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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 5: Matthew 27:11-31

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 27:11-31

Pilate asked Jesus if he was the King of the Jews. Jesus said yes. The governor listed the testimony against him, but Jesus gave no reply. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent and only handed over to him out of envy. At the Feast, it was tradition for the crowd to free one prisoner. They could free Jesus or Barabbas. Pilate’s wife had sent him a message saying not to have anything to do with Jesus because she had suffered greatly in a dream.

The chief priests and elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas. Pilate asked the crowd what to do with Jesus. They responded to crucify him. Pilate asked why, but no one listened. Pilate washed his hands to show he was innocent of Jesus’s blood and said it was their responsibility. The crowd agreed and said it was on their children, too. Barabbas was released, and Jesus was flogged.

The soldiers stripped Jesus and put a scarlet robe on him. They put a crown of thorns on his head. Next, the soldiers put a staff in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him. They spit on him and then hit him repeatedly. They took the robe off, put his own clothes back on him, and led him away to be crucified.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 5: Matthew 27:11-31

13a) Pilate asked Jesus if he was the King of the Jews. Jesus said yes. The governor asked if Jesus had heard the testimony against him, but Jesus gave no reply.

b) Pilate’s wife had sent him a message saying not to have anything to do with Jesus because she had suffered greatly in a dream. The chief priests and elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas. Pilate asked the crowd what to do with Jesus. They responded to crucify him. Pilate asked why, but no one listened. Pilate washed his hands to show he was innocent of Jesus’s blood and said it was their responsibility.

c) He tried to get Jesus to defend himself. He tried to have him released out of mercy. He even asked the crowd why crucify him, and he symbolicaly washed his hands of Jesus’s blood. It shows that Pilate might have understood who Jesus was, that he had mercy, that he was sympathetic to Jesus. He also knew Jesus was innocent and didn’t want to execute him.

14) Pilate did fight for Jesus, but in the end he bowed to political pressure. We must fight to the end for Jesus.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 5: Matthew 27:11-31

Powerful and sad lesson. Shows what Jesus suffered for us and how he was treated. Deepens our gratitude for Jesus and the cross.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 5: Matthew 27:11-31

The Jews have to go through Roman law in order to execute someone. They have no authority to do it themselves. They cook up the charge of Jesus calling himself King, which is against Roman law.

Pilate does not believe the charges, and his wife’s premonitions confirm them. He appeals to Herod who only returns Jesus to Pilate. This is the recording of the second time Jesus appears before Pilate (Luke records the first  Luke 23:1-6. ). He declares Jesus innocent, but the crowd won’t relent. Since the crowd is on the verge of becoming a mob, he washes his hands of sin, but he knows he is still responsible. Jesus’s crime of “King of the Jews” is posted above the cross as a result.

The reply Jesus gives to Pilate when asked if he is king is the same reply he gave the high priests (Matthew 26:64). Pilate could not believe Jesus would not defend himself. He kept silent and let God defend him.

Pilate knew there was something special about Jesus and did not want to kill him. So he hopes the crowd will let him go free. Barabbas was a murderer  Mark 15:7

Pilate could have released Jesus on his own, but he did not. He even ignored his wife’s dream. All of this was God’s mercy, which he refused. He gave in to the multitudes. All of them sinned. People today still reject Jesus.

Pilate washing his hands was meaningless. Jesus’s blood rested on him, too, since he could have stopped it.

The blood of Jesus would be on the children 40 years later when the temple was destroyed.

The Scourging of Jesus

Scourging was the treatment prisoners got before crucifixion. They were beaten with a whip that had leatehr strands with sharp bone or metal bits on it. Every time it hit the body, it made a cut. In fact, many prisoners died from scourging before they were crucified. Only women and Roman senators or soldiers were exempt.

The point of scouring you could say was merciful. It was to shorten the length of time that a prisoner hung on the cross before they died. Scourging resulted in blood loss and shock to the point of death. Crucifixion was just the final straw.

The whole garrison gathered to mock Jesus; normally only 4 soldiers (called a quaternion) did the scourging. They meant to humiliate and mock him. A scarlet robe was what a king would wear. The crown of thones would indeed hurt Jesus. The scepter was a reed, not an ornamental beauty item.

How did Matthew know about this scene? He was probably told it by one of the Roman soldiers who was present.

The procession to the cross and the execution area was a time for Rome to show what would happen to those who broke the law. A centurion on horseback would lead the way, shouting the crime of the condemned as they went. Jesus would carry the crossbar of his cross, which was probably between 75 and 125 lbs in weight. He was stripped naked, and his hands were tied to the wood. The upright beams of the cross were already in place.

No one stood up for Jesus. In the end, he was abandoned, but he never abandoned us.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 4: Matthew 26:69-27:10

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 26:69-27:10

Matthew 26:69-75:

Peter denied knowing Jesus three times when two servant girls and others asked him if he were with Jesus. A rooster crowed, and Peter remembered what Jesus had predicted. Peter then wept bitterly.

Matthew 27:1-10:

The chief priests and elders decided to kill Jesus. They bound him and handed him over to Pilate. Judas had remorse when he saw Jesus would be killed. He returned the 30 silver coins to the chief priests and elders, saying he had sinned and betrayed innocent blood. He threw the money in the temple and then hanged himself. The chief priests could not put blood money into the treasury, so they used Judas’s 30 silver coins he had returned to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. This fulfilled Jeremiah’s prophecy.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 4: Matthew 26:69-27:10

10a) Peter denied knowing Jesus three times when two servant girls and others asked him if he were with Jesus. His sin progressed each time, first denial and then he took an oath. The last time, he got angry and called down curses on himself, swearing he did not know Jesus.

b) He knew/forgot Jesus’s prophecy that he would deny him three times.

11a) Judas had remorse when he saw Jesus would be killed. He knew he had sinned and betrayed innocent blood. He returned the 30 pieces of silver and then hanged himself.

b) They didn’t care about Judas or that Jesus was an innocent man about to be killed. They were in it for themselves.

c) All men have free will, and it’s a choice to sin or not. You are always responsible for your actions because you could have decided differently.

12a) Both were remorseful for what they had done. Judas tried to make his sin right, but his sorrow was not one of repentance. Peter wept bitterly, truly repentant of what he did, while Judas took his own life.

b) I feel like I’m cleansed, but sometimes I don’t and I still harbor guilt.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 4: Matthew 26:69-27:10

Such sad passages, yet this could have happened to any of us. We all let our Savior down, just in different ways. It’s important to seek forgiveness whenever possible.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 4: Matthew 26:69-27:10

Matthew 26:69-75:

It’s scary that Peter caved to a little girl. He finally remembered Jesus’s words, but it was too late. Here, we see the beginnings of Peter. He will be restored, and Luke says just after the rooster crowed, the Lord turned and looked at Peter (Luke 22:61).

Matthew 27:1-10:

This is the next morning when it was legal to pronouce a death upon Jesus. All the Sanhedrin are present  Luke 22:66-71.

In order to kill someone, Pontius Pilate had to agree. He was the prefect appointed by Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar over Judea. He was a cruel man according to history, and the priests brought three charges against Jesus in order to justify his death sentence:

  1. He was a revolutionary
  2. He told people not to pay taxes
  3. He claimed to be King, which was punishable by death in Roman times (Luke 23:2).

Judas was filled with remorse, not repentance. He felt sorry for the outcome, not that he did it.

When he threw the money back into the temple, he tried to put the blame onto the priests, rather than himself. Judas probably thought Jesus would redeem himself here.

The money was now unclean as blood money and could not go back to the temple. The priests didn’t want to touch the money although they had the innocent blood of Jesus on their hands.

Most Bible scholars agree Judas went to hell (the son of perdition (John 17:12).

Acts 1:18-19, tells us that Judas’ body burst open. Most Bible scholars agree this was caused by Judas’ dead body being left in the open since no burials could take place during Passover.

Although Matthew tells us this quote was spoken by Jeremiah, it is actually recorded in  Zechariah 11:12-13. Some think it’s a transcribing error. Some think it was spoken by Jeremiah but recorded by Zechariah. Others think Matthew is referring to the scroll of Jeremiah, which included the book of Zechariah.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 3: Matthew 26:57-68

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 26:57-68

Jesus was taken to Caiahpas, the high priest. The elders and the teachers of the law where there. Peter followed Jesus. They were looking for false evidence against Jesus so they could kill him. Despite the many false witnesses that came forward, they could not find any. Finally, someone claimed Jesus said he would destroy the high temple and rebuild it in three days. Jesus did not answer this charge.

They ask Jesus if he is the Son of God. He answers yes and that they will see him in the future sitting on the right hand of God and coming on the clouds of heaven. The high priest tore his clothes and said Jesus had spoken blasphemy. They finally agreed to kill Jesus. They spit on him, struck him, and taunted him.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 3: Matthew 26:57-68

6) Jesus was taken to Caiahpas, the high priest. The elders and the teachers of the law where there. Peter was present, too, having followed Jesus.

7a) The witnesses came forward.

b) Jesus was silent. Sometimes it’s better not to say anything at all and just remain silent.

8a) “Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Because it is exactly who Jesus is. But if he claims to be the Son of God and is not believed to be so, the priests can call it blasphemy and have him put to death as they did.

b) His reply is that they will see him in the future sitting on the right hand of God and coming on the clouds of heaven. He is speaking of his Second Coming. Psalm 110:1 says that Jesus will sit at God’s right hand until his enemies are a footstool under his feet. Daniel 7:13-14 describes his vision of the son of man coming on the clouds of heaven. Everyone will worship him and he will establish an everlasting dominion that can never be destroyed. Revelation 1:7 says that Jesus will come again with the clouds and everyone will see him.

c) The high priest tore his clothes and said Jesus had spoken blasphemy. They finally agreed to kill Jesus. They spit on him, struck him, and taunted him.

9) It means everything for a lack of better words. But it gives me hope that in a world that does not make sense that one day, it will all make perfect sense.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 3: Matthew 26:57-68

It is always shocking to read how horrible Jesus was treated and taunted by those who were supposedly Godly.

Great read!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 3: Matthew 26:57-68

Matthew only tells us of this one incident this night. Actually, Jesus has several different trials that night. Before Caiaphas, he was taken to the home of Annas, an ex-high priest John 18:12-14 and John 18:19-23).

The final trial was after this one in Matthew before the entire Sanhedrin. Luke 22:66-71.

It’s interesting that only Peter followed. Was he determined to prove Jesus wrong that he would not forsake him?

The reason there was a second trial of the Sanhedrin after daybreak was because this one was illegal. According to Jewish law, trials had to be in the daylight.

The Sanhedrin broke many Jewish laws in order to condemn and kill Jesus as soon as possible:

  • No criminal cases could be tried during Passover
  • Guilty verdicts had to wait overnight in case mercy arose
  • Two witnesses had to confirm evidence, and they had to be separated
  • False witnesses would be put to death

Jesus was speaking of his body as a temple. (John 2:19  John 2:21. The Sanhedrin twisted his words out of desperation.

Jesus did not defend himself although he could have. He accepted his fate.

The high priest was frustrated by Jesus’s silence and the fact he had nothing on Jesus, so he asked him if he was the Son of God.

Jesus answered truthfully, and said one day, he would judge them.

Jesus spoke no blasphemy since he was the Son of God.

Did they believe Jesus to be the Son of God? No one knows, and since everyone is an enemy of God (Romans 5:10Colossians 1:21), they may have delighted in slapping God in the face.

It’s amazing that God watched sinful man do this to Jesus. This speaks volumes of God’s mercy on mankind. Jesus was patience defined.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 2: Matthew 26:47-56

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 26:47-56

Judas arrived in the Garden of Gethsemane after Jesus was done praying. He came with a large crowd who were carrying swords and clubs. They were sent by the chief priests and the elders. Judas had arranged ahead of time that the one he kissed was Jesus.

Judas went up to Jesus and kissed him. Jesus was arrested. One of the 12 took out his sword and cut off the ear of one of the servants of the high priest. Jesus told him to put his sword away for if he wanted he could call down 12 legions of angels. Instead, he must fulfill Scripture. Jesus asks the crowd why they are carrying swords and clubs. He taught peacefully in the temple, and now the writings of the prophets will be fulfilled.

The disciples all deserted Jesus.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 2: Matthew 26:47-56

3a) Judas arrived and kissed Jesus as the signal to arrest him.

b) They arrested Jesus.

c) One of the 12 took out his sword and cut off the ear of one of the servants of the high priest. Then the disciples all deserted Jesus.

d) Jesus was calm, accepting his fate to save the world. He chastized the one who cut off the servant’s ear, and he went along willingly without a fight.

4) Jesus knows what he has to do and he does it calmly. He knows he will die, and he is ready. God’s plan is perfect, and it is coming to fruition soon, too. God is in control.

5) I can be calmer like Jesus and realize that everything happens for a reason and realize that more in the moment rather than afterward.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 2: Matthew 26:47-56

Such calm in the midst of chaos. That’s my dream.

Great read!

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 27, Day 2: Matthew 26:47-56

Judas was a common name for Jewish men in those times. It is the Greek form of Judah. He was the only disciple from Judea, and he was the treasurer. No one knows why Judas betrayed Jesus. Bible scholars speculate that he wanted a powerful king and Messiah, not a Savior.

The servants thought Jesus was dangerous, which is why they came with swords and clubs.

Note that Judas knew where to find Jesus. Jesus was not hiding from God’s plan.

Kisses were customary greetings in that time. Judas still could have turned away up to the moment of the kiss.

The disciples flee out of fear for their lives.

The unnamed swordsman is Peter John 18:10

A Roman legion was 6,000 foot soldiers and 700 calvary. This number of angels could have destroyed all of Rome since one angel killed up to 185,000 soldiers in one night (2 Kings 19:35).

Note how Peter used the sword but could not pray for Jesus for one hour.

It seems that Peter was impulsive, and things could have gone very badly here. Jesus had to heal the wound (Luke 22:51). I so picture Jesus here as being frustrated with Peter.

Jesus was in control this entire time.

Note that all of the disciples forsake Jesus in his moment of most need. Hopefully, we don’t do that to those we love.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 27, Day 5: Genesis 46:31-47:12

Summary of Genesis 46:31-47:12:

Joseph advises his family to tell Pharaoh that they are shepherds so that they can be allowed the land of Goshen and will be detestable to the Egyptians who despise shepherds.

Joseph tells Pharaoh that his family has come from Canaan to live in Goshen and be shepherds. Joseph chose 5 of his brothers to tell Pharaoh the same thing. Pharaoh gives them the best land in Goshen and asks for help with his flocks if any of them have any special talents.

Jacob was presented before Pharaoh who asks him how old he is. Jacob answers 130 years. He blesses Pharaoh and then they get settled. Joseph provides them with food.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 27, Day 5: Genesis 46:31-47:12

12) Joseph tells his brothers what to say to Pharaoh

13) The years he was called by God to go to to the Promised Land. He also knows that his real home is with God in heaven.

14) He blesses Pharaoh. He’s humble about his lifetime.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 27, Day 5: Genesis 46:31-47:12

Let’s not forget that Joseph is the whole reason Jacob and his family were saved.  “Joseph settled his father.”  “Joseph provided food.” Pharaoh accepted Jacob and the family only because of Joseph. If they had just been regular Hebrews looking for relief from the famine, they would have been turned away. But because of Joseph (and God) they were saved–as was God’s will.

The Egyptians considered sheep unclean; hence, everyone who worked with sheep were unclean.

Goshen was what is basically the Sinai Peninsula today.  Today it is a desert land but in ancient times it was renown for it’s grazing of animals.  Succinct history on Goshen HERE.

Let us also not forget that although Pharaoh is presented as a great, benevolent ruler in the Bible, he was all-powerful. He put Joseph in charge to save his people, not God’s. His people were also very poor and worked hard so he could live in luxury. We don’t see the poverty here of the vast majority of the people.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 27, Day 5: Genesis 46:31-47:12

Joseph makes sure his family is provided for. He is their advocate, as Jesus is ours. However, not long after Joseph’s death and presumably the current pharaoh, the Israelites are made slaves (Exodus 1:8-10).

Pharaoh knows how God has blessed Joseph and probably presumes God is with Jacob as well. He accepts the blessing despite the Pharaoh being considered a god himself. Pharaoh knows that he needs God’s help, too.

Joseph you could say is now the head of the family as he is the sole provider of their food and well-being. It is presumed that every time Jacob or his family had a need, they went to Joseph who made sure they were taken care of.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 27, Day 4: Genesis 46:1-30

Summary of Genesis 46:1-30:

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Israel/Jacob set out with all of his household and belongings for Egypt.  At Beersheba he offered sacrifices to God.  There God spoke to him, reassuring him to go to Egypt.

Jacob left Beersheba for Egypt, taking with him all his sons, their wives and children, his daughters and their families and all his possessions including his livestock.  They numbered 66 persons who went with Jacob that were direct descendants. Counting Joseph and his two sons and Jacob the total came to 70 in Egypt.

Joseph met his family at Goshen where they were to settle in Egypt, and he threw his arms around his father and wept. Israel/Jacob said he is now ready to die since he’s seen that Joseph is still alive.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 27, Day 4: Genesis 46:1-30

9a) That is was God’s will for them to go since He wanted them in the Promised Land and God had told them to settle where there were at.

b) God spoke to Jacob/Israel in a vision at night, reassuring him that he was to go to Egypt and that God would build them into a great nation there.

c) God is good. He wants to reassure his people that they are doing the right thing. He also is taking care of them so that they can survive.

10) 66. For the line of Jesus to be recorded.

11a) We’ve moved recently to follow our dreams. They are still unfolding.

b) Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

2 Corinthians 9:8: “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

Philippians 4:19: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

ConclusionsBSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 27, Day 4: Genesis 46:1-30

I wonder who eventually told Jacob what had actually happened to Joseph and how he got to be in Egypt. That would have been a conversation I would have liked to have heard. “Uh, Father, well, um, we didn’t like Joseph, so we threw him in this well, and then we sold him….”

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 27, Day 4: Genesis 46:1-30

We’ve seen Beersheba before in Genesis. (Genesis 22:19), (Genesis 26:23). Abraham planted a tamarisk tree, and God spoke to Isaac here Genesis 21:33), repeating his covenant promise. Genesis 26:24-25). Jacob was making a huge move to a land far away. He needed God’s approval. God told him it was okay to find his wife away from the Promised Land as well (Genesis 28:12-17).

By God telling Jacob to not be afraid to go to Egypt indicates he probably was, as most of us would be. Remember in ancient times, people did not travel very far from where they were born. This is a huge move.

We’ve seen Egypt play a big role already in the Bible:

  • Abraham went to Egypt the last time there was a famine in the land, but this was against God’s will  (Genesis 12:10-20)
  • Isaac was told to not go to Egypt during a famine: (Genesis 26:2).
  • Jacob probably knew that God had foretold his people would be strangers/slaves in a land for 400 years  (Genesis 15:13).  Was this the beginning of 400 years?

God’s Promises to Jacob/Israel:

  1. “I will make you a great nation there.”
  2. “I will go down to Egypt with you.”
  3. “I will surely bring you back again.”
  4. “Joseph will close your eyes.”

The Israelites will be left alone as the Egyptians will not intermarry with them. This allows God’s people to grow in faith. God will be with them. God will bring them back to the Promised Land. Joseph is alive!

Carts were a sign of wealth, so Jacob was thrilled to see these. Plus, he probably wasn’t looking forward to walking or riding a donkey that far!

The sons of Judah lead to Jesus: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Perez, Hezron

70 males total from God’s people went to or were in Egypt.  In Acts 7:14, Stephen tells us 75 went to Egypt. This number includes the sons and grandsons of Joseph who were born in Egypt

Once Abraham waited years for Isaac, 60 years passed before Jacob came alone. Then Jacob had his sons throughout his lifetime. After being in Egypt for 430 years, the Israelites would leave with 600,000 men and 2 million people. God is good, indeed.

Judah is chosen since he was the one with the most repentant heart.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 27, Day 3: Genesis 45:16-28

Summary of Genesis 45:16-28:

Pharaoh was very happy that Joseph’s brothers had come. He gave Joseph’s family the best of the land in Egypt. He gave them carts to travel in. Joseph gave his brothers the carts and provisions for their journey to retrieve their father and families. He gave them new clothes, but he gave Benjamin 300 shekels of silver and five sets of clothes. He sent 10 donkeys loaded with the best of Egyptian goods as well as 10 donkeys with provisions. He told his brothers to not quarrel along the way.

The brothers told Jacob that Joseph was alive and the ruler in Egypt. He did not believe them at first (understandable, since they have lied before), but after seeing all of the goods and hearing the tale, Jacob was convinced, and will go to Egypt.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 27, Day 3: Genesis 45:16-28

6) Pharaoh first welcomed foreigners into the land. He gave them the best land in Egypt with which to prosper. He gave them provisions for the journey and carts to ride in. He said the best of all Egypt will be theirs. Sometimes it pays to have connections.

7) Stunned. He was skeptical, but when he saw all of the goods and heard the tale, he was convinced.

8a) Times when we’ve moved.

b) Trust that God put us here for a reason and that everything will work out as planned.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 27, Day 3: Genesis 45:16-28

This shows just how valued Joseph was. Otherwise, I don’t see Pharaoh doing this for anyone else, especially non-Egyptians

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 27, Day 3: Genesis 45:16-28

We can think of carts as limos in today’s world. Jacob’s travels would be in luxury and a place of prominence to Egypt. Joseph warned his brothers not to quarrel since, as siblings, they may be tempted to.

Jacob is over-the-moon happy when he finally believes his favorite son is alive. Jacob goes from wallowing in self-pity Genesis 42:36) to a man of faith.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 27, Day 5: Genesis 40

Summary of passage:  Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker offended him so he threw them in jail.  Potiphar assigned them to Joseph.  After some time, both men had a dream and Joseph noticed they were downcast about it.  So he asked them why they were gloom and they said because they had a dream they did not understand.  Joseph asked them to tell him his dreams because God can interpret them.

The chief cupbearer dreamed of a vine with three branches.  Grapes bloomed on the branches and the cupbearer squeezed the grapes into Pharaoh’s cup and gave him the cup. Joseph said in three days time the cupbearer will be restored to his position as cupbearer.  He asked him to remember him and mention him to Pharaoh so that Joseph may be released.

The chief baker dreamed of three baskets on his head of which the first baskets contained baked goods for the Pharaoh but birds were eating all the food.  Joseph said in three days Pharaoh will remove his head and hang him on a tree while the birds eat his flesh.

In three days time, it was Pharaoh’s birthday and he gave a feast for all of his officials. Just like Joseph had said, the chief cupbearer was restored and the chief baker was hanged (or impaled).  The chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph.

Questions:

11a)  To remember him and show him kindness and to mention him to Pharaoh to get him out of this prison.

b)  It is not recorded if the cupbearer agreed or didn’t agree to mention Joseph to Pharaoh.  All we know is that the cupbearer did not; he promptly forgot about Joseph.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I think Joseph was discouraged at times and did lose heart.  Those times are just not recorded.  Joseph was human.  What happened to Joseph would make anyone cry.  It was deplorable, unimaginable conditions and Joseph must have lamented his lot.  However, Joseph never forgot he had God.  God was with him. Joseph had outward signs of this due to how others saw God in him and put him in charge of all the prison and all that was done there.

Joseph never let his circumstances dictate his actions.  He probably was bummed for a while but then would pray and be cheered.

I’m sure Joseph was disappointed the cupbearer forgot him for Joseph was pinning his hopes on this for release.  But Joseph knew God was still with him.  And the time was just not right.

13)  Jesus is saying that if a kernel of wheat remains on the stalk, nothing happens.  But when the kernel falls to the ground it “dies” meaning it is no longer a seed but it grows anew, into a plant that is useful and will feed people and eventually produce many more seeds.

Joseph “died” to who he was.  He was given a new name by Pharaoh (Genesis 41:45), Zaphenath-Paneah, married an Egyptian woman, and became Egyptian for all purposes. He dressed like one.  He led an Egyptian life.  But out of this life, he fed people and produced many more seeds (including the seed for Jesus when he saved his family) through the saving of these people as they survived and had children.  But Joseph had to “die” first.

This is the literal meaning.  Spiritually, Jesus had to die in order to give life to many. Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15:36-38; 42-44 that you must die first in order to be raised from the dead and have eternal life.  You plant the seed and God gives it a body, which is perishable, weak, natural, and in dishonor.  But then God raises the body in glory, honor, power, and spiritualness.

Conclusions:  We must remember that the cupbearer and the baker were in prison for the sole reason of meeting Joseph and having their dreams interpreted.  God sent them their dream and gifted Joseph to interpret them all to get the attention of Pharaoh (whom God sent dreams as well).  God is everywhere in our circumstances and the story of Joseph in particular is a great example of God’s hand in every facet of our lives.

Question 13 nailed the lesson on the head:  you must die to who you were in order to become who you were meant to be.  Die to self in order to live forever.

The moment Joseph’s life changed forever and he died to self is recorded powerfully in Scripture–when his brothers sold him to slavery.  He ceased being Joseph and became God’s instead–living, trusting, and doing God’s work.

Great lesson for Easter.  Jesus died so that we may live.  Something we cannot praise God enough for.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 27, Day 4: Genesis 40

Summary of passage:  Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker offended him so he threw them in jail.  Potiphar assigned them to Joseph.  After some time, both men had a dream and Joseph noticed they were downcast about it.  So he asked them why they were gloom and they said because they had a dream they did not understand.  Joseph asked them to tell him his dreams because God can interpret them.

The chief cupbearer dreamed of a vine with three branches.  Grapes bloomed on the branches and the cupbearer squeezed the grapes into Pharaoh’s cup and gave him the cup. Joseph said in three days time the cupbearer will be restored to his position as cupbearer.  He asked him to remember him and mention him to Pharaoh so that Joseph may be released.

The chief baker dreamed of three baskets on his head of which the first baskets contained baked goods for the Pharaoh but birds were eating all the food. Joseph said in three days Pharaoh will remove his head and hang him on a tree while the birds eat his flesh.

In three days time, it was Pharaoh’s birthday and he gave a feast for all of his officials. Just like Joseph had said, the chief cupbearer was restored and the chief baker was hanged (or impaled).  The chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph.

Questions:

8a)  He asked them why they appeared so gloom.  So he had to have noticed a change in them, meaning he had to have been monitoring their condition.  He offered to help through dream interpretation and give them hope by mentioning God.

b)  Several opportunities.  On a personal level he was able to lift one man’s spirits with good news and warn the other man to cherish his last days before his life was taken.  He had the chance to prove that God was with him and that God was interpreting dreams correctly–so to show God’s powers.  It gave him a chance to tell them about God and perhaps convert them before their death.

And it gave Joseph an opportunity to get out of jail if the cupbearer mentioned him to Pharaoh.  It gave Joseph hope that he may still be free.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Take note of people.  See when they are down.  Ask them about it.  Encourage them with the Word.  Tell them of God and His strength to lift them up.  Pray over them.

9a)  Omnipotent, omniscient, control the future, blesses those who belong to Him and believe in Him.  God is good, faithful, and just.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Acknowledgment from others.  That the cupbearer forgot him.  That he may languish in prison for the rest of his life.  I don’t think he ever doubted God.  But we all get depressed and down by our circumstances.  And I’m sure Joseph did as well.  He was probably disappointed he had to wait another two years in prison.  But he trusted.  And that made all the difference.

10)  Leadership, trustworthiness, caring, empathy, dream interpretation, desire to help others, patience, kindness, trusting in God, honesty

Conclusions:  I liked how Joseph approached the cupbearer and baker.  That they did not come to him.  That Joseph took the initiative and noticed they were down.  If Joseph hadn’t of said anything, Pharaoh would have never of known of his abilities.  Joseph took concrete action about his circumstances.  He still had a heart when many would have lost it long ago.

Note Joseph never abused his power.  “He attended them” (Genesis 40:4).  He served. He cared about others.  Just like Jesus.

God notes our good deeds even when others do not.  God remembers us even when others do not.  God rewards us even when others do not.  God promotes us and demotes us–all according to His will–not our own.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 27, Day 3: Genesis 39

Summary of passage:  Joseph was taken to Egypt and purchased by Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s guard.  Because the Lord was with Joseph, he became Potiphar’s attendant and then put in charge of his household and everything in it.  Because of Joseph’s presence, the Lord blessed Potiphar and everything in his house and in his fields.

Potiphar’s wife tried to get Joseph to sleep with her but Joseph refused, saying he is to care for everything that is his master’s and he cannot sin against God committing adultery.  She tried daily and he avoided her.

One day Joseph was alone with Potiphar’s wife and she grabbed him by his cloak.  He slipped out of his cloak and ran outside.  She told her servants that he had come to her to try to sleep with her and had left his cloak behind.  She told Potiphar who put Joseph in prison.

Still, the Lord was with Joseph so Joseph was put in charge of all the prisoners and all the happenings there and had success in whatever he did.

Questions:

6a)  He refused, telling her it would be a sin against God and a wicked thing to betray his master’s trust. He avoided her the best he could.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Same.  Try to avoid whatever is causing the sin.  Pray to God for strength to overcome.

7a)  He gained experience running a household that I imagined was quite large.  He had to delegate tasks.  He had to learn about both the farming and the domestic aspects.  He then ran a prison, which probably entailed much of the same tasks but some new ones.  All throughout God was building Joseph’s trust in Him, which is the most important skill Joseph would need to lead others.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I don’t know.  Honestly.  Not sure where I’m supposed to be.

Conclusions:  Yesterday I was mixed.  Today I’m just disappointed.  There was a lot of history in this chapter that was just glossed over.  I would have liked to have seen more emphasis on how these events could only have happened because of God.  A Hebrew (foreign) slave running a household?  Never.  Running a prison?  Doubtful.

BSF usually sends us to other places in the Bible when we discuss a topic such as temptation.  This lesson they did not.  I would have liked to have read more on that.

Not all of us are called to be leaders.  We just can’t be.  Then we’d all be butting heads for decision making.  I’m just not for sure I’m being trained for leadership for God and how (or if) my present circumstances are contributing to that.