Jesus tells the parable of the net. He says that the kingdom of heaven is like a net that catches all kinds of fish. The fisherman collected the good fish but threw the bad fish away. At the End Times, the angels will separate the wicked from the good in the same way. The wicked will be thrown into a fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 14, Day 4: Matthew 13:47-50
The net: the world
The good fish: believers
the bad fish: unbelievers
The fisherman: Jesus
The outcomes for both types of fish:
Good fish — go to heaven
Bad fish — will be thrown into a fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth
In Matthew 13:37-43:
The two sowers: the sower who sowed the good seed is Jesus. The sower who sowed the weeds is the devil.
The good seed: believers
The weeds: unbelievers
The harvest: the Second Coming
The harvesters: angels
Both set up and tell the same scenario how at the End Times, there will be a judgement and a forever separation of the wicked from the good.
b) People either ignore the warnings and encouragement, or they turn to Jesus. Both the warning and encouragment serve to help people turn to Jesus and give believers strength to carry on. People’s response to the warnings or encouragement determine their eternal destination.
c) There have been several but none really stand out for instances. Holding your tongue, patience, and doing God’s will. In sum, just try to be more like Jesus every day.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 14, Day 4: Matthew 13:47-50
I love this parable because it’s easy to understand and everyone can relate, even in modern times.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 14, Day 4: Matthew 13:47-50
Dragnets were thrown out like in my photo above, and all types of fish were caught. The good ones were the ones that were kept; the rest were thrown back. Remember, Old Testament food laws still applied; some types of fish were considered unclean and could not be eaten.
Gnashing teeth represent anger, as unbelievers will be eternally angry at God for sending them to the pits of Hell.
There will always be unbelievers, even at the End Times. Trying to convert everyone is unrealistic.
Jesus was sitting by the lake (Sea of Galilee), but the crowds were so big that he got into a boat so the people could see and hear him better. He told the parable of sower. Some of the seeds that the farmer scattered fell on rocky places. They sprang up quickly, but because the soil was shallow, they withered due to a lack of root. Other seeds fell among thorns, which choked the plant. Other seeds fell on good soil where it produced a good crop.
SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 13:18-23
Jesus explains the meaning of the parable of the sower. When people hear the message about the kingdom of God and do not understand it, the evil one takes away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places hears the Word and receives it with joy. But he falls away when trouble arises because he has no root. The seed in the thorns is the man who hears the word, but is unfruitful because of his worries and deceitfulness of wealth. The one who received the seed on good soil hears the Word and understands it. He produces a good crop.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 13, Day 3: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
6) He uses temptation, deceit, greed, and all the other sins to snatch us away.
7) It can be easy to focus on your problems, rather than your blessings.
8 ) John 15:5 reminds us that if you are close to Jesus, you’ll bear much fruit. When you stray, you can do nothing. Philippians 2:12-13 reminds us that God works in you for His good purpose. We all have our seasons of when we are following God’s will closely and when we stray. I think this is why our fruit can vary. God gives us all different gifts and opportunities to grow with Him. The difference in fruit lies in your obedience to these gifts and opportunities given.
9) We all need strong roots so that we won’t be tempted by the devil. If we have strong roots and are faithful, we’ll bear good fruit for the evil one will not be able to snatch us away.
10) The soil of my heart is a yearning for God and His will. I know because He is with me always, and I strive to follow Him and His path.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 13, Day 3: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
More of a personal day, but an encouraging one. We will bear fruit if we follow Jesus and God. No one says it’s easy, but it will pay off.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 13, Day 3: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
The boat gave Jesus a platform to speak from (Mark 4:1).
Parables are meant to teach one main principle to those listening. They made the idea easier to remember, and it stayed longer with the people.
Jesus spoke to things the people would understand. Everyone understood farming.
The seeds fell on four places:
Next to the path — this was where many people walked and thus the seeds would be trampled and not grow.
In rocky places — characterized by thin soil as we are told
Amongst thorns — fertile ground, but with hazards
On good soil — fertile and free of other plants growing
Jesus uses “he who has ears, let him hear.” to call attention to his words.
Each soil type represents one of four ways that we respond to Jesus:
Next to the path — those who hear God’s Word, but are unaffected. Their hearts are hardened, so they have no real understanding of what they are hearing. You must understand God’s Word before you can take action.
In rocky places — those who are super excited when they first hear God’s Word, but then their excitement quickly fades and they fade away, too when times get rough
Amongst thorns — those who grow with God for a while, but then are taken down by the evil one, temptations, worries, and deceitfulness of wealth
On good soil — those that hear God’s Word and stick it through, bearing fruit along the way
What the Parable of the Sower Means to Us
We all go through the different types of soil in our lives — times where our faith wanes or where we are on fire for God. However, what matters in the end is that we strive to be the good soil and bear fruit in all that we do.
It can be helpful to ask yourself which soil are you and what can you change to become the good soil.
If you acknowledge Jesus (accept him), God will accept you in heaven. Whoever doesn’t won’t be accepted. Jesus did not come to bring peace; he came with a sword to ensure he is first in the hearts of men, not others. You must take up your cross and follow him. Those who accept Jesus will be rewarded.
BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 11, Day 5: Matthew 10:32-42
14) If you acknowledge Jesus (accept him), God will accept you in heaven. Whoever doesn’t won’t be accepted. Jesus did not come to bring peace; he came with a sword to ensure he is first in the hearts of men, not others. You must take up your cross and follow him. Those who accept Jesus will be rewarded.
15) Because God is first in lives and deserves to have everything given up for him.
16) Take up your cross means you must be willing to die in order to follow Jesus. You die to self. You surrender everything, including allegiance to your family over Christ. Then, you give up your hopes, dreams, and even family to follow Christ and do his will. The reward is eternal life in heaven. Here is an old post of mine explaining this: HERE
17) I have had to give up my wants and desires for God’s will many times in this world.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 11, Day 5: Matthew 10:32-42
I love how Jesus is encouraging his disciples that even though times will be tough, their reward in heaven will be more than worth it. What we all need to keep in mind.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 11, Day 5: Matthew 10:32-42
We must publically confess our Christianity and not hide it from shame. It should be clear to others you are a Christian. Whatever Jesus is to you, we will be to him.
People, even families, are divided by Jesus’s message of eternal salvation, which is why a sword analogy is used. Jesus must be first in our lives.
The cross in Roman times symbolized death, not life like it does to us. Taking up your cross meant being willing to die to follow Jesus. When you are willing to lose your life for Jesus, you find it.
Fun Fact: This is the first time Matthew has mentioned cross.
We are to do good for Jesus’s disciples (priests, pastors, etc) by supporting them, even by giving them something as simple as a glass of water.
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:
“I will make you a great nation there.”
“I will go down to Egypt with you.”
“I will surely bring you back again.”
“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.
Esau moved to a land some distance from Jacob because the land could not support both of their livestocks. Esau settled in Seir.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 5: Genesis 36
13) Esau intermarried with Canaanite women. God still blessed him as he had to move away from Jacob because their livestock were too great in number. Esau was the father of the Edomites.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 5: Genesis 36
Esau was important enough in God’s eyes to have all of his descendants listed in the Bible. He was loved despite his sins and blessed beyond what was deserved. God is faithful even when we aren’t! Can you imagine the blessings He has in store for those who are faithful?
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 5: Genesis 36
Genesis lists the families not in the line of Messiah first. After this, we’ll hear no more of Esau and his line; it will be all about Jacob’s line.
Seir is the land south of the Dead Sea.
God blessed Esau because he was Abraham’s descendant and not for what he did. Again, God can do what He likes, even if we don’t agree with it. Kings came from Esau.
Fun Fact: Edom is mentioned more than 130 times in the Bible.
(Numbers 20:21). Edomites made Moses and the Israelites go around their land.
Jacob’s sons propose the Shechemites be circumcised to have Dinah as Shechem’s wife. They agree, and they convince the townspeople to become circumcised as well with the idea that then everything Jacob owns (livestock and property) will be theirs. Two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, slaughter all of the men in the town when they are still recovering from circumcision and are weak. They kill Hamor and his son, Shechem. They take Dinah back, looted the city of its wealth, and took all of the women and children as plunder.
Jacob chastized his sons (not for killing, mind you), but for now making them a target for other groups of people who may be afraid of Jacob or who may enact revenge as well. The sons uphold that they could not let the crime against Dinah go unpunished.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 3: Genesis 34:13-31
6a) Their motivation was revenge, plain and simple.
b) Obviously, innocent people were killed, lives were ruined, families were destroyed. Simeon and Levi have lost credibility as leaders with this action. Their tribes will be scattered. In fact, Simeon’s tribe ceases to exist, being absorbed completely in Judah. Levi’s tribe is scattered as well, but because of their faithfulness with the golden calf (Exodus 32:26-28), they would be a blessing to all of Israel.
7a) Negative ways are with violence against others, most of whom are innocent, by looting, pillaging, setting buildings on fire, etc. Positive ways are finding ways to change so it doesn’t happen again.
b) God is the one who will enact revenge for evil deeds, not you. Instead, overcome evil with good. Love your enemy and feed them. Live at peace with the enemy, and do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.
c) You pray about it. You ask yourself if your actions are in accordance with what the Bible says. You ask yourself if you are responding out of love or hate. You find peace with your actions.
8 ) Listen to God and do what He says. Don’t enact your own revenge. Don’t let anger get the best of you. Do what is right.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 3: Genesis 34:13-31
Now, Jacob had impetus to do what God says and return to Bethel because now they can’t stay there. I also find it interesting that Levi does this. His line is the one chosen by God for the priesthood. Ironic, isn’t it? The sons has this all planned out. They weren’t going to let the marriage take place, so they tricked them into circumcision so they would be easier to kill. This I find to be the worst part.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 3: Genesis 34:13-31
There is a reason that circumcison is performed on babies: it’s infinitely easier to recover from when you are a baby than when you are an adult. The procedure is more complicated and the recovery time is much longer. The area may remain swollen afterwards for 2-3 weeks, and it can take up to six weeks for full recovery.
Jacob’s sons had this planned from the beginning. They used Dinah and God’s sacred sign of circumcision and defiled it to enact revenge and evil.
Obviously, wealth was the reason Shechem and Hamor agree, and they use wealth to convince the other men.
Circumcision is painful, especially in adulthood. Odds are, the men are all recovering in their homes, lying around, letting time do its thing, when they are attacked.
Simeon and Levi commit a worse crime than Shechem did. They kill all the men, plunder the city, and take the women and children. Pretty sure God is not happy right now.
Not Jacob is called Jacob here, not Israel. Jacob is only concerned with what will happen to him, not at all about what his sons did.
Tragic scene with no remorse shown for annihilated an entire culture. I wonder what Dinah thinks of all this? She was obviously used, and although the brothers use her reputation as a reason for all this, it’s obvious they don’t care about her feelings. Maybe she did like Shechem. Now he’s dead. She goes from being raped back to Shechem and now back to Jacob. Her life is pretty much ruined after all this. In these times, women were objects, and no one cared what they thought or how they were treated, as seen here. Although we see the women of the Bible as strong, they are still second to men, and sometimes, they are not seen at all, as Dinah is here.
FUN FACTS ABOUT DINAH
Dinah is the only mentioned daughter of Jacob in the Bible