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surprised baby October 16 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Matthew 15:32-16:20; Mark 8:1-30; Luke 9:18-21

Responses to Jesus

I can't believe my eyes! It's too good to be true! Really? Are you sure? I don't believe it. Wow! That is totally awesome! Sign me up! These are some typical responses to things which seem unbelievably good. Many times if something seems too good to be true, it isn't true and needs proof. However, from the very beginning, Jesus' lineage, testimonies about him, miracles, and his authoritative teaching verified his claims that he came from heaven and was sent from God his Father. Would Christ’s followers and the crowds of people believe it or keep denying it? How about us; do we believe Jesus Christ is who he said he was or do we deny him?

In today's Bible reading, large crowds follow Jesus around because of the miracles and because they are fed by him. This is a selfish response to Jesus. What is true in the first century is still true now—many people associate themselves with other Christians and go to church simply because they want favors from God or his people. Hopefully, that is not true of us.

Religious leaders, the Pharisees in particular, follow Jesus everywhere he goes. They keep questioning him, even after they see and hear of all his miracles. They refuse to believe and accept Jesus because he is a threat to the Pharisees’ continued authority over the people. Jesus sighs deeply over their unbelief. He is disappointed and disgusted with them. The Pharisees have an adversarial response to Jesus.

Is Jesus a threat to our lifestyle? Perhaps he is sighing deeply because some of us refuse to believe in him. Jesus does not cramp our lifestyle as some believe. He gives us new life—a life of forgiveness, joy, peace, and the ability to please God!

Jesus warns his disciples about the yeast of the Pharisees, but they do not understand what he means. They think he is rebuking them for not bringing bread with them on their journey across the Sea of Galilee. They have forgotten that Jesus is the Bread of Life. If he wants to, he can provide bread even while they are on the boat.

Have we forgotten Jesus is the Bread of Life? Have we succumb to doubts when we are in difficult situations? Not only can he provide our spiritual needs; he can also provide our physical needs.

What then is Jesus talking about when he warns them to be careful of the yeast of the Pharisees? Yeast, when put in a batch of dough, makes the dough rise. A little yeast affects the whole lump. Yeast is like false teaching—if just a little is allowed, it will infect and corrupt the whole body of truth. When that happens, people lose confidence in the Holy Scriptures (the Bible). The Pharisees have harmful teachings, holding their traditions above the Scriptures.

Today, Christians should be respectful but not dependent on the opinions and traditions of priests, ministers, Christian teachers, or other religious leaders. What they say shouldn't be considered on equal par or above the authoritative Word of God. The truth is found in his Word, the Bible. We have to examine all religious teaching to see if it is consistent with the Scriptures or in error (including our Bible studies). Permitting just a little false teaching can do great damage to both individual believers and the church. Jesus is from God, therefore, we need to respond to Jesus as the author of truth.

After Jesus crosses the Sea of Galilee with his disciples and heals a blind man in Bethsaida, they work their way to Caesarea Philippi.

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 16:13-17, NIV).

If the same question were asked of us, what would be our response? Who is Jesus Christ? Is he just a so called “miracle worker”, a prophet or a great teacher? What we say about Christ is a reflection of what we believe. Jesus commends Peter’s faith in him and will also commend our faith in him if we truly believe. If we have the conviction that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God who came to save us from our sins, then God can give us spiritual life and use us. (more...)

Lessons to Live By (regarding our responses to Jesus)

  • Do we follow Jesus to curry favor from God or his followers, or do we follow him because he is the giver of eternal life?
  • Jesus does not cramp our lifestyle as some believe. He gives us new life—a life of forgiveness, joy, peace, and the ability to please God.
  • Permitting just a little false teaching can do great damage to individual believers and the church. Jesus is from God, therefore, we need to respond to Jesus as the author of truth.
  • Have we succumb to doubts when we are in difficult situations? Not only can Jesus provide our spiritual needs; he can also provide our physical needs. He is the bread of life; let's ask him.
  • If we have the conviction that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God who came to save us from our sins, then God can give us spiritual life and use us. (more...)

Focus Verse

Matthew 16:15-16 (NIV) “He [Jesus] said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’”

Here is a song you might enjoy: Jesus, He is the Son of God

Watch a video related to today's lesson.

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A Look Ahead: Jesus begins to hand his ministry over to his disciples, as Executors of his Estate. How does this affect us? Find out in our Next Lesson.

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