ best interest when he moved to Sodom.

Lot was selfish.  He wanted pleasure now.  He wanted treasure on earth rather than in heaven.  As a result, he hurt (and eventually lost) those around him.

The same is for us.  We must heed God’s word and not compromise God’s truths.  For the sake of others around us if not for ourselves.  Otherwise, our life could mirror Lot’s.  Not exactly a role model I admire or want to emulate to say the least.

Life is not about us.  It’s about Him.  We would do well to remember that.