Flemingsburg Baptist Church Youth Group

Love God, Love People, Serve the World Starting One Home at a Time.

Category: Walk Through of the Bible

Peter’s Mother-in-Law and Others Healed (MT 8:14-17 & 4:23-24, MK 1:29-39, LK 4:38:44)

The most dominant themes in this passage is Jesus’ authority in teaching and his authority over disease and the spirit world.  The miracles show that Jesus’ authority over both spirits and disease is not incomplete or the result of chance.  They point to the nature of the times and the identity of His person.

The instantaneousness of the healings shows in another way the totality and consistency of this authority.  The main point that Luke is trying to communicate is that we focus on Jesus’ power, which liberates humanity.  That some of these healings involve supernatural forces implies a most fundamental liberation – one from the power of evil.

Last week in the passage about Jesus’ authority to teach being confirmed by the healing of a demon possessed man followed the structure of teaching, exorcism, and healing.  Our passage today goes in reverse order, it goes healing, exorcism, and then preaching.

Healing

In this part of the passage, we see that Jesus had come to Peter’s house and saw that Peter’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever.  Jewish law forbid touching of a person with a fever.  However, Jesus healed with a touch.  The touch of Jesus did not defile the healer, but healed the defiled (Carson, 1995).  The instantaneousness of the healings shows in another way the totality and consistency of this authority.

Exorcism

We see that when people had heard about this miracle that they waited until night and then brought their sick to Jesus.  The reason they waited until night was because it was the Sabbath.  Jewish law prevented people from traveling very far on the Sabbath.  In Matthew 8:17 we see that Jesus did these miracles in order to fulfill the prophecy, “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases”, which comes from Isaiah 53:4.

When Jesus casts out demons, it shows that the kingdom of God is advancing, driving back the power of the enemy over people’s lives.  However, the people come to Jesus, not because they recognized his dignity and function, but because it is rumored that a miracle worker has come in their midst.  Jesus has come to preach repentance and the nearness of the kingdom, but the people think only of relief from pain and affliction.  They fail to perceive the significance of Jesus’ conflict with demonic power.

Though it was late and the sun was setting, Jesus did not miraculously perform an instantaneous “group healing” but paid individual attention to each person.  In compassion and grace Jesus extends to them authentic healing, but it is not primarily for this purpose that he has come.  In the morning, Jesus withdraws from the village and the clamoring crowds.

Preaching

            Before going to preach to others, Jesus deliberately withdraws from the people to return to an area that is remote.

Why would Jesus withdraw from people wanting to worship him?

I believe that Jesus withdraws for two reasons.  First, is because the crowds had found him to be useful.  Jesus does not want to be worshiped because He is useful.  The crowds followed and worshipped him because He was useful in the healing of the sick.  Who would not want to follow a guy like that.  However, God does not want to be worshiped because of what He can do for you, but because He is the only thing in this world that deserves to be worshiped.  God wants to be worshiped because He is God, not because he can make you feel better.

The second reason I believe that Jesus withdraws from the large crowds is so that He can prepare himself to go and minister to others.  Jesus’ mission was to come and proclaim that the Kingdom of God was near.  His healings were evidence of His teachings and his authority, not just to heal people.  His purpose is not to heal as many people as possible as a manifestation of the kingdom of God drawn near in his person, but to confront men with the demand for decision in the perspective of God’s absolute claim upon their person.  (Lane, 1974)

Conclusion

Our passage today has shown that Jesus’ ministry is a mixture of authoritative teaching and healing.  The healings are meant to give proof to the teachings, however, many hyper-focus on the miracles rather than His teachings.  Jesus Christ, the anointed one, has great authority and power.  His power extends into the hidden world and rules cosmic forces.  Such power can free a person from the evil forces that affect live.  It is teaching in action, an illustration of his power.  Jesus is no mere moralist.  Neither is he merely a great motivator or psychologist.  He is one with authority to defeat the evil forces that can dominate humanity.  Jesus can deal with the evil one and restore people.  (Bock, 1994)

Acts To Revelations

OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE

Acts through Revelation; Questions and AnswersSession #5

Book of Acts — historical book, giving the account of the early church

Acts 1:3 —

He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

Jesus is alive!  And His followers are excited.

He spoke about the “kingdom of God”

Acts 1:8 —

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The job description of Jesus’ followers is that they are to be witnesses, starting at home (Jerusalem) then “rippling out to Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth.

[cross-reference with Matt. 28:18-20 — the Great Commission]

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Jesus was calling them to be Witnesses of the Good News and to deliver the greatest news to ever hit the human planet

Acts 1:9-11 —

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

the Ascension of Jesus

The angels then promise that JESUS IS COMING AGAIN.

Acts 2:1-5 —

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.  Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.

the Jewish people were coming to Jerusalem for the feast of “Pentecost” — 50 days after Passover Sabbath (these two, along with the “Feast of Tabernacles,” were the three times Jews would come from all over the known world to Jerusalem).

Devout people from every nation under heaven.

Acts 2:14 —

But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.

Peter is going to preach one of his two sermons in Acts, and proclaim Jesus is the Messiah they’ve been waiting for.

vs. 41 –

So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

3,000 people believe.

In Acts 4:4,

But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.

another 5,000 are added.  This causes quite a stir, and a conflict between the rabbis and other Jewish leaders who are holding to tradition.

Acts 4:18-21 —

So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened.

Jesus’ followers are told to stop.

Acts 5:27-28 —

And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”

the word had spread all over Jerusalem.  (cf. Acts 1:8)

Key verse:  Acts 5:29 —

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

“We must obey God, not men.”

Four key people in the book of Acts:

• Stephen

• Philip

• Peter

• Paul

Acts 7 — “a costly history lesson” — Stephen gives a recap of Jewish history, from Abraham through Solomon.

Acts 7:1-8; 9-16; 17-44; 45-50

Acts 7:51-52 and 54-60 — The Jewish leaders are outraged and stone him.  They lay their coats at the feet of “a young man named Saul.”  Saul later becomes Paul.

Acts 8:26-38 — We meet Philip, who is called to go from Jerusalem down to Gaza, where he will meet the Ethiopian eunuch, who is reading from Isaiah 53.  Here again, God sends Philip on this mission to meet ONE PERSON — God’s interest in the individual.

Key verse:  Acts 8:35 —

Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.

“Starting from this passage of scripture (Isaiah 53), he told him the Good News about Jesus.”

Acts 9:1-6 —

But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”

We meet Saul, and read of his conversion.

Notice his two questions:  “Who are You?” and “What would you have me to do?” — 2 great questions!

Those are 2 great questions for us to ask — “God reveal yourself to me!”

Ananias helps fold him into the kingdom — in spite of many reservations!  (Paul must have seemed like a double agent!)

If you were one of Jesus’ followers, how would you have reacted?  It’s a trick!

All his life, Paul has to fight to defend his “apostleship.”

Acts 10:9-48 — God confronts Peter with his plan to release the gospel to the Gentiles

[Peter still becomes “the apostle to the Jews” while Paul becomes the “apostle to the Gentiles” —

This brings us to the 3 big missionary journeys of the apostles (Paul is central), which are recorded from chapters 13 to 21.

Acts 1:8, “the whole world”

Galatians and James were written during the first missionary journey.

1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, etc. were written during the second missionary journey.

NOTE when/where letters were written!

Acts 17:22-31

So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for“‘ In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

Paul in Athens, realizes that the people are basically idol worshippers, rather than “philosophers” as they see themselves.  He uses the “unknown god” from their own culture to point them to the true and living God.

Acts 15 — “The Jerusalem Council” shows that Christians don’t have to be Jews first (practice Jewish traditions).

We are justified by FAITH (refer back to Abraham).

Peter agrees to go to the Jews, and Paul to the Gentiles.

Acts 22:25-29

But when they had stretched him out for the whips, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it lawful for you to flog a man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned?” When the centurion heard this, he went to the tribune and said to him, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.” So the tribune came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” And he said, “Yes.” The tribune answered, “I bought this citizenship for a large sum.” Paul said, “But I am a citizen by birth.” So those who were about to examine him withdrew from him immediately, and the tribune also was afraid, for he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had bound him.

Paul is persecuted, whipped, beaten, etc. — but he’s a Roman citizen, so he appeals to Ceasar, and is then protected, but taken to Rome.  He goes before all this different authorities, Kings, etc. and gives them an account of what’s happened to him.

Acts 28:27-28 —

For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed;
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them.’
Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”

“this people’s heart has become calloused” and “God’s message of salvation has been sent to the Gentiles — they will listen!”

That’s the end of the HISTORY of the Bible.  Tradition says that in about 65 A.D., Paul is beheaded.  Peter is crucified upside down.  Most of the early apostles were murdered because of their faith in Christ.

One exception is John, who is exiled on Patmos and writes Revelation.

Then in 72 A.D., Titus comes in and wipes out Jerusalem and the Temple.

“Church history” picks up here

There are 21 EPISTLES — mainly written by Peter, James, John and Paul (primarily Paul – 13 of them). They clarify and document the events in Acts.

They talk about many topics (i.e. of God, Man, Salvation, Holy Spirit, justification, sanctification, reconciliation, redemption, church administrations, etc.)  To sum it up, the epistles, they tell us how to live the Christian life. 

But to give us an idea of what’s contained in the epistles…..

Romans Chapters 1-3 –we see that we have all fallen short of the glory of God and are sinners. — esp. Rom. 3:23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 5:8-17 —

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

JUSTIFIED means ” to be declared righteous” — “just as if I’d never sinned”  We are saved from the wrath of God.

RECONCILED means “to make enemies friends” — to summarize:  Judgment has turned to Grace!

Rom. 5:20 —

Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,

no person is too sinful to ever be forgiven if they will trust in Jesus.  As we see with the example of Paul who was on his way to persecute Christians, before accepting Christ.

Romans 6:23 —

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“The wages of sin are death, BUT with the free gift of God…”  Judgment turned into Grace!

Romans 8:28 —

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

one of the most precious verses in the Bible!            And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

1 Corinthians 15:12-20 —

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.  But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

The importance of THE RESURRECTION.  If Christ is not raised, everything we believe is pointless!  But He is!  And now we have this tremendous HOPE!

Christianity is the only religion whose founder didn’t stay in the grave.  It’s also the only religion where God seeks man rather than man “earning” his way to God.

2 Cor. 4:3-4 —

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

“the god of this age” — Satan — blinds people’s minds so they can’t see the truth of the gospel, and the central truth that Jesus is who He said He is.

Galatians 3:28-29 —

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

“you are all one in Christ Jesus” — God doesn’t show favor based on human status.

Ephesians 1:13-14 —

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

“you were marked with Him as a seal — the Holy Spirit”  The Holy Spirit is a “downpayment” until Christ returns — power to live as God wants you to

Ephesians 2:8-10 —

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

“It is by grace you have been saved through faith….”  We’re not saved through works, but genuine salvation results in good works.

Ephesians 6:12 —

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood…..” — we’re in SPIRITUAL warfare…..

Phil. 4:6-7 —

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

the Bible has practical answers to the problems we face in life!

Col. 1:17 —

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

In Him all things hold together

Then on to Revelation — means “unveiling”

Some people say it’s very simple, others say it’s very difficult.  Either way, it’s very PROFOUND.  There are some things in Revelation we really need to know.  Words like “second coming, tribulation, rapture, etc.”

A variety of views on the specifics, but there are at least three things that all pretty much agree upon:

1.  The triumph and glory of Jesus Christ — Christ takes center stage on the throne of glory.  He is the winner, the ruler, the judge.  See Rev. 5:9-14

And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

2.  The judgment and total defeat of evil.   Satan was defeated at the cross  See Rev. 20:10-15

and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

3.  Jesus will make everything new.  See Rev. 21:1-7

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

(the New Jerusalem is described in the rest of chapter 21 there’s no longer a need for a “temple”!! Because Sin no longer seperates us from God.)  (Also, note verse 27 — only those whose name is in the Lamb’s book of life will enter there.)

Rev. 22:1-3 —

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.

A return to paradise!!

Rev. 22:16-21 —

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
Then the Bible ends with a promise that JESUS IS COMING AGAIN!!

Session 4 The Life of Jesus Christ

OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE

New Testament Life of Christ — Session #4

There are 66 books in the Bible — 27 in the New Testament and 39 in the Old Testament.

Look at the “summary” of the New Testament

This is how the New Testament is put together:

• 4 gospels (3 synoptic — talk about common things — Matthew, Mark, Luke —

John is “different” — written from a different point of view)

• 1 history book — Acts

• 21 letters — 13 are from Paul (titles are who they are written to); 8 others who they are from

• 1 book of prophecy — Revelation

The books are not “in order” — most think Galatians was written first.  They do generally move from the longer books to the shorter books (with the exception of Revelation).

Look at the “comparison” of the 4 gospels:

• Matthew, Mark and Luke (the “synoptic gospels” — means “in common or “same point of view”) have common miracles and teachings but were written by different people for different reasons and from different viewpoints

Matthew was a Jewish tax collector, and thinks “topical” rather than chronological

Mark was a missionary, wrote to Gentiles, and arranges chronologically

Luke was a physician, very logical and detail-oriented and chronological

John was a fisherman, whose focus was topical.

How does John differ from the “synoptic” gospels?

John focuses on the DEITY of Christ

Synoptic gospels focus on the HUMANITY of Christ

John focuses on the Judean ministry of Jesus (south)

Synoptic gospels focus on the Galilean ministry of Jesus (north)

Matt. 1:1ff. and Luke 3:23ff.

Geneology and lineages of Jesus (the line of promise).

Matthew traces the lineage of JOSEPH, starting with Abraham (line of promise).

Luke traces the lineage of MARY, starting at Mary and working back to Adam.

As a Hebrew writing for Hebrews Matthew begins his genealogy with Abraham and descends to Jesus.

As a Gentile writing for Gentiles, Luke begins his genealogy with Jesus the Son of God and ascends to Adam, the father of all men.

Look mainly at Luke — chronological account; written for non-Jews; gives explanations

Luke 1:1-4 — Luke, a physician, researched these things — historically accurate;

Luke 1:26-33 — shows the line of DAVID and the tribe of JUDAH.

Verse 33 says that the reign of Jesus will never, ever end.

As Isaiah 7:14 (p. 669) said, “a VIRGIN shall conceive”.

Matt. 1:22-23 — EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US.

Micah 5:2 Bethlehem is predicted as the birthplace of the Messiah (over 700 years B.C.!!)

Luke 2:4 — Jesus was born in BETHLEHEM, the town of DAVID.

Promised Offspring of Abraham (Gen. 18:18; Matt. 1:1)

Promised Offspring of Isaac (Gen. 17:19; Matt. 1:2)

Promised Offspring of Jacob (Num. 24:17; Matt. 1:2)

Will descend from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10; Matt. 1:2-3)

The Heir to the Throne of David (Isa 9:7; Matt. 1:1)

Born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14; Mt. 1:18)

Place of Birth (Micah 5:2; Mt. 2:1)

John 7:41-42 — “Others said, ‘He is the Christ.’  Still others asked, ‘How can the Christ come from Galilee?  Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David’s family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?”

His birth divides history — B.C. and A.D. “in the year of our Lord”

Luke 2:25-35

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.” And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

We meet Simeon, who had studied the Old Testament scriptures, and had been promised by God that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah.

Also, we see that Messiah is for both Jew and Gentile.  (Isaiah said that Messiah would be “a light to the nations”.)

Even though it came through a Jewish line, the promise would benefit all mankind.

At the same time, it says (v. 34) that Jesus would cause some problems, so that (v. 35) the thoughts of people’s hearts would be exposed!

People will need to make a decision about Him; not remain neutral.

From the time Jesus is 8 days old until the time he’s 12 YEARS old, there is no account of Jesus’ life.

Mary and Joseph had to flee from Bethlehem to Egypt, then Nazareth because of the Wise Men story where Herod kills all the baby boys age 2 and under.

Luke 2:41-50

Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them.

Where did Passover come from?

They were celebrating PASSOVER at Jerusalem.  A day’s walk outside of Jerusalem, they miss Jesus and return to find Jesus debating the rabbis in the temple.  Here we see Jesus’ relationship with His HEAVENLY father, versus His earthly parents.

Then there’s another jump from age 12 to age 30.

Luke 3

John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin is the “greatest” prophet to date, who heralds the coming of the Messiah.

Luke 3:21-22

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Story of Jesus’ baptism — “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” — Here we have one of the best “pictures” of the Trinity — Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  (Refer back to Genesis, “Let US make man in OUR image…”)  The idea of “multiplicity” within a singular nature.

 

  Life of Christ

predictions concerning Jesus.

(There are 333 prophecies that Jesus is going to fulfill during his life, death, resurrection, Ascension, etc.)

(30 are fulfilled just on the day He dies)

Someone has figured out the statistical probability of that happening — if you put an X on one quarter, and filled the state of Texas with stacks of 7 quarters each, the likelihood of a helicopter landing and finding that one quarter matches the odds of one man fulfilling all those prophecies as Jesus did.

Jesus’ baptism announces His public ministry.

Now He goes to choose His 12 disciples — (Luke 5) “I will make you fishers of men…”

Let’s look at some episodes from the life of Christ; turn to the Gospel of John

John 3:1-16

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

The account of Nicodemus (a Pharisee — one of the three groups of the Pharisees, the Herodians and the Sadducees, who each had their own fine-tuned interpretation of what’s most important in the law…).

Jesus says “you must be born again” — he also “goes after Nicodemus’ heart!” — even the very good men of Jesus’ day were not “good enough” — it’s a HEART issue.

Also, he refers to the “snake Moses lifted up in the wilderness” and shows what that event was pointing to — Him!

You “look up” at the one who has been provided to save you!

John 4:1-4

Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria.

Jesus talks with a Samaritan woman

The story of Jesus’ encounter with the SAMARITAN “woman at the well” (review the Judean Jews hatred of the half-breed Samaritans.

vs. 4 — yet Jesus “had to go through Samaria” — not a geographical necessity; a people necessity

Reminder that God knows where we are!

John 4:20-24

Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

(Review Jeroboam’s setting up of the “northern” mountain places of idol worship.)

vs. 22 – Jesus says that the “line of promise” is a pure Jewish line.

He also says that WHERE you worship isn’t important — it’s an issue of the HEART!

God is a SPIRIT and He must be worshipped in spirit and in truth.

John 4:25-26

The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

The power of Jesus’ words to her:  “I AM the One you’ve been looking for.”

(ask group)  What does this teach us about Jesus?

He cares about individuals — he shows the value of one (that’s why He went TO (not just

THROUGH) Samaria.  She needs to know the Savior of the world!

He cares about those the world would tend to cast aside (a prostitute)

He knows us inside and out.

He confronts us with Who He is and Who we are.

Many other examples:  Zacchaeus, blind man named Bartimaeus, bleeding woman who touched His garment, — over and over Jesus approaches INDIVIDUALS and shows His interest in them.

John 5:17-24

But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

Jesus claims equality with God

Focus on verse 24 — when I look up in belief to Jesus (like the bronze serpent), I pass RIGHT THEN from death into life!

I don’t have to die before I can experience freedom!

I can know my eternal destiny; NOT because I’m a good person or anything else but through faith.

John 8:54-59

Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

Jesus uses very severe language with the Pharisees, and claims to have seen Abraham — “Before Abraham was, I AM.”  [Note the reference to Yahweh – I AM – as to Moses.]

To the Pharisees, this was blasphemy!  That’s why they wanted to stone Him.

Other I AM sayings of Jesus:

• the way, the truth and the life

• the vine

• the bread of life

• the light of the world

• the resurrection and the life

• the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end

• the good shepherd

John 10:27-30

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

What a comfort to have the assurance that nothing can “snatch” us out of God’s hand once we’ve entered relationship with Him!  (i.e. when we fear death, or the death of a loved one)  We are “double clutched” by the hand of Jesus, and in turn by the hand of the Father.

Miracles —

• He walks on water

• He feeds 5,000

• He heals diseases

• He cures the blind and lame

• He raises people from the dead

Parables —

A PARABLE example:

Mark 4:1-9 — Parable of the Sower — differing responses to the message

Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

After his three year ministry of teaching and miracles, Jesus’ life culminates in the cross.

Jesus’ PASSION week — follows his 3-year ministry.  He goes to Jerusalem.  Four fifths of the gospels’ material deals with non-passion events.  One fifth of the gospels deal with PASSION week alone — it must be very important!

 

Luke 19:41-44

And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Jesus gets the donkey to ride into Jerusalem — His triumphant entry to Jerusalem.

Then, he WEEPS over Jerusalem, because they don’t recognize Him as Messiah, and because He looks ahead and sees the destruction of Jerusalem, when one stone will not be left upon another.  [This will happen in 72 A.D., when Titus comes in and wipes out the Temple.  Today, all that’s left is the “wailing wall” or “Western wall” which was a sort of supporting wall or buttress for the temple (not part of the temple itself).]

It HURTS Jesus when people reject Him!

Of course, the first people who believe in Jesus are Jewish people.  Jesus’ weeping was over the masses who won’t.  Jesus is willing to die for those who had totally rejected Him!

He asks the disciples to prepare the “last supper.”  [Maundy (or “command”) Thursday or Holy Thursday].

Jesus knows He’s going to die, so He goes to Gethsemene where He prays an agonizing prayer of struggle.  We see the HUMANNESS of Jesus here.  He perspires drops of blood over it, but yields His will to the Father.

Jesus gets criss-crossed between Pilate and Herod and Pilate again.  Finally Pilate “washes his hands” of Jesus, bows to the will of the mob and has Jesus crucified.

Matt. 27:45-51

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.

Jesus’ words on the cross…..

Why would Jesus say “why have You forsaken me?” — God is holy, and cannot look upon iniquity and sin.  For that second, God the Father turns His back on the SCAPEGOAT that bears the sin of the people [cross-reference back to Old Testament scapegoat].

When Jesus was sweating blood in Gethsemene, He wasn’t thinking about nails in His hands, He was thinking about the separation from God!

Is that love or what!

Later, in the epistles, we read:  “He made Him who know no sin to be sin for us that we might be the righteousness of God in Him”

The foot-thick curtain, 40 feet high, separating the people from the “Holy of Holies” is torn from top to bottom.

Now we can go DIRECTLY to the throne of God!  The death of Jesus has phenomenal impact — we have access to the Holy of Holies!

Jesus dies on Good Friday, and all the disciples are distraught.  Then comes Easter morning!

Matt. 28:6

He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.

He is not here!  He is risen!

John 20:19-20 —

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

Jesus shows Himself to His disciples

vs. 24-29 —

Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus shows Himself to “Doubting Thomas”

vs. 30-31 —

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

The purpose — that we may believe — and have life!

“One Solitary Life”

An anonymous poet expresses the significance of Jesus’ person and life:

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.

He grew up in still another village where he worked until he was thirty.

Then for three years he was an travelling preacher.

He never wrote a book.  He never held an office.

He never had a family or owned a home.  He didn’t go to college.

He never travelled more than 200 miles from the place he was born.

He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness.

He had no credentials but himself; he was only 33 when public opinion turned against him.

His friends ran away.  He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.

He was nailed to the cross between two thieves.

While he was dying his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth.

When he was dead he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Twenty centuries have come and gone and today he is the central figure of the human race, the leader of mankind’s progress.

All that armies that ever marched,

All the navies that ever sailed,

All the parliaments that ever sat,

All the kings that ever reigned,

Put together, have not affected the life of man on earth

As much as that One Solitary Life.

OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE #3

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Joshua through End of Old Testament

Review of key verses:

Gen. 1:27 — God created man in his own image

Gen. 15:6 — Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him for righteousness

Gen. 50:20 — You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good

Ex. 3:14 — I AM that I AM — I AM has sent you (ever-present God)

KEY THEME:

God is a God of judgment — there are consequences to sin — but along with judgment comes a thread of grace.

Review summary words (one-word clues) for books of the Bible:

If I say Genesis, you say “beginnings”.

If I say Exodus, you say “exit”.

If I say Leviticus, you say “Offerings and Feasts”.

If I say Numbers, you say “wanderings”.

If I say Deuteronomy, you say “second law”.

If I say Joshua, you say “conquest”.

Joshua 1:1-5, 9

God says to Joshua, “Everything that I promised to Moses I promise to you…”

Joshua 3

They cross the Jordan River after God parts it (like the Red Sea).

Joshua 4:1-7

When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”

They place a pile of stones as a monument on the west bank of the Jordan.

KEY POINT:  God wants to be remembered.

God is a jealous God.  When you hear the word “jealous,” do you think of it as positive or negative?

We think of that with a negative connotation, but with God it’s a positive thing — as if someone were taking something that rightfully belonged to you.  He wants the glory.

He deserves the glory by virtue of who He is!  God does not want you to worship something that will not fulfill you, God is the only one that satisfies.  And God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.

 

Isaiah 42:8  “I am the Lord, that is my name, I will not give my glory to another, or my praise to idols.”

Idols can be more than carved statues, they can be sports, video games, the opposite sex, etc.

The Israelite people were to be God’s own people.  They were to go into the land and wipe out the pagan people there (who were sacrificing humans to the false”god” of Molock).

This was a unique period of warfare/judgment (not always the case).

Illus:  cancerous tumor — must be gotten rid of or it will poison the rest of the body

Joshua 6:20-21

So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city. Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword.

Jericho was the first city (where they walk around it 7 times and the walls fall down).

Then at the next city (Ai), they blow it by getting conceited and one man sins, brings judgment on the people.

Joshua – “conquest” – BUT -they didn’t totally destroy all the enemy, and that came back to haunt them.

Judges — “cycles”

This brings us to a period of the Judges, who were military leaders who would lead the people in driving out the enemy.

The key word for Judges is “cycles,” because seven times the same cycle is repeated:

the people sin

an enemy gains victory over them

God raises up a leader to conquer or frustrate the enemy

the people repent and are restored to God, then there is a time of peace

…..until the people sin again.

Famous Judges:

Samson (long hair), Gideon, Deborah, Samuel (the last “Judge” and the first “Prophet”)

There were 17 Judges in all…..

KEY VERSE: — summarize the entire book of Judges

Judges 21:25 — “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit”

Jump over the book of Ruth — a roadside stop; not on the historical highway — but a great read!

Ruth:  “love story” — Boaz and Ruth

I Samuel 8:5-9

and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”

The people came to Samuel and said they wanted a king (like their neighbors).

They wanted to be led by a man rather than by God.

I Samuel 8:10-18

So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

consequences of their wanting a king

I Samuel 8:19-22

But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

they didn’t care about the consequences; they wanted a king!

I Samuel 10:23-24

Then they ran and took him from there. And when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen? There is none like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”

They also chose the wrong criteria for selecting a king

Saul is chosen because he’s tall, dark and handsome.

Israel becomes a united kingdom under three kings:

Saul — had no heart

David — had a whole heart

Solomon — had half a heart

Saul makes several key mistakes:

• He doesn’t completely destroy the enemy as God had commanded

• He saves some of the plunder

• He doesn’t kill off the enemies king (Agag)

• He offers the sacrifice before the battle (which God had said the Levitical tribe should do —                  Samuel — assumes the priest’s authority)

• He becomes jealous of David, who has become popular ever since he defeated Goliath  (Saul has           killed his thousands, but David his ten thousands) — Many of the distressed Psalms              were written while David was on the run from Saul (But David says, “how could I                              kill the Lord’s anointed?”)

• Saul also consults with a fortune teller, participates in witchcraft

Saul ends up committing suicide — falls on his own sword (doesn’t start well, doesn’t finish well)

I Samuel 15:22 — “to obey is better than sacrifice” — KEY VERSE!

1 Samuel 16:1 — God says to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul…..”

God says that Israel chose a king by the wrong criteria.

God’s looking for a man after His own heart.

1 Samuel 16:6-7 — “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart…”

God says,  you give me a shepherd boy with a heart after me, and I’ll turn him into a king!

David is referred to as a man after God’s own heart.

2 Samuel 5:4

David becomes king at age 30.

Starts well, but then blows it

2 Samuel 11 — DON’T READ — Bible is very honest about the failings of its “heroes”

Adultery with Bathsheba; “murder” of her husband, Uriah

Judgment; grace

David’s infant son died — yet God forgave His sin and gave him a new start

Sin has consequences, but God’s grace can overshadow sin.

With God, no mistake is unredeemable!

Even when David sins, he repents and seeks after God, and we see his heart in Psalm 51.

Psalm 51:1-12

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 32:1-5

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

God’s grace

2 Samuel 7:16 — Your house and your kingdom will endure forever…..

David is given a promise that God’s kingdom will be established “forever” through him.

Here again we have the “curse” that comes from sin followed by the “promise” of restoration.

David dies, having done an outstanding job at conquering the land and uniting the kingdom.

I Kings 2:10-12

Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. And the time that David reigned over Israel was forty years. He reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. So Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.

At age 9, Solomon becomes king.

God asks him what he wants, and he asks for a heart of wisdom to rule the people.  (I Kings 3)

God then gives him riches and glory and peace as well — culminated in the building of the glorious temple in Jerusalem.

Now settled in the land, they could actually have a permanent temple building instead of a traveling tabernacle.

Solomon starts out great — in fact the Queen of Sheba (Ethiopia) comes and is impressed with the glory and riches of Solomon’s kingdom.  (I Kings 10)

I Kings 11:1-6

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done.

BUT — Solomon has 700 wives and 300 concubines.  Many were from other peoples who worshipped pagan gods.  They turn Solomon’s heart away from God — and temples fill the land.

Under Saul, David, Solomon — Israel is the “United Kingdom.”

Then we turn to a time period where the kingdom is divided.

Solomon has a son named Rehoboam who becomes king (I Kings 11:42-43).

Rehoboam seeks counsel from 2 groups:  a group of older men and a group of younger men.

The older men say to “serve” the people as king — leadership is service.

The younger people say to tax the people even more than Solomon did.

Rehoboam listens to the younger group, which is a gigantic mistake, and the people rebel.

There’s a split in the kingdom (in 930 B.C.), and 10 of the 12 tribes (all except Judah and Benjamin) go into a “northern kingdom” ruled by Jeroboam.

Jeroboam gathers the 10 tribes together, but the temple is in Jerusalem!  So he sets up his own center of worship in Samaria at Mount Gerezim — in full view of Jacob’s well.

[cross-reference with John 4:1-30, esp. John 4:16-24].

Jeroboam is the first king of the northern kingdom.

After this, the northern kingdom will be ruled by 19 different kings, ALL of whom are evil.  The southern kingdom will be ruled by 20 (19 kings and 1 queen), 8 of whom are good and 12 of whom are evil.

And that is basically a summary of  I & II Kings; I & II Chronicles

I Kings 15:3 — Abijah, Rehoboam’s son (who rules over Judah), does not have the heart that King David had.  God is looking for a king whose heart is his.  Over and over, we read “he followed after the ways of Jeroboam” — one of the main wicked kings — the one who split/led the northern kingdom.

1 Kings 18:17-40 — (long story) Baal is the main religious adversary — Elijah does battle with the prophets of Baal.  (Around the world even today there are many many people who are pleading and crying out for some response from false gods.)  Stories like this happen frequently during the period of the divided kingdom.

God sends in 3 main enemies — 3 conquering, invading nations:

1.  Assyria (Sargon) conquers the northern kingdom and scatters them.

The capital of Assyria is Ninevah [where Jonah and the big fish event takes place — and the whole city of Ninevah repents — that’s the REAL story, not the big fish].

The Assyrians not only scatters the northern kingdom — they intermarry with them, demand worship of idols, etc. — and this is where the SAMARITAN people come from (creating the “half-breeds” that pure-bred Jews in the southern kingdom came to hate — see John 4 meeting between Jesus and the “woman at the well”).

But in the midst of judgment, there is grace — Judah is preserved.

2.  136 years later, Judah is carried away by the Babylonians (Nebechunezzer) — see book of Daniel.

Even though they’re exiled for 70 years, the purity of the race is preserved.

During this time, the 2 major prophets who minister and write are Isaiah and Jeremiah.

(Jeremiah “stays back” with the few people left in Judah — he’s the “weeping prophet” who’s left with the hopeless people who don’t want to hear his message).

This is when “synagogues” come into existence — because they were separated from the temple.

Isaiah 7:14 — “a virgin shall conceive, and she shall call His name Emmanuel” — God with us!

Isaiah 9:6 — “for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders…”

Isaiah 53:3-9 — “He was despised and forsaken of men…..” — “All we like sheep have gone astray” — etc.

(this is written around 700 B.C.)

Isaiah presents a “line of hope” during this awful captivity of 70 years

3.  Persia (Cyrus) comes in and wipes out everybody — as predicted in Isaiah 44!!

Cyrus is predicted as the one who will let the Israelite people go back to their land.

• 50,000 Jews (out of 2 or 3 million) go back in 536 B.C. with Zerubabel (a military leader)

• Ezra is a priest who goes back to

a.) read the word to the people to encourage them, and

b.) rebuild the Temple that was destroyed by the Babylonians when the left

• Nehemiah goes back to manage the rebuilding of the walls around Jerusalem

This is the END of the Old Testament, historically speaking!

The remaining books are prophets (“major” and “minor”), poetic books, etc.

PROPHETS minister to the people during this period.

That’s why the “key words” are important with each book — they tell you how each book fits into this overall context.

From Nehemiah on, there are 400 years of silence — meaning God didn’t speak through His prophet for 400 years.  But in the meantime:

• Alexander the Great conquers from Rome to India — 14,000 miles of kingdom — half the world!  This is the Greek empire — the “Hellenistic” period.

• After the Greeks come the Romans (Julius Casear, Cleopatra, etc.

Summary of the conquerors:  (Assyrians – Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans)

Psalm 106 is a great “recap” of all this history.

Micah 5:2 — Bethlehem is predicted as the birthplace of the Messiah (over 700 years B.C.!!)

“OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE Session #2

“OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE”

Abraham through “the Wanderings”

Session #2

Review summary words (one-word clues) for books of the Bible:

If I say Genesis, you say “beginnings”.

If I say Exodus, you say “exit”.

If I say Leviticus, you say “Offerings and Feasts”.

If I say Numbers, you say “wanderings”.

If I say Deuteronomy, you say “second law”.

If I say Joshua, you say “conquest”.

If I say Judges, you say “cycles”.

Explain how this helps with the historical setting and context.  The one-word clue will remind you what has gone on in that book

Genesis – beginnings

Exodus – exit — need to get to the promised land

Leviticus — offerings and feasts

Numbers – wander about for 40 years

Review from last time

Gen. 1:27 — “God created man in His own image” —

Why did God create mankind in His own image?  RELATIONSHIP

God created man for a special relationship, unlike any other part of His creation.

Four key events:          Creation, Fall, Flood, Nations

Key themes:  Judgment — Grace

When we left off last time we were in Genesis 15

Abraham grew up in UR (see map) and then took his wife Sarai to Haran, where Abraham gets his CALL from God (Gen. 15) and is promised LAND, SEED, and A BLESSING.

–A covenant meant cutting an animal ( or several in half, and holding hands, “walking through the pieces,” which is what COVENANT means (in other words, if I break the covenant, I’m “dead meat”)

–In this case, ONLY GOD WALKS BETWEEN THE PIECES — the covenant is not based on what Abram does — the responsibility is placed on God himself

Gen. 17:1-7     When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.

God first came to Abraham at age 75, Sarai didn’t believe it, sent Abraham into Haggar — who becomes mother of Ishmael (father of the Arab nations).  But Ishmael was not the line of promise.

vs. 19ff            God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him.

           

Then, at age 99, Abraham and Sarah have Isaac, who IS the line of promise.

Gen. 22:1-18   After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

            When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”

            And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”

Abraham is asked to take Isaac to Mount Moriah to sacrifice him — but God provides the sacrifice (a ram in the thicket).  God “tested” Abraham.

Note that on the way up the mountain, Abraham said, “God will provide the sacrifice.”

[Cross-reference:  Gen. 15:6 — Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness]

Now we’re going to skip forward quite a bit (some great stories in Gen. 20-35, such as Isaac and Rebekah).  But basically we’re wanting to focus our start on the life of Abraham, then to Isaac, Jacob (Israel), and Joseph.

Jacob means “cheater” or “deceiver.”  Jacob has a “wrestling match” with an angel (or pre-incarnate Jesus) and is re-named Israel (meaning Prince of God).

God changes people’s names — Abram to Abraham

Jacob to Israel

Now we move to the 12 sons of Jacob

The line of promise comes through Judah, but Joseph plays a key role.

Recap story of Joseph’s “coat of many colors,” and how his brothers sell him into slavery because of Jacob’s favoritism for Joseph

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT

The oldest (Reuben) convinces the other brothers not to kill him.  Joseph is taken down into Egypt, which is how the Israelite nation gets down into Egypt and needs to “exit.”

Gen. 39:1-4     Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had.

The hand of the Lord is on Joseph and his life, and he’s sold to Potiphar — the captain of the guard for Pharaoh.

Joseph is made overseer of Potiphar’s house, and Joseph prospers.

Gen. 39:9-23   He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her.

            But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.” Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me. But as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house.”

            As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled. And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed.

Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph — he refuses and runs!

He is thrown into prison, but he’s put in charge there as well!  (God’s hand is on him)

There he meets the Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker, whose dreams he interprets (the cupbearer is reinstated and the baker is executed).

The cupbearer forgets Joseph, and Joseph is left in prison for 2 years — life’s not always fair!

But we don’t read about Joseph complaining — he knew God was with him, and he saw the overall picture.

Perspective that can help us get through tough times!

Joseph gets an opportunity to interpret Pharaoh’s dream, and as a result is made “governor” over Egypt.  [Note Gen. 41:16 — he knows his power and provision comes from God.]

A seven-year famine hits the rest of the middle east, and Jacob’s sons have to come to Egypt to trade cattle for grain.  Joseph gets the rest of his family to move to Egypt, and then confronts them with who he is.

Gen. 50:15-21             When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

His brothers lied — the Bible is very honest!

You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good [cross-reference Romans 8:28].  Note the overall perspective and the theme of God’s sovereignty.

That covers the book of Genesis.  Key verses? (review them…)

Gen. 1:27 — So God made man in His own image…

Gen. 15:6 — Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness

Gen. 50:20 — You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good

——-

Ex. 1:1-8         These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. All the descendants of Jacob were seventy persons; Joseph was already in Egypt. Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.

            Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.

There arose a king over Egypt who knew not Joseph…..

SEVENTY people come from Canaan to Egypt.  430 YEARS LATER, Egypt has 2 to 3 million Hebrews.  The Pharaoh feels he has a problem on his hands, because the Jewish people are starting to outnumber the Egyptians.

Ex. 1:22           Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.”

Pharaoh commands all the male Hebrew babies to be killed.

Ex. 2:1-10       Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank. And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him. Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

Moses is born, spared by the midwives and watched by his sister Miriam, found by Pharaoh’s daughter.  Then, after being raised in Pharaoh’s court, one day Moses sides with a Hebrew slave and kills his Egyptian taskmaster.  He flees to Midian, where he lives as a shepherd, until the day he receives God’s call from the burning bush…..

Ex. 3:13-14     Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

I AM who I AM…..I AM has sent me to you…..

Why doesn’t God say “I’m Jehovah” or “I’m the one that promised Abraham” or something?  He’s saying I AM the ever-present, all-sufficient one.  Egypt served many god’s, but God is saying I am God.  ( cross-reference with Jesus’ I AM statements…)

God sends Moses to Pharoah

Moses says “Let my people go” and Pharaoh says “NO,” so God sends 10 plagues.

The last plague is the killing of the first born sons of Egypt (through the Angel of Death), at Passover.

Ex. 12:12-13, and also 21-24 — The significance of the blood, and the obedience required at Passover.  God is very consistent — just as with Cain & Abel, and with Abraham, God requires a blood sacrifice.  “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins” (forgiveness, or a “covering” of their sins).

Pharaoh lets them go — the get as far as the Red Sea, then Pharaoh changes his mind (they had taken the riches of Egypt with them — which the Egyptians had willingly given them).  The Hebrews walk through a WALL (just like in the MGM movie) of water on each side — enough to drown the Egyptian army and their horses/chariots.

They go down to the Sinai peninsula (famous location, which we could visit today!)

From Exodus 19 to Numbers 10, the location is Mount Sinai — that’s why Leviticus is a “wayside stop” instead of a part of the chronological path of Bible history.

Here in the desert, they are a nation.  They are a people who have particular problems and who need rules and regulations (ie. if my ox gores your ox, or if you accidently hurt someone, etc.).  So God gives them rules and regulations — and that’s where these “offerings and feasts” come from.  God also gives them a “travelling temple” called a tabernacle — where a priest will offer their sacrifices in the Holy of Holies, on the Mercy Seat.  [cross-reference the book of Hebrews.]

Here God gives the 10 Commandments (see Ex. 20:1-17), which are summarized by “You shall love the Lord Your God will all your heart, soul and strength, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

In Leviticus  we see how particular God is about the details of what needs to be done.   We can’t approach God on our own terms.  We approach Him on HIS terms.)

That sums up Leviticus!  (Genesis — “beginnings” / Exodus — “exit” / Leviticus — “feasts and offerings” / and now Numbers…..

Now it’s time to move off of Sinai, and go to the land God has promised (Canaan).  So God moves them up in the desert, providing manna (“What is it?”) and quail on the way.

But they’re in the desert, and what is there in the desert but problems?

Numbers 13:17-19      Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan and said to them, “Go up into the Negeb and go up into the hill country, and see what the land is, and whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, whether they are few or many, and whether the land that they dwell in is good or bad, and whether the cities that they dwell in are camps or strongholds,

— A spy is sent out from each of the 12 tribes…

They come to a place called Kadesh-Barnea, and from there they are to spy out the land.  They were supposed to spy out three things (the land, the people, and the cities).

vs. 30; vs. 31   But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.”

Caleb and Joshua came back with a report of faith, while the 10 other spies came back afraid.

(Why did they have to kill and fight? — God uses the Israelites to judge the even-more-wicked inhabitants of the land.  They do not believe God at all.  God is a God of mercy and grace, but He is also a God of awesome judgment — See Gen. 15:13-16 — Also, cross-reference with several Psalms where this problem is expressed…..)

Illus:  cancerous tumor; must do radical surgery to protect the rest of the body

Because of the spies’ and people’s disobedience and lack of faith, the entire generation is sent back to the wilderness for 40 years (one year for each day) — God is a God of judgment!

Except for Joshua and Caleb.  God had said the land was theirs — just go take it!  Still, there is a thread of mercy and redemption…..

Numbers 21:8-9          And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

— the bronze serpent lifted up in the wilderness — sign of GRACE!

[cross-reference with John 3:14-17     And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

            “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

— the same theme is there — God saying “Just trust Me!”]

Overview of the Bible Session 1 Creation-Abraham

OVERVIEW OF THE BIBLE  #1

“CREATION THROUGH ABRAHAM”

Welcome to Cougars for Christ.  I shared my testimony with you all last Friday at Cougars for Christ and during it I said that I would get frustrated reading the Bible from front to cover.  Because that was how I thought, you were supposed to read it.  I grew up going to church; but was never really taught anything about the Bible because my preacher was more worried about getting emotional responses and having people walk the aisles than actually teaching us God’s Word.  The purpose of attempting the impossible task of going through the entire Bible in 5 lessons is to teach you all an overview of the Bible so that you are comfortable with it and will be less intimidated by it and will want to read it and discover God’s Word for yourselves.

It has helped me in many areas of my life — very practical information about the way to live!

Ultimately it all boils down to RELATIONSHIPS.

The Bible is a book about RELATIONSHIPS:  God/man, husband/wife, parent/child, friends, employer/employee

…it will help you in your relationships

We come from different backgrounds with different interests — our goal is to let the Bible speak for itself.

We’re going to:  1.  put the Bible in chronological order (help see the Bible as a whole)

2.  look at several key themes (God’s sovereignty, sin and judgment, grace, etc.)

God has been INVOLVED in human history!  He doesn’t act just on Sundays!

Set guidelines for the study:

–times to start and stop (7:45-8:06; a LOT to cover in a short amount of time!)

–I will post our lessons on the Flemingsburg Baptist Church Youth Group Facebook page just in case you miss a lesson or want to review it.

–questions (no stupid questions do not exist!; You can also go there and ask me questions since we will probably not have time during this lesson series.—If you do not want to ask questions on Facebook you can write your questions down on a note card and hand it to me after the lesson and I will answer them on Facebook without mentioning your name.

We’ll assume nothing; the 5 sessions will be geared toward those who like me in Middle School don’t know much about the Bible…

Start at the table of contents…

Old Testament and New Testament — “covenant”

66 books (39 OT plus 27 NT)

They’re NOT in chronological order (i.e. Job may have been first one written)

Explain verse notations (i.e. Jn. 3:16) that express book, chapter and verse

Look at “Structure of the Old Testament” chart that divides the O.T. into three divisions:

–HISTORICAL section (Genesis -Esther) — 17 books

(first five are the Pentateuch or Torah or Law)

–POETICAL section (Job – Song of Solomon) — 5 books

–PROPHETICAL section (Isaiah – Malachi)– 17 books

Not written in “book” form; but on scrolls

Taken from Jewish “scrolls” — whose division was:

–The law

–The prophets

–The writings

LOOK AT HANDOUT ON THE BIBLE

There is a “historical highway” that we are going to try to follow during our lessons.

–each book has one or two words to help you remember the main essence of that book

When I say “Genesis”, you say “Beginnings”

When I say “Exodus”, you say “Exit”

–there’s a main highway, and then some roadside stops (which don’t carry you forward in a historical sense)

–the historical part is Genesis through Nehemiah (the Prophetical books fit in along that main time period)

OPEN THE BIBLE!

Gen. 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

–doesn’t attempt to explain the existence of God

it says “in the beginning, God”

–each step of creation was God speaking things into existence (overview — “let there be.)

–God is a personal being with phenomenal power

A brief detour — we may have differing points on how we were formed

Creation Vs. Evolution

–I’m biased toward creation (science background)

–Have never seen enough evidence to convince me that evolution was real

–No “transitional forms”

–Big Bang Theory; what caused the first cause?  where did that first cell come from?

–the orderliness of the universe! (order goes to chaos)

–belief in evolution takes a much larger “leap of faith:

Gen. 1:26Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” interesting word!

–Let “US” — points to God’s three-fold nature, points to the Trinity

–the word for God is Elohim (a plural noun with a singular meaning); plurality w/in unity

Gen. 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

–God created man in His own image–we have a personality, characteristics that describe us too

–Why did God create Man (not animals ) in His own image? — RELATIONSHIP

The only logical conclusion is that God wanted to have a relationship

Gen. 2:7 Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

–God created Adam and Eve — from a rib

Gen. 2:15-24 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

–it wasn’t good for man to be alone; no one to share this wonderful environment

–Adam and Even were a “match made in heaven”

-God created the institution of marriage–had a plan for it from the very beginning

–they were to “leave and cleave” — not cling to Mom and Dad

Gen. 3:1-6 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.  He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

–Two trees mentioned:  The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

The Tree of Life

–The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was forbidden

–God gives us the freedom of choice, because He loves us (Illus:  Kathy Chatty doll)

Part of who God is — He gives us choices

–They chose to disobey, so God kicks them out of the garden

–They don’t take responsibility for their actions, they try to hide from God

–This is called “the fall” of man

–JUDGMENT #1 – He kicks them out of the garden, and DEATH (separation) enters

–GRACE #1 — Promise of the Messiah

–The Curse (Gen. 3:14-19) (Unproductive labor, Pain of childbirth, etc.)

–The Promise (Gen. 3:15) (Eventual victory, in spite of present misery)

–Places an angel at the garden, so they won’t eat from the Tree of Life and live in their sin forever

Gen. ____ :  ____

Cain, the farmer

–Abel the herdsman

They were to bring an offering before God

-God accepted Abel’s gift, but not Cain’s

Why is this story in the Bible?

We can’t come to God on our own terms

PEOPLE:  I want to come to God on my terms; on the basis of what I think

–Without the shedding of blood, there is not forgiveness (remission of sins)

–Abel knew what God required and delivered it

–Cain chose to do it his own way, on his own merit (people still do that today!0, and God said that “sin was laying at the door”

–We can make up our own rules, but not the consequences!

–Sin is “missing the mark” based on the attitude of your own heart

-Cain “slits the throat” of Abel

–Seth is born–through Seth comes Noah

Gen. 6:5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the and, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

When God looks down, what does He see?

–“God looks at the HEART! (another important concept of God)

–God calls Noah

–JUDGMENT #2 – The Flood (wipes out an entire generation of people)

–GRACE #2  God Saves a Remnant, and gives a RAINBOW as a promise that He’ll never destroy the earth by flood again

–The Ark:  -450 long  (wouldn’t fit in Soldier Field, lengthwise)

-75 feet wide

-45 feet high

-522 railroad cards of volume

200 sheep could go in each car

-could easily care for the 3500 species they say were present at that time

Three Sons:  Ham, Shem and Japheth

Ham — Africa and apt of the Middle East

Shem — “Semitic” people — from whence Jewish people will come

Japheth — Asia and Europe

Gen. 11:1-4-9 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come,let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

–Tower of Babel — to glorify themselves — make a name for ourselves; they’ve missed the mark!

–God “scatters” them and gives them different languages, so they can’t cooperate

–God creates culture! (i.e. in Ghana, don’t offer anything with your left hand)

–JUDGMENT #3 — God scatters them and confuses their speech

–GRACE #3 – The “apple wrapping” –so if one culture turns rotten, they don’t all turn rotten — a means of preserving the gospel

Gen. 12:1-3 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

–We meet Abram, who grew up in UR, and his wife Sarah

–They go up to Haran, where Abram is called by God at age 75

-God promises Abram LAND, SEED, and a BLESSING

–God says “Is there anything too hard for me?”

Gen. 15:7-17  And he said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”  When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.
 

–God makes a COVENANT with Abram

–A covenant meant cutting an animal ( or several in half, and holding hands, “walking through the pieces,” which is what COVENANT means (in other words, if I break the covenant, I’m “dead meat”)

–In this case, ONLY GOD WALKS BETWEEN THE PIECES — the covenant is not based on what Abram does — the responsibility is placed on God himself

–Sarai says “no way!” – Why don’t you take Haagar? — He does, and she fathers Ishmael — out of whom the Arabs and Palestinians come

God says “that isn’t what I meant”

Sarah becomes pregnant with Isaac

The Bible is history, but it is much more than that!

The Bible is the story of God fulfilling His promises — throughout history!

Overview of the Bible

ATTENTION SIMONS MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS:

YOU ARE INVITED TO . . .

A Cougars for Christ five-part Overview of the Bible

Does the Bible sometimes seem like a large or intimidating book?  Or have you read parts of it, but feel your understanding is incomplete on how all the pieces fit together?  Then this five-part “Overview of the Bible” is just right for you.  We’ll look at the main events of the Bible in chronological order, and examine a handful of major themes that appear throughout the Old and New Testaments.

The study will be taught by Joe Gunter, who is the Youth Pastor at Flemingsburg Baptist Church.  Each session will last about 20 minutes.  The study is not designed to promote one particular point of view, but to allow us to examine the world’s all-time bestselling book for ourselves.  No prior Bible knowledge is necessary; we are all here to learn.  No one will be “put on the spot” or asked to contribute opinions unless they want to.  You are encouraged to bring a Bible, but is not necessary.

The planned schedule is:

#1 (Nov. 4)                  Creation through Abraham

#2(Nov. 11)                Abraham through”the wanderings”

#3 (Nov. 18)                Joshua through end of Old Testament

#4 (Dec. 2)                  New Testament Life of Christ

#5 (Dec. 16)                Acts through Revelation

TO SUMMARIZE . . .

When:  Friday Mornings, November 4, 11, 18, December 2, and 16

Time:  7:45-8:06

Where:  Auditorium

 Led by:  Joe Gunter, Youth Pastor at Flemingsburg Baptist Church

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