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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 26, Day 3: Matthew 26:17-30

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 26:17-30

When Passover arrived on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples asked Jesus where he wanted them to make preparations. He sent them into the city to a man’s house. That evening, Jesus told the disciples that one of them will betray him. All of the disciples ask if it is them. Jesus says it will be the one who has dipped his hand into the bowl, and it would be better if that man would not have been born. Jesus tells Judas it is him, when he asks Jesus.

At the Passover meal, Jesus took the bread and broke it, passing it to his disciples. He said this is his body and for them to eat it. Then he took the cup and told the disciples to drink, as it represented his blood of the covenant, which is poured out in order to forgive them all. Jesus says he will not drink it until the day he drinks it anew in his Father’s kingdom. They sang a hymn and then went out to the Mount of Olives.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 26, Day 3: Matthew 26:17-30

6a) Passover and it commemorated how God spared the Israelites from judgment while they were in Egypt and delivered them out of Egypt.

b) The Israelites sacrificed a lamb and marked their homes with the lamb’s blood so that God would passover their house and spare them. Jesus is the Passover lamb. He was sacrified for our sins so God will, in effect, pass over us when we stand before him. The Passover was an act of redemption of his people out of slavery. Similarly, Jesus redeems us from our slavery to sin and brings us to him forever.

7a)

Luke 22:19-20: The bread and the wine of communion represent us remembering Christ’s sacrifice for our sins on the cross. We cleanse ourselves with his body and blood so we can stand before God.

John 6:51-58: Jesus says that he is the living bread, so anyone that eats of the communion bread will have eternal life. The bread is his flesh, which he gives for the life of the world, and the wine his blood.

1 Peter 1:19: Jesus is a lamb without blemish, meaning he is perfect as is his blood. Thus, when you take communion, you are drinking of Christ’s perfection.

1 Peter 2:24: By Jesus’s wounds, we are healed. He bore our sins on his body so we could die to sin and live for righteousness.

1 John 1:7: Jesus’ blood purifies us from all sin.

b) Taking communion helps us to remember Jesus and what he did for us on the cross. He established the New Covenant so we could be closer to him and God. Whenever you take communicy, you proclaim his death and declare your faith in him and his sacrifice for us until his return. We are to remember Jesus via the communion until he comes again.

c) It helps to reflect on everything that Jesus did for us and our sins and give praise to God and Jesus because of it.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 26, Day 3: Matthew 26:17-30

I love taking communion. It’s such a great time to be with the Lord and thank Him for all that He has done and will do.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 26, Day 3: Matthew 26:17-30

Most Bible scholars agree that Jesus had this Passover meal with his disciples before Passover because he knew he would be crucified. It should be called The Last Passover rather than the Last Supper since Jesus’s death effectively ended Passover.

Why does Jesus announce that one of the 12 disciples will betray him? Because, out of his infinite mercy, he is giving Judas one last opportunity to repent.

It is notable that the other disciples did not accuse the others. They simply asked Jesus if it were them that betrayed him. Note that none of the other disciples understood Jesus’s answer to Judas when he confirmed Judas was the betrayer.

Judas was an intimate friend of Jesus  Psalm 41:9  Jesus’s love for Judas is greater than Judas’s treachery of him.

Here, Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper for all Christians.

John tells us that Jesus washes the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-11) and then Judas leaves (John 13:30). However, the exact timing of it all is unclear and unknown. Many contend Judas never partook of the Lord’s Supper.

The Passover Meal

Everything at the Passover meal has significance:

  • The bitter herbs is the bitterness of slavery
  • The salt water is the tears everyone shed as slaves
  • The lamb was the sacrifice

The bread now is Jesus’s body that was sacrificed and beaten for us. He gives us strength and provides all we need.

The wine now is Jesus’s cleansing and redeeming blood.

The New Covenant

Jesus institutes a new covenant with mankind that allows us to be with God from an inner cleansing Jesus offers. God’s word and Himself live in us (via the Holy Spirit).

There is considerable debate about if the bread and wine represent the actual blood and body of Christ (known as transubstantiation in Christian theology) or if it is the blood and body of Christ by faith alone (known as consubstantiation). Others say Jesus’s presence in the bread and wine is real, but only spiritual, not physical.

We TAKE the bread (so choosing Jesus is a choice). We EAT the bread (we are alive when we eat food, so we’re alive in Jesus).

Fun Fact: “Thanks” in ancient Greek is the word “Eucharist,” which is why the Lord’s Supper is sometimes called the Eucharist.

Jesus will gather all of his people at the Second Coming once again and have a great supper. (Revelation 19:9).

Jesus sang and worshipped God, as should we. Can you imagine heading to church and Jesus is the worship leader? Pretty cool!

Jesus sang the night before his crucifixion. He is at peace with God and His will. We should be, too.

Passover traditionally ended with three Psalms sung  Psalms 116-118. We can presume Jesus sang these here.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 26, Day 3: Genesis 37:12-36

Summary of passage:  The brothers (notice Joseph is conspicuously absent) were grazing sheep near Shechem when Jacob/Israel sent Joseph to check up on them and make sure all was well.

When Joseph arrived in Shechem, the brothers had moved on to Dothan.  The brothers saw him coming and plotted to kill him.  The mocked him by calling him dreamer and planned to kill him and throw him in a cistern and tell Jacob that a ferocious animal killed him.

But Reuben tried to rescue Joseph.  He suggested not to shed blood and just to throw him into a cistern and then come back later.  Basically, just to teach Joseph a lesson was his plan.

So the brothers stripped him of his robe and threw him into an empty cistern.  The brothers then sat down to eat their meal when a caravan of Ishmaelites appeared heading to Egypt to sell spices.  Judah (interestingly the fourth born and the one whom Jesus will come from) sees dollar signs so he suggests why don’t they sell their brother to the Ishmaelites?  They will be rid of Joseph AND have money in their pockets.  ALL agreed.

So the brothers pulled Joseph out of the cistern and sold him for 20 shekels of silver (note the obvious reference to Jesus here who was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver) to the Midianites.

Reuben who apparently was not there during all of this but where he went and why is uncertain returns to find Joseph gone.  He tears his clothes (obviously upset) and questions his brothers.

They took Joseph’s coat and spread goat’s blood all over it.  They presented this to Jacob/Israel who concluded a ferocious animal did tear Joseph to pieces.

Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned his son for days.  All tried to comfort him but he refused them.  Jacob wept.

The Midianites sold Jacob in Egypt to Potiphar, the captain of the Pharaoh’s guards.

Questions:

5)  Joseph went to the Valley of Hebron as instructed but not finding his brothers, he inquires of them and is told they went to Dothan.  So Joseph follows them to Dothan.  He is rewarded by being thrown in a cistern and sold as a slave.

6a)  Reuben and Judah

b)  Genesis 42 says that Joseph pleaded for his life.  I imagine he screamed at the top of his lungs.  He probably tried to reason with them, saying he wouldn’t boast any more.  He probably even tried bribes like giving them his precious coat or something.  I’m sure he asked why they were doing this to him.  I’m sure he shed some tears.

c)  This question to me seems to be justifying what happened to Joseph by drawing the parallel.  There is no justification for throwing someone in a pit, plotting their murder, and selling them into slavery.  Joseph did not deserve what happened to him no matter what sins he had committed (which weren’t that bad compared to murder and the like).

Joseph’s crime was boasting.  We suffer the same when pride rules instead of humbleness.  We are often blinded to people and things around us and our lives become self-centered instead of God-centered.

However, I submit that you can’t fault a 17 year-old kid for being prideful and full of hubris.  Especially if you compare to today’s society where 30 somethings never grow up and are the same way.  If anyone is to blame, it’s Jacob and Rachel who spoiled him rotten and created the discord between the brothers.  Joseph did not deserve to suffer.

d)  They were both stripped of their clothing according to the passages and they were watched over and guarded.

7a)  20 sheckels.  30 silver coins.

b)  He had been the favored, the special one, the coddled one, the one chosen to receive the birthright.  And now he’s a slave.  It must have been a huge adjustment.  Imagine your freedom and world gone completely and now you must do hard labor and answer to others.

c)  The same.  When bad things happen, we think God doesn’t care, that He’s turned His back on us and is allowing our suffering.  We often don’t equate it to future good for it is hard in the moment to do so.  We ask “Why is God allowing this to happen in our lives?”  We pray and wait.  That’s all we can do.

8a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I would say both.  There are other ways God could have chosen for Joseph to rise to be the number two guy in Egypt and save the lives of many people–many ways that did not involve suffering.  But Joseph did have to learn some hard lessons about living for others, being grateful, and turning to God always.

I think of Naomi and Ruth who lost everything but still believed in God.  They both had to do back-breaking labor in order to survive but in the end Ruth married Boaz and he provided for them both.  They had to have God at their center before good things happened.

Jacob had to work hard before he was able to return to the Promised Land.  He had to be taught hard lessons the hard way.  Moses killed a man and had to live in Midian for 40 years as a shepherd before God called him.  Job lost everything in a test of faith by God.

The Bible is full of examples where God inflicts us with hardships in order to grow us and our faith–not only for us but for those around us and in Joseph’s case for an entire nation.

b)  Joseph’s dreams were an encouragement for they told Joseph his family and Israel would bow to him.

Conclusions:  What was Reuben doing while the brothers dispatched Joseph?  Most likely he was trying to get them to move on so he could return unknowingly to free Joseph since no one else liked his plan.

Can you imagine the brothers sitting callously by, calmly eating their meal, while Joseph is screaming at the top of his lungs, pleading with them not to harm him and to let him go free?  This just shows the depth of the brothers’ hatred for their little brother, the effect Jacob’s favoritism had on them, and how deep the devil had twisted their hearts.

Also, their is no sign of remorse on the brothers part upon presenting their father with Joseph’s coat.  They are aloof, indifferent, and callous to the core.

How plausible is the excuse to Jacob that wild animals killed him?  What wild animals lived in Canaan during this time that could cause such a bloody death?  Lions, bears, crocodiles, and cheetahs used to roam ancient Israel.  So this is very plausible.

[Side Note:  When we think of lions, we think of the African lions that roar on the plains in Africa.  Few people know that there is actually another lion species, the Asiatic Lion, that used to roam Asia as well.  However, due to the Romans import of wild animals for the Gladiatorial fights, this species was decimated.  Due to man’s penchant for cheap thrills, most of the rest were eradicated with the advent of firearms.  There is now only a tiny population in a pocket in India and some in zoos.  Sad, sad, sad.  Man is capable of such good but he is also capable of such harm.]

[Side Note to the Side Note:  Many people don’t think of gladiatorial fights with wild animals.  But the Romans imported thousands and thousands of wild animals that included lions, elephants, tigers, cheetahs, etc to fight with the gladiators over hundreds of years.  The Romans virtually eliminated some species from the face of the planet. They inflicted so much damage (such as the Asiatic Lion) that these species still have not recovered.  And the people of Rome (not just the leaders) stood by and watched this slaughter week after week and even called for more.  Fascinating study if you ever get the chance.  But incredibly sad at how God commissioned us to care for the animals and instead we kill them off for no other reason than to watch them fall.  Probably some twisted heart within us that says ‘Better them than me.’]

It is tempting to think Jacob kept Joseph back from tending the flock because he wanted to protect him.  But by Jacob sending Joseph out into the desert by himself to check up on his brothers, this idea is proven wrong.  Joseph faced robbers, other men who would do him harm, as well as animals and the elements.  This shows to me that Joseph stayed behind because he wasn’t required to work like his brothers were–another example of favoritism shown.

End Notes:  In Leviticus 27:5, God sets the price of those dedicated to the Lord based on ages and those between the age of 5 and 20 (the age of Joseph) is 20 shekels of silver–the same Joseph is sold for.

Reuben is not the good guy here despite his show of tearing his clothes.  It would only have taken one brother to stand up and say, “This is wrong!” and it wouldn’t have happened.  Reuben complicitly and cowardly agrees in his actions when he left the scene. It usually only takes one person with the courage to stand up for what’s right and man’s inherent morals kick in.  But if no one does, then crowd mentality kicks in and chaos ensues (see this commentary on crowd mentality and Jesus HERE).

God fingerprints are everywhere here.  For example, the cistern was empty.  Normally, it would have been full of water but it wasn’t so Joseph would have been drowned.  That was God.

Hard to believe the Messiah came from Judah when we read Judah’s actions here. However, we are about to see how selling Joseph to the Midianites begins a series of events and circumstances that leads to the most powerful man in the world at that time–the Pharaoh of Egypt.  And only God can weave a web that intricate and create something that impossible.