BSF Study Questions John Lesson 29, Day 4: John 21:18-23

Summary of passage:  Jesus says Peter will go places where he doesn’t want to go when he follows him and he’ll be martyred.  Peter goes off with Jesus with John following with Jesus indicating John will live a long time.

Questions:

9)  Peter would go places he didn’t want to go and he’d be martyred (specifically crucified) and John would live a long time.

10)  He gives each enough information to continue on their path.

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I am trying to follow him by quitting my job, teaching my kids, and doing His work in my life not mine.

Conclusions:  Very weak.

End Notes:  “I tell you the truth” means pay attention.  Most of us in our younger days did what we wanted to do.  Jesus is saying as he gets older, he’ll do what Jesus wants him to do.  Jesus tells him it will be his death by a cross that will glorify God.

On one hand, this should have terrified Peter (remember he denied Jesus to save his own skin).  Yet on the other hand, Jesus says you will have faith at the end.  How encouraging!

Scholars say in about 34 years, Peter would face this death and he would so embrace it that he’d ask to be crucified head down, deeming himself unworthy to go in the same manner as his Lord.

The verb is “keep on following” all the days of Peter’s life just as Jesus called him to do years before in Matthew 4:18-19.

Peter, not wishing to answer, deflects the attention from himself to John (as most of us would do).

Jesus lets Peter know that his destiny for John is completely different than his.  We also see how easy it is for others to misconstrue God’s word as the rumor spread that Jesus said John would live forever.  John makes sure to correct this misconception.

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BSF Study Questions John Lesson 29, Day 2: John 21:1-14

Summary of passage:  While on an unsuccessful fishing trip, the disciples saw Jesus again.  He told them where to cast their net for fish.  John recognizes Jesus and impulsive Peter swims to him.  They all have a fish bake for breakfast on the shore, celebrating the 3rd time Jesus appeared to them.

Questions:

3)  John recognizes Jesus.  Peter is impulsive and enthusiastic.  Peter perhaps doesn’t want John to beat him again to Jesus like at the tomb so he throws himself overboard.  Or perhaps he thought he’d walk on water.  Peter is competitive.  Jesus’ power is unlimited and he uses it for specific purposes–here to encourage and fellowship.

4)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus shows up when the disciples are discouraged on an unsuccessful fishing trip.  He provides them food when they need it.  Jesus meets their every day needs daily.  All of them do.  Jesus is there always in my little moments, which frequently are the moments I need him most.  He provides.  He encourages.  He walks with me and has breakfast and coffee!  Great stuff!

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Encourages me to always seek and ask him.

Conclusions:  I love this fish bake!  Jesus is amazing, isn’t he?  He cares about us in the daily struggles of life as much as he cares about our spiritual health.  He encourages us when we are discouraged and seeks to fellowship with us.  Jesus can have a cup of coffee with you.  Make a cup and open his word and he’ll speak!

This is my favorite scene in the whole book of John.  You can just see the enthusiasm of Peter as he jumps in the sea to swim to his Lord.  He’s gotta be on cloud 9.  This is a moment of pure pleasure and relaxation for all of them as they refuel in preparation for a hard road ahead.  I love how Jesus gives us these moments in our lives of pure fun to recharge before the grind of His work.  All are sitting around the fire, enjoying an incredible meal in fellowship.  Encouraging one another.  Laughing.  Having a good time.  Telling stories.  Great, great life stuff!

End Notes:  Now the disciples are back in Galilee near the Sea of Tiberias.  Peter’s name is listed first again amongst the 7 disciples there.  2 were unnamed and scholars say these represent the majority of the saints whose works do go unrecognized except by Jesus.

Jesus told them to return to Galilee in Matthew 28:7, 10.  Previously, the disciples had their food provided for them by donors of followers of Jesus.  Now, they must return to their previous occupation to earn a living.  This could also show their uncertainty as to their next move so they retreated to what they knew best (fishing) while awaiting clarity from prayer.

Perhaps it was hard to see Jesus on the shore so they didn’t recognize him.  It could have been foggy or too far.

“Friends” would better be translated “lads”.  The Greek word is a common greeting.

Jesus’ request was small and strange but still a test of faith in stranger’s fishing advice.  He rewards workers.

This story shows us the results of activity with Divine guidance and without.

The word for garment is the only time it appears in the New Testament.  Jews regarded a greeting as a religious act that could be done only when one was clothed.  Peter was preparing himself to greet the Lord.

Jesus is a servant again, having food already prepared for his disciples.  Peter drags up a net probably weighing close to 300 pounds by himself, the exactitude of the numbers is eyewitness detail.

Scholars have debated what the number 153 means.  However, it’s just a number.  Be wary of those trying to find hidden meanings in God’s word.

Jesus probably appeared different since John writes how none questioned Jesus’ identity.  Perhaps his scars never went away.  Jesus eats with them and fellowships with them.

This is the 3rd time John has recorded Jesus’ appearance after the resurrection to the group of disciples–not the 3rd time in order Jesus has appeared.

The Apostle Peter (taken from Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary by JD Douglas and Merrill C Tenney):  “The personality of Peter is one of the most vividly drawn and charming in the New Testament.  His sheer humanness has made him one of the most beloved and winsome members of the apostolic band.  He was eager, impulsive, energetic, self-confident, aggressive, and daring, but also unstable, fickle, weak, and cowardly.  He was guided more by quick impulse than logical reasoning, and he readily swayed from one extreme to the other.  He was preeminently a man of action.  His life exhibits the defects of his character as well as his tremendous capacities for good.  He was forward and often rash, liable to instability and inconsistency, but his love for and associations with Christ molded him into a man of stability, humility, and courageous service for God.  In the power of the Holy Spirit eh became one of the noble pillars of the church (Galatians 2:9).”

And to think:  Jesus chose one such as him.  And he chose one such as you and I.  Despite our character flaws, God has great plans for us.  We merely have to believe in ourselves and in our Lord.  We can’t do it on our own.  Only God can.

Peter recedes into the background after Jesus’ resurrection, almost unheard of until his letters from Rome.  Tradition asserts that Peter went to Rome, labored there and was crucified there under the Emperor Nero.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 29, Day 4: Revelation 22:17-21

Summary of passage:  Let all come for the gift of the water of life say the Spirit and the bride.  A warning to not change the prophecy in the book of Revelation.  Jesus is coming soon.  Grace be with God’s people.

Questions:

9a)  The invitation is to all to accept Jesus as Savior.  It is open to all.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I am thirsting for Him more.  For His world here.  For His presence more in my life.

10)  So nothing is twisted to mean something else.  God wants all to know the promises for the believers and the consequences for the nonbelievers.  No sugar-coating going on here.  All need to know the Truth.  Whoever changes it, corrupts His word and leads others astray.

Conclusions:  I love the ending!  A final invitation to God’s world and eternal life with Him.  A reminder Jesus is coming soon.  And a prayer for us!  His grace be with us!  Awesome!

End Notes:   Is this an invitation to Jesus, asking Him to return? Or is it an invitation to those with a spiritual thirst to come to Jesus? Either sense is certainly true.  Isaiah 55:1 echoes this invitation.

All you need is the desire to have Jesus in your heart.  Come and God will do the rest.  There is no bringing anything to God or giving.  It’s HIM doing the giving.  All you have to do is accept.  This is the greatest invitation you’ll ever receive.

The warning is either Jesus, the angel, or John.  It is not clear who is speaking here.

God’s word is holy and must not be altered. 2 Peter 3:16 says those who do face destruction.

“Come, Lord Jesus” in verse 20 is a common Aramaic expression that was well known in the ancient church: Maranatha!  Should be our cry today!

Will the End Times be in our times?  Only God knows.  It is our job to be ready.  God has the rest.

Note:  it’s a cry for Jesus to fix the world.  Man cannot fix it.  It’s man’s fault the world is full of sin.  Despite our noble efforts, we are Fallen.  Only God can catch us and make us whole again.

The word of grace was used by Paul as well to sign off on his letters (1 Corinthians 16:23, 2 Corinthians 13:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:28, 2 Thessalonians 3:18).  In 2 Thessalonians 3:17-18, Paul indicated that this signature – no doubt written with his own hand – was a mark that the letter was genuinely from him.  John is greeting those who will soon be reading his testimony and praying for them as well.

The last verse of the Old Testament contains a curse by the Lord: “Else I will come and strike the land with a  curse. (Malachi 4:6).  The last words of the New Testament speak of grace–the saving grace of Jesus that saves and redeems.  The fading of the Old Covenant with the New Covenant.  A curse but a promise fulfilled at the end.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 29, Day 3: Revelation 22:12-16

Summary of passage:  Jesus is coming to reward those according to what they’ve done.  He’s the Alpha, Omega, First and Last, Beginning, End.  Blessed are the righteous who have the tree of life.  Outside the gates of the city are the dogs who are immoral and practice falsehoods.  Jesus is the Root, Offspring of David, the Morning Star.

Questions:

6)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  He’s the Alpha, Omega, First and Last, Beginning, End, the Root, Offspring of David, the Morning Star.  The first and the last or alpha and omega because everything starts, ends, and everything in between is his.  He is the beginning, the middle, and the end for every Christian.

7a)  Blessed are those who accept Jesus as their Savior and not blessed are those who don’t.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Those who accept Jesus because he lives inside of me via the Holy Spirit.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Pray to be more like Jesus.

Conclusions:  All personal.  No meat.  I love how Jesus uses all his titles here.  We see most of them in Revelation and throughout the Bible.  It’s a culmination of who he is.

End Notes:  Be ready.  This is stated 3 times in this chapter (verses 7, 12, 20).  It’s meaning is not soon but when they come it will be in rapid succession.  The church and us are meant to be ready always.

“And My reward is with Me.”  The word for “reward” means to “pay for service—good or bad” (more literally, as a “wage”).  Jesus will compensate the saints (Revelation 11:18) as well as the unrighteous (2 Peter 2:12-13).  A believer shall be given the gift of life and rewarded for good works, whereas the unbeliever shall be given the wages of death (Romans 6:23).  There is no partiality with God.  He “will render to each one according to his deeds” (Romans 2:5-16).

What you do here matters.

Jesus uses titles normally associated with God.  Alpha and Omega is in Revelation 1:8; 21:6.  The First and the Last is in Isaiah 41:4.  Jesus wants to leave no doubt he is a Triune God.

There is debate about who speaks this last beatitude in Revelation:  John, an angel, or Jesus.

Some versions say blessed are those who do his commandments instead of who wash their robes. The difference stems from a Greek word:  HOIPLUNONTESTASSTOLAS (washed their robes) or
HOIPOIOUNTESTASENTOLAS (do His commandments).  This would be a copyist’s error.  Still, the meaning is clear.  This is the desire of our hearts.  Obviously, we all fail.  But our desire is to keep his commandments and wash our robes.  That is what matters.  The unbeliever has no such desire.

We saw washing of robes in Revelation 7:14 or washing in Jesus’s blood.  It means fully committing to the Lord Jesus Christ, our lives.

Being on the outside is not literal here.  There are not throngs of unbelievers standing outside the New Jerusalem.  It means they are not in the eternal city.  Jesus is making clear one last time who will stand with him and who will stand against him.

Dogs here is a derogatory term for the morally impure or unbelievers (Matthew 7:6; Philippians 3:2).  Dogs were considered unclean and despised.

Jesus assures us here the Book of Revelation is his word to us, the churches, to be known.

The Root is a Messianic title (Isaiah 11:1).  It shows that Jesus is both the Creator of King David and His descendent.  Jesus spoke this same idea in Matthew 22:41-46.

The Morning Star is another Messianic title from the Old Testament (Numbers 24:17) and the New Testament (Revelation 2:28).  Just as the Morning Star (generally held to be the planet Venus) shines and welcomes the new day, so does Jesus.

Fun Fact:  This is the first reference to the church since the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 29, Day 2: Revelation 22:6-11

Summary of passage:  Jesus is coming and John falls at the feet of the angel to worship it (he did this in Revelation 19:10).  The angel told John to tell others of what he has seen and heard and to let them continue to do wrong or good as they are doing.

Questions:

3a)  God/Jesus/Holy Spirit says it’s true.  Furthermore, there are 3 witnesses to John’s testimony:  the angel, John himself, and Jesus, which was the legal requirement in ancient times for a trial (Deuteronomy 17:6; John 5:31-32).

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  All Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), given to man through prophets or people as a gift from God.

4)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Prophecy gives us a word to keep, not merely material for interesting discussions and debates. The main purpose of prophecy is to lead us to trust and obey God, and apply His truth to the way we live.  Obviously, if we trust and obey God more, we live God’s life more, and we are further blessed.  As my faith grows, my life is better.  I was asked over the the weekend at church to name a time when I’ve been completely blessed in my life and one of my answers was now.  I am feeling truly happy, content, and blessed with God and my life.  And I think it’s because of my strengthened faith in Him.

5a)  He said to worship God alone not fellow servants or prophets.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not for sure if I worship anything other than God.  I am prideful sometimes and put credence in things I shouldn’t but worship (definition: to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power) is a strong word.  God is at my center.  He gets all the credit.  Pray all the time.  Stay in His word as much as possible.  Do His will in my life.

Conclusions:  Saw 3b before.  Good lesson on the truth of the Bible and how we are blessed by knowing prophecy and we grow in trust in Him.  The more we know, the more we grow!

End Notes:  Revelation opens with an angel and ends with one.

“Soon” in the Greek connotes suddenly to us.  Jesus will come suddenly and in his time.  We are to ready always.

No created being is ever to be worshiped.  Angels are servants of God who minister to us (Hebrews 1:13-14).

Revelation is in contrast to Daniel 8:26; 12:4 where Daniel is told to seal up his visions about the future.  Now is the time, the angel says.  Daniel was hundreds of years before Revelation.

The angel says there will be no more time to change when Jesus comes.  The wicked will still be wicked, the good still good.  Second (and third and fourth, etc) chances are over.  Furthermore, those doing wrong will have hardened hearts and will not heed the book of Revelation (Daniel 12:10).  Those with God’s heart will be affected and shall continue to do good.

This is encouragement to us who pray for the lost and the lost loved ones we know.  There is nothing we can do but share with an open and loving heart.  God will do the rest.  And if they don’t convert, that is no fault of ours.  It is their responsibility to let God into their hearts, not ours.

Here we see the 6th Beatitude of Revelation.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 29, Day 5: Deuteronomy 34

Summary of passage:  Moses climbed Mount Nebo and God showed him the Promised Land.  Moses died as the Lord had said and was buried in Moab.  He was 120 years old.  The Israelites mourned his death for 30 days.  Joshua took over as leader of the people.  There has never been anyone before or since like Moses.

Questions:

10a)  God promised the Promised Land to Abraham and his descendants (Isaac, Jacob, etc).  The land was from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates River, which included the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Raphaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites–the whole land of Canaan.

b)  It is a fulfillment of God’s promise, one the Israelites have waited for for centuries.  Finally, the time has come.  All of the people (including Moses) must have been overwhelmed with God’s faithfulness and their faith must have grown.  God would keep His promises of a Savior and a time when all would live forever with Him on heaven and earth.

11)  Filled Joshua with the Holy Spirit.  Thus, the Israelites listened to him and accepted him as their new leader as well.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Faith.  Prayer for decisions.  Prayer for guidance in his role for my life.

Conclusions:  Dang!  I really wanted to study the Israelites in the Promised Land!  Is that a study in BSF?  The Minor Prophets perhaps?  I know BSF alternates Old Testament with New Testament, but it would be cool to do this study back-to-back because I fear when we get to the Minor Prophets in a few years I won’t remember a lot of the details of the study of Moses.  I’m an order/chronological freak so I’d love to do the bible straight from the beginning to the end.

Good lesson today.  Great conclusion to the Life of Moses as we see him ascend into God’s arms.

End Notes:  Moses does get to set foot on the Promised Land with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17; Mark9; Luke 9).

Mount Nebo scholars believe is in the country of Jordan today.  The list of places is in a counter-clockwise circle from north to south.

Can you imagine Moses’s thoughts and feelings?  Immense job mixed with incredible sadness.

Note what Moses is called:  The servant of the Lord.  Not great leader.  Not prince of Egypt.  Not miracle-worker.  Not prophet.  Servant.  That is the greatest job God wants from all of us.

Moses died as the Lord had said.  This is usually translated “at the mouth of the Lord.”  This shows us that God keeps all of His promises–even the judgement ones.  Ancient Jewish custom says that Moses died as God took away his soul with a kiss.  Of all the ways to die, this is the best!

Note the Lord Himself buried Moses where no one can find his body.  Jude 9 tells us that the devil wanted the body of Moses.  We are not told why the devil wanted Moses’ body and scholars speculate reasons.  But we do know Moses appeared for the Transfiguration.  God was not done with him yet!

Notes Moses life divided by 40:  40 years in Egypt.  40 years in the desert leading sheep.  40 years leading people to the Promised Land.  God prepared Moses for 80 years for the last 40 years of His life.

God’s plan moves on as it always does.  But Moses is remembered for his intimacy with God, his miracles, and his leadership over Israel.  Moses was prophet, lawgiver, deliverer, and judge.  Before Jesus, he was the closest to God and in my opinion still is/was the closest human being (Jesus was both man and God) to God.

Scholars debate whether or not Deuteronomy 34 should really be the first chapter of Joshua.  First, it obviously wasn’t written by Moses (and no one knows who wrote this chapter).  Second, it seems to transition well into the first chapter of Joshua.  Furthermore, when these books were originally written one book followed another.  The modern divisions and chapter breaks are just that–modern.  This was an advent of the Middle Ages beginning in 1227 (Great note HERE) for the sole purpose of our convenience.  They are not from God.

One scholar believes the Bible was meant to read as a whole–the books without stopping.  The divisions can cause problems in interpretation as well.  (See article HERE).  Fascinating in my opinion.

Summation:  The bible is God-breathed.  The divisions are not God-breathed.

Modern Country of Jordan showing Mount Nebo:  http://www.atlastours.net/jordan/map.jpg

Mount Nebo is now a tourist destination.  Note this is where scholars think is the likely Mount Nebo from the Bible.  We are not 100% sure.  Information HERE

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 29, Day 5: Genesis 47:28-48:22

Summary of passage:  Israel requested to be buried in the Promised Land.  When Jacob was old, Joseph and his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, went to visit him.  Jacob repeated God’s promise to him and he reckons Joseph’s two sons as his to share in this blessing and inheritance.  Jacob blesses the two boys, giving the firstborn blessings to the younger.

Joseph was displeased that Jacob blessed the younger son over the older son but Jacob insisted, saying he will be greater than his brother.  Thus Ephraim was put ahead of Manasseh.

Jacob says God will take him soon back to the Promised Land and he gives Joseph the land he took from the Amorites.

Questions:

10a)  Joseph obtained the rights of the firstborn when Reuben defiled his father’s marriage bed.  Then Jacob substitutes Joseph for his two sons, thus giving Joseph double the inheritance.

b)  Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over Reuben

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To be honest, none stand out.

12)  God

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Verse 19 where Jacob clearly says the younger will be greater than the older. Talk about setting up sibling rivalry.

14)  He asks to be buried in the Promised Land (47:30).  He repeats God’s covenant (48:4).  He says Joseph’s two sons will inherit the territory from God (48:6).  He tells Joseph that God will take him back to the Promised Land ( 48:21) and gives him some land he conquered there (48:22).

Conclusions:  Didn’t get much out of this besides the fact Jacob finally believed God, which we found out a while back.  Great example of how life isn’t fair and just because you are born first doesn’t mean you are automatically granted privileges.  You have to earn it and all the aforementioned first-borns forfeited theirs.

Thus, we can think of the firstborn more as the first position and not necessarily birth order as we’ve seen throughout Genesis.

With this adoption, there are actually 13 tribes/sons of Israel as Joseph’s inheritance is now divided into two.

I wish the Bible said why Jacob gave Joseph’s two sons the inheritance when he did this for no other.  I’m assuming because Joseph is his favorite and as the favorite you are accorded special privileges.  Not saying this is right but this is the way of the world.

We know that the right hand is the favored position as exhibited the best by Jesus sitting at the right hand of God.

The story of Joseph is a great parallel to Jesus’s and I wish BSF would have spent more time drawing that comparison out in the questions.

End Notes:  Luz is another name for Bethel.

Fun Search:  Do research on the number 12 in the Bible.  12 is special to God as seen with 12 sons and 12 disciples, etc.

Fun Fact:  This is the first mention in the Bible of God as a shepherd to His people (Genesis 48:15).