27.5 BSF Matthew Week 27, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

I thought there was an interesting parallel between Herod and Lot in our verses today.  Both men had moved along side others who did not believe in God.  They had started “in the family” of Abraham, but had entwined themselves and their families into the culture around them.  Both men served as judges in their communities.  We have Lot’s wife.  We have Herodius, Herod’s wife.  We have The Angel of The Lord appearing at Lot’s doorstep.  We have the Lord appearing at Herod’s.  But Lot leaves this life behind and follows the Angel of the Lord out.  Herod stays and sends the Lord away – mocking him for being who he is, the King whom Herod should have fallen down and worshiped.

I also found it interesting that we begin our trek with Jesus to see Pilate with the words of Jesus quoting from Daniel: “From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”  That was the “blasphemous” statement.  That Jesus, the Son of Man, would be the one sitting in the judgement seat at the right hand of God.

We reach our climax with Pilate, where else than at his “judge’s seat.”  Matt 27:19, “While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat“.

Some people have a reclining chair, where they recline.  Some have a reading chair where they read.  In the children’s show, Blue’s Clues, there is a thinking chair where they think.  I just assumed if someone had a judge’s seat, they would judge.  But despite having a special chair for this very purpose, the one thing Pilate fails to do is judge.  Instead, he leaves the chair to symbolically wash his hands of being judge while forfeiting the responsibility of judgement to a misguided mob.  “I find no basis for a charge against him”, yet still turned him over to be flogged and executed.

For the high priests and teachers of the law, this scene must have brought to mind the warning that the Prophet Jeremiah had given for the Kings of Judah in Jeremiah 22.  “Thus says the LORD, “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.”  “”But if you will not obey these words, I swear by Myself,” declares the LORD, “that this house will become a desolation.”‘”

How well do we heed these words in our own lives?  What responsibility do I try to avoid and delegate to someone else?  What tough stand do I attempt to “wash my hands of” instead of doing what is right and just (and unpopular with the crowd)?

My Answers:

11.
a.
Entertainment, a show. Hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort

b.
Killed John the Baptist

c.
He was a jew, he knew the prophecy and scripture about the Messiah, he knew the teaching of JTB and of Jesus

d.
Having heard the gospel demands an appropriate response

12.
a.
I find no basis for a charge against him, John 18:38; told by wife He was innocent Matt 27:19; I am innocent of this man’s blood, Matt 27:24;

b.
we have no right to execute anyone, unable to participate in passover, John 18:28-32

c.
Self-serving – His position was tenuous before Caesar, if crowd revolted against him would look bad

d.
Serve the Lord, not men and not myself

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27.4 BSF Matthew Week 27, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

Restitution: recompense for injury or loss.

Recompense: make amends to (someone) for loss or harm suffered; compensate.

In our common understanding, for justice to exist there must be restitution and recompense for wrongs committed against another.  For example, if I break your window, it is only just that I pay to have the window repaired or replaced.  Anything less is unfair and unjust.  Even when there is an act of forgiveness, the need for repair doesn’t just vanish, it shifts to someone else (most commonly the one giving forgiveness) to pay the price.  Again, for there to be resolution, the broken window can’t stay broken forever.

But what about when the wrong is something that cannot be set right again?  That is the situation that we find with Peter and Judas.

Peter knew who Jesus was.  He had professed it through the power of the Holy Spirit in Matthew 16:16.  But during the time that he should have been praying, having been warned that Satan had asked to sift him as wheat, he slept.  Not once, but 3 times.

When temptation came through a young girl, but really through his own fear, he faltered and denied that he knew Jesus.  Not once, but 3 times.

He had no way of taking back that he slept.  You can’t “unsleep”.  He couldn’t stay awake at a different time to make up for it.  He had no way of taking back the words that he said.  Acknowledging Jesus in the future wouldn’t change his denial.

The same with Judas.  He tried to give back the 30 coins.  He spoke aloud of Jesus as an innocent man.  But his action was not so easily reversed.

Neither man had the capacity to “make things right” nor could they ever have that capacity on their own.  It was a dead end road that led off the side of a cliff.

Both men felt regret and sorrow, but only one man made a U-Turn.  Only one man would run to the empty tomb.  Only one man would profess his love to the one who paid the price for his wrong.

Jesus’ prayer for Peter wasn’t that he would live in a bubble and avoid all temptation. Luke 22:32, “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Turning back is the critical component.

 

My Answers:

8.
a.
1. profession: You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Mt16:16, 2. temptation: Satan asked to sift you as wheat, L22:31, 3. Jesus prophecies, L22, 4. Jesus Prays for Peter, 5. Peter in denial (die before), 6. Prophecy fulfilled – temptation 7. stronger

b.
when I am tempted and attempt to rely on my own strength instead of Christ’s

9.
a.
denial not betrayal. repent not regret, strengthen others not suicide

b.
Acts 2:14, Peter addresses the crowd and converts 3000

c.
regret is a bad or sad feeling. repentance acknowledges sin against God and requests His forgiveness then change

d.
premeditated (30 silver Mt26:14-16 ). Free choice (Jesus predicts and offers bread to Judas, Judas took bread) J13:27

10.
Annas to Jesus about disciples and teaching: All in the open ask anyone, nothing wrong; servant girl to Peter, you a disciple? No. Peter asked if he was with Jesus, no threat, no injury, no abuse, no bonds, just questions from simple people. Jesus accused by powerful foes who want to kill him

27.3 BSF Matthew Week 27, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

There is an old saying about not being able to see the forest because all of these trees are in the way.  That was the challenge for the high priests.  Their day-to-day reality was that of a nation living in the presence of a more powerful occupying army.  They were the religious leaders, but also the leaders of real, flesh and blood people and families all of a shared ancestry and nationality.  They lead, but they did not have power or authority.  That, in their view, belonged to Rome.

To set the stage for our study today, we really need to step back in time to John 11.  This is the story about Jesus coming at the call or Mary and Martha and then calling Lazarus out from the tomb.  He raised him from the dead in the presence of lots and lots of witnesses right outside of Jerusalem.  Picking this up in John 11 starting in verse 45: “

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

 

See, this is the story within the story – the trees within the forest.  Never does the high priest, whether the puppet master (Annas) or the current high priest (Caiaphas), ever contradict Jesus.  Their words and actions do not once deny that He is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.  They do not say that this man, Jesus, is not the messiah.  Jesus points out that their words and actions actually do the opposite.  Matt 26:63-64, “Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”  “You have said so,” Jesus replied.

Maybe they had doubts.  Maybe they didn’t want to believe.  Maybe their hearts were hardened.  Maybe they could not picture this man standing in front of them being the same one who would come on a cloud.  But I think as much as anything, in their little world, it simply didn’t matter if Jesus was the Messiah.  He wasn’t going to set them free from Rome.  If He kept going, Rome was simply going to come in and take away their temple and their nation and where would they be then?  In their world, it was better that one innocent man die than risk that happening.

It just so happened that their solution (Jesus’ death) and God’s solution (Jesus’ death) coincided.  But their plans ended in death and Jesus’ plans did not.  He had already shown, with Lazarus, his power over death.  His viewpoint of the forest was one from the vantage point of heaven and eternity.

My Answers:

5.
a.
Annas

b.
the father in law of Caiaphas

6.
a.
(1) false witnesses, “I am able to destroy temple and rebuild”, no answer? (2) oath, are you God? you say so (3) spit, strike

b.
made plans how to have Jesus executed, bound Him, led Him to Pilate

7.
a.
The son of man coming with the clouds of heaven – the one with authority, glory, power, worshiped, dominion

b.
It is a transition from Jesus work on earth to His glory in heaven. Their words and actions have led to prophecy fulfilled.

c.
He was the one, the Messiah, the Son of Man spoken of in prophecy – not blasphemy if true

27.2 BSF Matthew Week 27, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

A large crowd had made its way to Jerusalem for celebration of the passover.  They had begun arriving the week before.  5 days before Jesus had been all the buzz and a large crowd had gone out to find him at the dinner at Lazarus’ house.  This was when Mary had anointed Jesus with the perfume.  4 days before Jesus had ridden into Jerusalem to the cheers of the crowd.  Hosanna!  Blessed is the King of Israel.  Tonight they show up as an armed mob with torches and clubs and betrayal and hatred on their lips. Tomorrow they will be screaming for his execution in the most brutal and demeaning manner possible.

What did Jesus do in less than 4 days time that went from triumphant and joyful arrival to rejection and hatred of him?  It isn’t what He did that was the problem.  It is what He didn’t do.  He didn’t change who He was to become who they wanted him to be.

God is immutable.  Unlike the crowd and popular opinion, He doesn’t change; never has, never will, and we humans get frustrated by that.  Why doesn’t God…?  How can God….?  That… may have been true back then but we know….

Our challenge today is the same challenge of that day.  All too often the basis of our perception of God is in what we think or what we have been told rather than what the bible actually says.  According to a 2013 research study by the Barna Group, more Americans had read Twilight, the Hunger Games and 50 Shades of Grey than had read the bible cover to cover.  Of those who do read the bible only 26% read it regularly with 57% touching it less than 4 times per year.  Yet, we have no limit to our opinions about who God is and how He should behave and what He would or should say!

Beware of crowds.  Beware of the “wisdom of our age”.  Beware of popular opinion.  Beware of your own strength and your own opinion.  There is only one place in which to place your trust, one source that will last beyond both earth and heaven because it is true and unchanging: the word of our Lord.

We are quickly approaching the end of our study of Matthew – what will you do this summer to not fall into temptation?

My Answers:

3.
a.
Peter

b.
battle between the large crowd with sword and clubs and the handful of apostles

c.
Jesus had outlined what would happen – He was in control, but Peter was in denial of that control over the situation

d.
mostly in the form of worry and stress. They don’t yield results but submitting to God does

4.
a.
betrayed with a kiss, captured with swords and clubs, deserted by apostles

b.
attackers drew back and fell to the ground

c.
let these men go, I have not lost one of those you gave me, healed the man’s ear

d.
shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?

26 BSF Matthew Week 26, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

Jesus made the choice to be killed on the cross.  It wasn’t forced on Him.  It wasn’t a surprise.  He made the choice to yield completely to His Father’s will.  And the fulfillment of that will was for His death and resurrection.

But that did not mean Jesus ran blindly into the fray.  He worked incredibly hard to ensure He stayed firmly in the will of Abba, Father.  He prayed intensely.  Not trying to change God.  Not trying to make a deal or to get out of something.  He prayed to completely and clearly understand God’s timing.

The scriptures imply that He prayed for approximately an hour at a time, with 3 trips.  Each time He asked a question and He listened, intensely.  I don’t have any issue asking God questions, but I struggle to listen.  My mind wanders, my stomach grows, my knees ache, and I get distracted.  The spirit is willing but the body is weak.

How can we follow Christ’s example?  We can bring a friend for support.  We can find a quiet place away from the normal situations of life.  We can be focused and keep it simple.  We can not negotiate but concentrate on being fully in God’s will.

There is peace in prayer, a peace that comes not from our own understanding, but comes from submission to God’s design.

 

My Answers:

11.
a.
joy, life, self-determination/will, justice, reputation, Enough!

b.
watch and pray so you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Still sleeping? The hour has com

c.
distress, despair, a branch bending completely to the will of the Father but not breaking

12.
Abba, everything is possible with you, “couldn’t you keep watch 1 hour?” withdrew about a stone’s throw, knelt down, angel appeared and strengthened Him, prayed more earnestly and his sweat was like drops of blood falling, exhausted from sorrow

13.
a.
Abba, everything is possible with you, “couldn’t you keep watch 1 hour?” withdrew about a stone’s throw, knelt down, angel appeared and strengthened Him, prayed more earnestly and his sweat was like drops of blood falling, exhausted from sorrow

26 BSF Matthew Week 26, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

I love Peter because I can see my own dimwitted self reflected in his approach to things.  I have no doubt of his immense love and admiration for Jesus.  I have no doubt that he recognized, through the power of the holy spirit, who Christ was, just as it is written in the scriptures.  But he gets in his own way.

Basically he says, I know you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Creator of all, All-Knowing, All-Powerful, Eternal, but, uh, you’re wrong.  I know better than you do.

Jesus didn’t ask them, he told them what would happen.  But instead of accepting this and using this knowledge as strength, Peter jumps into denial.  In his journal down the river of denial he and the other apostles miss the promise of a risen Lord to meet with them in Galilee.  They want to take up arms to prevent this from happening.  While they think they will raise up arms to be standing for Jesus, they in fact are standing in direct opposition to the words and promise he has just made.  This is not a surprise to Jesus.  He is not a victim.  He knows who, what, when, where, why and how.  There is no mystery.  There is simply a gift.

How often do I argue with God?  Every time I insist on doing things my way first, I tell Him I know better.  Every time I rely on myself more than on Him, I yield to temptation.

But, there is one other amazing part in these verses and that is Jesus prayer for Peter in Luke 22:32 – “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”  Temptation and testing is not something to just be endured and survived, it is something that strengthens us so that we can strengthen others.  Like exercise, it may tear us down and wear us out temporarily, but when we heal, we heal stronger.

My Answers:

8.
a.
Contradicted Jesus – Convicting that I will never fall away while simultaneously doubting Jesus’ word

b.
33. Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will

c.
Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you (other disciples agreed)

9.
a.
i.
There are no surprises – Satan is only allowed to tempt/test God’s people as God allows

ii.
Self confidence will not prevail, only trust in the Lord

iii.
Prays for us and directs us to use strength given through trials

b.
Reluctance to be a cheerful giver has given me insight into understanding the traps of “wealth management”

10.
a.
you will all fall away on account of me

b.
After I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee

26 BSF Matthew Week 26, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

From the beginning of time God had designed the feast of passover to be a forebearing of the gift of salvation and life through His son.  The chief priests and elders were plotting to murder Jesus, “but not during the festival.”  However, there plans were no mystery to Christ and their timing was not how things were to be.

For them passover had become a meal and a time of reflection of looking back.  We do this today with our own feasts and celebrations.  We prepare for weeks for a big party or to host a big dinner and then we just want to crash, to take a nap.

But that wasn’t what passover was supposed to be about.  Yes, it was a time of remembrance, but they were to remember the entire thing.  Look at Exodus 12:11 – This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.  The passover meal wasn’t the ending.  The day of passover wasn’t the goal.  It was the doorway that was to be passed through to enter freedom and salvation, to live as a people set apart for God.  It is a time of looking forward to the promise.

That is also the message of the cross.  Jesus’ death at passover wasn’t an ending, it was an opening of a doorway.  We can get so busy and focuses on the event and the meal that we, too, can forget, when the sun rises we are to be ready to go out into the world and proclaim the good news of freedom.

My Answers:

6.
a.
Passover

b.
Final Egypt plague, death of first born, the angel of death passed over the household’s marked with lamb’s blood

c.
perfect lamb, without blemish, family/community, killed at twilight (not sunset), hyssop branches used to paint blood over door (same branches used to give vinegar to Jesus), that night judgment brought upon all false gods, households saved by the blood of the lamb

7.
a.
Luke: He took, gave thanks, broke it, gave it, “body given for you, remember, cup new cov. blood, for U.
John: I am living bread, eat and live forever, unless you remember you have no life, but do and live
1Pete1: precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect
1Pete2: He himself bore our sins, might die to sin, live in righteousness, by his wounds have been healed
1John: walk in light, fellowship with one another, purified of sin by blood of Jesus

b.
It is a new covenant and when you eat and drink, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes again

c.
Focus is not just on my sin and forgiveness, but a joy of salvation, His return and eternity through this promise