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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 17, Day 3: Matthew 16:13-16

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 16:13-16

When Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi, he asked, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” Some say John the Baptist, Elijah, or Jeremiah. When he asked the disciples who they say he is, Simon Peter says he is Christ, the Son of the living God.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 3: Matthew 16:13-16

6) “Who do the people say the Son of Man is?” “Who do you say I am?” Jesus wants to know if his disciples believe he is Christ.

7a) Some say John the Baptist, Elijah, or Jeremiah or another prophet.

b) Some say he is just another prophet for the most part. Some believe he is Christ, the Son of God. Others believe he never existed at all. Some say he was just an ordinary man.

8a) “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This answer revealed his faith in Jesus.

b) It’s the crux of Christianity, the way to eternal life, and the way to God and heaven. It’s what forgives us our sins.

c) The same way Peter did!

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 3: Matthew 16:13-16

I love how Jesus really wanted to know who his disciples thought he was, but framed it with what others thought first. I also love how Peter is the first to answer.

Learn more about Peter with this great read!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 3: Matthew 16:13-16

map of Caesarea Philippi www.atozmomm.comCaesarea Philippi is a region in Judea that is north of Galilee and that has more Gentiles than Jews. Jesus is most likely looking for a respite from the crowds. It gives Jesus a chance to teach his disciples.

“Who do you say I am?” is the most important question on earth.

Peter most likely speaks for all of the disciples. Now, they truly understand who Jesus is, that he is God, and what his mission is.

Jesus knew they were beginning to understand the Truth, but for them to go spiritually deeper, they had to confess who he was.

Peter’s confession affirms the disciples have reached a new level of faith.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 2: Matthew 16:1-12

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 16:1-12

The Pharisees and Sadducees demanded a sign from Jesus. Jesus replied that they say it will be stormy if the sky is red and overcast. He says they can interpret the skies but not the signs of the times. Only a wicked adulterous generaion looks for miraculous signs, and all they will be given is the sign of Jonah.

The disciples forgot to bring bread, so Jesus told them to be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Jesus realizes they are confused and says they have little faith because they don’t remember the five loaves for the five thousand or the seven loaves for the four thousand. He wonders why they did not understand he was using yeast as a metaphor, and that he meant to beware the teaching of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 2: Matthew 16:1-12

3a) A sign from heaven in order to test Jesus’s identity.

b) Jesus replied that they say it will be stormy if the sky is red and overcast. He says they can interpret the skies but not the signs of the times. Only a wicked adulterous generaion looks for miraculous signs, and all they will be given is the sign of Jonah. It revealed that they had wicked hearts.

c) Jesus is saying he is sufficient

4a) To beware the teaching (yeast) of the Pharisees and Sadducees

b) The disciples were focused on the literal bread because they had just commented that they had forgotten bread to eat. They had no idea what Jesus was talking about because of this.

c) Jesus realizes they are confused and says they have little faith because they don’t remember the five loaves for the five thousand or the seven loaves for the four thousand. He wonders why they did not understand he was using yeast as a metaphor, and that he meant to beware the teaching of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. He explains what he meant to them.

5) We, like the disciples, are too focused on the literal meaning that we can miss the spiritual meaning behind things, too. I think this comes with time, prayer, and learning to look for the spiritual in things.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 2: Matthew 16:1-12

I love how the Pharisees and Sadducees are constantly put in their place by Jesus in a nice way. Great example for us. Great learning from the disciples mistake, too.

Just a book I wanted to share!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 2: Matthew 16:1-12

It is worth noting that the Pharisees and Sadducees were normally not friends. They were politically opposed and held different beliefs. Yet, both wanted Jesus dead.

In Matthew 12:38, Jesus had already been asked for a sign, which he refused to give then. As if healing people was not enough. They could read the heavens, but not the Messianic signs. This is a warning to us to not miss the signs of the Second Coming as outlined in Revelation mainly.

Note that signs do not convert people; they will always have hard hearts.

Jesus’s resurrection would be a hard sign to deny. He would disappear like Jonah for three days and nights and then return.

Yeast, or leaven, was compared to sin and corruption as we’ve seen repeatedly in the Bible  (Matthew 13:33Exodus 12:812:15-20).

Note that the disciples were ignornant of what yeast symbolized, they didn’t believe they’d be find if they had forgotten bread since Jesus fed the 5,000, and they forgot all that had happened with regards to this.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 4: Genesis 27:30-41

Summary of Genesis 27:30-41:

Esau returns, saying the same words as Jacob, asking his father to sit up, eat, and bless him. Isaac realizes he had been tricked with Esau’s arrival. Esau wants his father’s blessing, but Isaac says it is too late.

Esau is angry how Jacob tricked him into taking his birthright and his blessing. Isaac tells Esau that Jacob will be lord over him and everything and then tells him the future that he will dwell away from the earth’s riches and the dew of the heavens. He will live by the sword and serve his brother. But he will throw off his yoke. Esau plans to murder Jacob once Isaac has passed.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 4: Genesis 27:30-41

10) Esau does not respect the birthright by giving it to Jacob for a bowl of stew (Genesis 25:31). He marries pagan women who were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 26:35). Esau is angry and keeps demanding Isaac’s blessing in Genesis 27, which truly only God can give.

11a) Regret means,”feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity).” You wish you had not done whatever you  are regretting. Repentance means, “the action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse.” You look at your actions and feel regret for what you did wrong. According to Wikipedia, repetance means: Repentance is the activity of reviewing one’s actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs, which is accompanied by commitment to and actual actions that show and prove a change for the better. In Judaism and Christianity it is often defined as an action, turning away from self-serving activities and turning to God, to walk in his ways.

b) Esau shows regret over selling his birthright and missing out on the blessing (Genesis 27:36). Isaac shows regret that he blessed Jacob instead of Esau (Genesis 27:33), but repentance when he realizes that God’s will is done (Genesis 27:37-40).

2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

12) Everything works together for my good (Romans 8:28). That God is in control. He has this; I don’t. It is as God has meant it to be.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 4: Genesis 27:30-41

Esau reacts out of anger and vows to kill Jacob instead of accepting God’s ulimate authority and will. Isaac realizes God’s will has been done, and he accepts it.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 4: Genesis 27:30-41

Isaac’s trembling could be because he realizes that God is in control no matter what he tries to do. He also realizes he was wrong in trying to circumvent God and does not try to retract his blessing. He knows God’s will has been done and tells Esau this as well.

Esau is angry (rightfully so). However, he knows God’s words from His revelation to Rebekah, yet he fights against them. Now that he’s older, he understands that the birthright brings material advantages as well. Here, he cares about it for the first time and wants it back, blaming Jacob when God had already chosen.

Esau wept not out of a sense of wrongdoing or repentance, but out of sense of what he had lost in material wealth and privilege. (Hebrews 12:15-17) shows how Esau was rejected despite his tears and plea here.

 

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Isaac Blesses Esau

These comforting words from Isaac about Esau’s future were not bad and could be considered a blessing. Many Bible scholars believe that “your dwelling will be away from the earth’s presence” should read “from” without the away. This means he will be a nomad, he will have to fight to live, but he won’t be under Jacob his entire life.

We’ll see later that Esau was blessed, indeed. (Genesis 33:9)

Esau was jealous of Jacob and wanted to kill him when Isaac died. Little did he know this would be decades down the road.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 17, Day 5: Genesis 21:22-34

Summary of passage:  Abimelech makes a treaty with Abraham probably because he doesn’t trust him.  Abraham said that some of Abimelech’s servants had seized a well. Abraham gifted sheep and cattle to Abimelech and set aside 7 ewe lambs to prove he dug the well.  The place was called Beersheba.  Abimelech returned to Philistine and Abraham planted a tree and called upon the name of the Lord.  Abraham stayed here a long time.

Questions:

12a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Outwardly, Abraham has accomplished things only God could.  He rescued Lot and defeated the 4 kings.  He has prospered materially with all his herds of sheep and cattle and other signs of wealth.  He seems to have dealt with everyone with integrity, which we all admire in people.

And I’m sure when you looked at Abraham you could see a contentment, a peace, a security that only God can bring.  I’m stopping short of saying the Holy Spirit because that was only after Jesus died did we receive the Holy Spirit but something similar I would wager.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Others see whether you live by God or by the world.  Your actions show it.  A God-centered life is abundant indeed.  I learn to be cognizant of this and try to reflect God wherever I go.

13a)  Abraham swore by God.  Abraham offers up lambs as proof of his work so he backs up his words with action.  Abraham planted a tree as a sign he called upon the Lord.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This is a hard one because I don’t trust other people so I’m sure I come off as untrustworthy myself.  And part of me doesn’t care if others trust me or not or even if I am trustworthy because I don’t care what others think most of the time.  But I can pray about it and be more like Jesus.

Conclusions:  Easy lesson with no right or wrong answers since they are all opinion questions.  Abraham got along with his neighbors and treated them fairly and rightly as Jesus would do.  And others recognized this in him.  Seems like something we should all strive for.

End Note:  The Abimelech in Genesis 21 is NOT the same Abimelech in Genesis 20. Abimelech was a generic title for ruler amongst the Canaanites and is not a specific name.

Simple Map of Beersheba:  http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/beersheb.htm

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 17, Day 4: Genesis 21:8-21

Summary of passage:  Isaac grew and Abraham held a great feast for him on the day he was weaned.  Sarah saw Ishmael was mocking so she told Abraham to get rid of Hagar and Ishmael.  Abraham was distressed by God told him to do as Sarah says for it is Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.  He will also make Ishmael into a nation also.

So Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael away.  They wandered in the desert of Beersheba. They ran out of water and Hagar and Ishmael began to cry.  An angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar and told her God had heard the boy crying.  Take him by the hand for God will make him into a great nation.

God provided water and was with the boy as he grew up.  He lived in the desert of Paran and became an archer.  His wife was Egyptian.

Questions:

9a)  Act haughty, despise their masters, be jealous of Isaac, be prideful and boastful of being Abraham’s son

b)  Because Ishmael is a slave, meaning he does not share in the freedom Christ brings believers, and he persecutes Isaac or believers.

c)  He provided them water in the desert and gave them assurance and peace about their path.  God was with Ishmael as he grew up and blessed him with 12 kids, each who were tribal rulers.  He gave them a place to settle and rule.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  1 Peter here doesn’t help me.  We’ve read it before this year.  It assures me in the fact that God cares for all of His children even those who are not liked by others and who bear a difficult life and who according to Galatians are not free and are of the flesh.  Thus, He cares for me as well.

Besides this, I’m not assured because I am a believer; whereas, Ishmael was not so the comparison is hard to make.

10a)  Ishmael wants to dominate and win over Isaac and receive God’s blessing.  Same with sin which wants to dominate the Spirit.  It’s the devil versus God and only you can decide who will win.

It is a conflict still raging today:  following God in the flesh versus following God in faith through the promise.

b)  The sinful nature has died in a believer so that the Spirit may rule.  Here, Ishmael was removed so Isaac could win.

There is no reconciliation with the flesh.  We must either trust in the Spirit or the flesh and the decision must be final.

11a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Struggles we all have:  to do what is right versus what is wrong; to listen to God or to the world; to do the easy thing or the hard thing; to fight for our beliefs or let it slide; to do God’s work or to not even bother; to take up the sword and fight or to give in; to cut off others who are sapping our Spirit or to continue in a lackluster and drama-ridden relationship.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The Spirit and therefore I live and the sinful nature is put to death.  The Spirit leads me to do what is right against sin and to overcome it.  The Spirit wins.  It’s not always easy.  But my faith prevails.

Conclusions:  Maybe I’m just being lazy today but I cringed every time I was sent to another passage today.  I thought Ah, I don’t want to read anymore or look anything else up.  Especially 1 Peter.  I’m not for sure if this is a symptom of this year where it seems like we are constantly being sent elsewhere or what but today I was weary of it.

I liked how Ishmael is sin so he must be sent away in order for the Spirit (Isaac) to prosper.  I had never thought of it like this before.  A good lesson in how sin (the flesh) must be vanquished in order for us, the Spirit, to thrive.  We must make difficult decisions at times so we can accomplish God’s purpose for us here on earth.

End Note:  Here’s a map where people say the Desert of Paran is: http://bibleatlas.org/full/paran.htm

This makes sense to me because Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt through the wilderness of Paran in Numbers so it would be in the Sinai Peninsula.

However, some say Paran is in Saudia Arabia where Mecca was since Ishmael was an Arab it would make sense he would settle here where Islam began.

This could be true as well since no one knows how big the area called the Paran was.  It could be a whole desert area that encompasses both the Sinai and Arabia.

You make the call.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 17, Day 3: Genesis 21:1-7

Summary of passage:  The Lord gave Sarah and Abraham a son whom Abraham names Isaac (which means he laughs).  Isaac was circumcised at 8 days old.  Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.  Sarah said God has brought her laughter and everyone who hears about Isaac will laugh with her.

Questions:

7a)  The Lord did for Sarah what He had promised at the very time God had promised.

b)  Abraham in hope believed that God had the power to do what He had promised.  He was strengthened in his faith and gave the glory to God.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  “This week” I haven’t experienced any new spiritual awakening.  However, I am trying to be more trusting and more faithful and maybe a spiritual awakening will occur.  But if it doesn’t, I know at least I’m growing closer to God and that’s all that matters to me.

8 )  John 3:3-6:  We must be born of water and the Spirit to enter the kingdom of heaven.  We must have the Holy Spirit indwelt to enter the kingdom of heaven (believe in God and Jesus as the Son).  Isaac was born of a woman but because of the Spirit.

Romans 4:17-25:  Abraham had hope and faith that Isaac would be born just like we have faith and believe Jesus died for our sins so we could be reborn.

James 1:18:  He gave us birth through the word of truth.  Because of God’s words Isaac was born and so are we–through faith in God’s words.

1 Peter 1:23-25:  We have been born again through the living and enduring word of God which is imperishable (eternal) as Isaac was born.

In general, Isaac’s birth was a miracle of God and came about because of the faith and belief Abraham and Sarah had in God to do the impossible.  The same is for us.  We have faith and believe Jesus died on the cross for us so thus we are declared righteous and justified in God’s eyes.

Conclusions:  Basically, believe in the God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit and you will be born again like Isaac was born because of Abraham and Sarah’s belief and God’s miracle.

I absolutely cringe every time I read “this week” in a question as if a change is supposed to miraculously happen inside of me and there’s something wrong with me if it doesn’t. Like I’ve stated before, I just can’t see the changes or “awakenings” God does in me.  I’m too close to myself and too selfish and blind probably to realize it.  But I know He is working.  How?  Couldn’t tell you.  When?  Definitely not “this week” in my view.  Why? Cause He loves me.  And that’s all I need to know.

Overall, didn’t like this lesson.  We read the passage and immediately got sent to other parts of the Bible.  I was kind of just hoping to hold Isaac the baby for a bit after all this build-up and anticipation and revel in God’s goodness and greatness instead of being distracted with how a real birth compares to a spiritual birth.  Couldn’t that have waited?

I’d take a study any day of God’s greatness over my spiritual birth (granted, a symptom of God’s greatness but nothing when compared to Him).  But that’s my opinion, of course.

End Note:  One commentary I read on this passage compared the birth of Isaac with the birth of Jesus with some rich scripture references.  Now THAT would have been a great question for this passage.