BSF Study Questions John Lesson 20, Day 5: John 15:18-16:4

Summary of passage: The world hates believers because they were chosen by Jesus to be not of this world. The world will persecute and hate believers as they have persecuted and hated Jesus. The disciples and the Holy Spirit are to testify about Jesus. The time will come where the disciples will be thrown out of the synagogue and persecuted.


12)  Part personal Question. My answer:  The human system that opposes God’s purpose and unbelievers.  They hate believers because they were chosen by God.  These people hate me or are indifferent to me because they are of the world and not believers.  Why would I ask myself questions?  It’s a fact and you deal with it and you move on with life.

13)  Part personal Question. My answer:  We need to be the light for others who may come out of the darkness.  We are called to evangelize.  By doing His will.

14a)  All believers, the Holy Spirit, and the disciples.

b) Part personal Question.  My answer:  Because Jesus was persecuted and the world hates believers.  They don’t know the Father nor Jesus, only the devil, so they follow the devil’s way which includes persecution.  We must respond as Jesus would with compassion and from an understanding that they are blinded to God and do not have Jesus’ heart.

Conclusions: Repetitive in terms of how you are living for Christ and bearing fruit. Talked about this last year as well in our Revelation study. In essence, Satan works through unbelievers. He tells them to hate us and persecute us. He blinds them to the Truth. We must understand it is Satan at work and not take it personally. We must be like Christ and still shine bright despite the encroaching darkness around us.

End Notes:  Jesus warns his disciples they will be hated.  All except John were martyred.  First the world hated Jesus, then them.  “You or Ye know” or “keep in mind” means be aware or be very sure.

The disciples were different from the world.  If people don’t know God, they persecute those who do.  Those persecuted (Christians) should sympathize for unbelievers because they don’t know God.

Because Jesus was God walking around on the earth, there is no excuse not to know God or more about Him.  Both his works and his words are enough to know Him.

Jesus quotes the Psalm here to show Scriptural fulfillment.

Jesus previously spoke of the sending of the Counselor (John 14:16, 14:26).  The departing Jesus knew the disciples would need the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit to face the opposition the world would bring.

“Who proceeds from the Father” or “whom I will send to you from the Father”: This is one source of a historic controversy between the eastern and western branches of Christianity, debating if the Spirit proceeds from the Father alone or from the Father and the Son (known as the filoque clause in the Nicene Creed).

The Holy Spirit’s job is to tell us and show us what Jesus would do and who he is.

The disciples’ job is also to bear witness for Jesus.

Jesus did not want his disciples to be surprised by opposition against them so he tells them they will be thrown out of the synagogue, which for a Jewish person is ostracism from all they know.

Most Christian martyrs are killed by followers of other religions.  Jesus is preparing his disciples because up until this point all hatred was against Jesus himself.  When Jesus departs, it will fall upon the disciples to bear.  He will not be there to protect them.  It wasn’t pertinent until this moment.  God’s timing.


BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 20, Day 5: Matthew 19:16-22

Summary of passage:  A man asks Jesus what good thing he must do to get to heaven.  Jesus said there is only One who is good and to obey the commandments to enter life.  The man asked which commandments and Jesus said don’t murder, steal, commit adultery, or give false testimony, and honor your mother and father and love your neighbor.

The man asked what he still lacked once he has done this.  Jesus told him to sell all of his possessions, give to the poor for treasure in heaven, and follow him.  The man went away sad, unable to do so.


11a)  The man had a limit as to what he would sacrifice for Jesus.  The children do not.  They love whole-heartedly.  The man loved his material things more.

b)  Jesus told him it was more important to store up treasure in heaven, not on earth as the man believed.  The man was of the world.

12a)  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

b)  His earthly life, his great wealth on earth.

13a)  Jesus knew the man lacked love for others and acceptance of him as a Savior.  He knew the man’s heart was not his.  He knew the man was not willing to give up everything for him.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The gospel (and hence God) is stronger than man and man himself can never hope to follow it without God and Jesus.  With Jesus, we can be whom God called us to be.  Without Jesus, we cannot.  Jesus showed us what matters is the heart.  If our heart is not his, then everything else in life is not worthwhile.  It is meaningless.

With regards to the teachings on marriage, when we weaken God’s word, we all suffer as does society.  Look at our society now compared to the past.  Even 150 years ago, we were stronger.  We must take all of God’s word and not just parts.  It was not meant to be compartmentalized.  We either believe the Truth or we don’t.  We are either God’s or we’re not.  There is no middle ground, gray area, or wiggle room.

Conclusions:  I was hoping to read all of Matthew 19 and am unsure why BSF is breaking this up into two weeks (guess I’ll find out next week).  I wanted to read Jesus’ response to the man and analyze it.  Just too much to cover I guess!

End Notes:  This story is recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  All say he was rich.  The man appears to be seeking reassurance from Jesus; yet, because he asked him what he is still lacking, he must sense that he is not fully God’s.

Jesus asked the man to “follow me”, similarly to how Jesus called other disciples (Matthew 4:19; 8:22; 9:9; Mark 2:14).  He asked him to be his disciple, which in this case meant selling what was standing in the way of him and God (his material items) and committing fully to God.  The man, too attached to this world, could not do it.

Note the man is miserable before and miserable afterwards.  Life is a waste if you are miserable and yet do nothing to change it.  It is interesting to note human nature here.  Even after being told what he must do to have eternal life, man turns his back.  Wonder how many of us would do that if tested as the man were?  I would hope if God himself or Jesus told me what I was lacking, I’d change it.

Both Mark and Luke record the man as calling Jesus “good”, which is why Jesus here explains that only God is good, meaning if you think Jesus good, then Jesus must be God.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 20, Day 5: Review Genesis 27:1-28:9

Summary of passage:  Isaac, now old and blind, asks Esau to hunt him some wild game and prepare him a meal at which he will give him his blessing.  Rebekah overheard Isaac tell Esau this so she told Jacob to go and bring her some young goats to prepare for him so that Jacob can go and receive Isaac’s blessing.  Jacob wonders though if Isaac touches him what to do because Esau is hairy and he is not.  His mother said not to worry.

Rebekah prepared the food and then dressed up Jacob in Esau’s clothes.  She covered his hands and neck with goatskins and sent him in to Isaac.  Jacob says he is Esau and bids his father to eat.  Isaac wonders how he found the game so quickly.  Jacob says the Lord granted him success.

Isaac suspects a trick and asks to touch Jacob.  He knows Jacob’s voice but falls for the goatskin trick.  Isaac blessed Jacob but is still unsure if he is Esau or not.  Jacob lies again, saying he is.  Isaac ate of the game and then kissed his son.  He smelled Esau’s clothes and concluded this was Esau.

Isaac blessed Jacob, asking God to give him abundance and have the nations serve him and bow to him, have him be lord over his brothers and have those who curse him be cursed and those who bless him be blessed.

Esau returned from hunting and brought in the food to Isaac.  Isaac realizes he had been tricked by Jacob.  But it was too late.  Isaac cannot bless both.  He did not reserve another blessing.  Esau wept and held a grudge against Jacob and planned to kill him once Isaac died.

Rebekah hears Esau’s plans and sends Jacob to live with her brother Laban in Haran until Esau’s temper cools. She tells Isaac she doesn’t want Jacob to marry a Hittite woman so Isaac blesses him and commands him to go to Paddan Aram to the house of his mother’s father Bethuel and take a wife from the daughters of Laban.  He blessed him again with fruitfulness and with the blessing given to Abraham.

Esau learned what had happened and he took a wife from Ishmael’s line in an effort to please his father.


11)  When God told Rebekah that two nations were in her womb and the older will serve the younger.

12a)  He called Esau to him privately and was going to bless him without others around or tell anyone else.

b)  Isaac knew Jacob was the chosen one but he was going to bless Esau instead (his favorite).  But once he was tricked, he blessed Jacob willingly.  He realized that God’s will would prevail, not his.

13a)  Isaac definitely had a heart for God.  He willingly submitted to being a sacrifice.  He trusted God to bring him Rebekah as his wife.  He dealt kindly with Abimelech when the disputes arose over the wells.  The Lord appeared to him (Genesis 26:24) to reassure him of his covenant.  His weakness was that he favored Esau over Jacob and tried to circumvent God’s will with the blessing.  But God prevented that as well.  He played favorites with his kids.  In the end, Isaac does bless Jacob for he realizes God’s will after the trick.

Isaac is like most Christians I think.  Has a heart for God but is human with faults and mistakes.  But eventually he corrects them and comes back to God.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To always seek and trust God.  He is in control.  He will bless those who follow Him.  To deal kindly with unbelievers.  To not judge.  To shine Christ as best as humanly possible.  Even when you fall, Isaac showed you get right back on God’s path.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To not play favorites (which is hard with multiple kids).  To treat all equally.  To pray and follow God.  It is useless to fight God for He will win every time.  His will not mine.

Conclusions:  God’s will prevails no matter what man does to circumvent it.  So why do we fight it so?

End Note:  Interestingly, even if Esau had received Isaac’s blessing, it wouldn’t have mattered.  Only God can truly bestow the blessing and in God’s eyes it would have been invalid.