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surprised baby October 16 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: Matthew 16:1-20; Mark 8:1-30; Matthew 15:32-39; 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 that seem unbelievably good. Many times if something seems too good to be true, it is not true and needs verification. However, from the very beginning Jesus' lineage, testimonies about him, miracles, and his authoritative teaching verified who he claimed to be. The question then was, would Christ’s followers and the crowds of people believe it or keep denying it? How about us; do we believe Christ is who he said he was or do we deny him?

A large group of people followed Jesus around because of the miracles and because they were fed by him. This was a selfish response to Jesus. What was true then 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.

The religious leaders, the Pharisees in particular, dogged Jesus everywhere he went. They kept questioning him even after all his miracles. They refused to believe Jesus. Jesus was a threat to the Pharisees’ continued authority over the people, so they refused to accept him. Jesus sighed deeply over them for their unbelief. He was disappointed and disgusted with them. The Pharisees had an adversarial response to Jesus. Is Jesus a threat to our lifestyle? Perhaps he is sighing deeply over us if we refuse to believe in him. Jesus does not cramp our lifestyle as some believe. He gives us new life - a life of forgiveness, joy and peace, and the ability to please God.

Jesus warned his disciples about the yeast of the Pharisees, but they did not understand what he meant. They thought Jesus was chastising them for not bringing bread with them on their journey across the Sea of Galilee. They had forgotten that Jesus is the Bread of Life. If he had wanted to he could have provided bread, even while they were 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 was Jesus talking about when he told 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. The point Jesus was making was that if just a little false teaching were allowed into their theology, it would infect and corrupt the whole. The result would be a lack of confidence and doubt of the Holy Scriptures. The Pharisees had harmful teachings, holding their traditions above the Scriptures. Even today, Christians have to be careful not to depend on the opinions and traditions of priests, ministers, Christian teachers, or other religious leaders, that they are not 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 teachers to see if their teaching is consistent with the Scriptures or in error. Permitting just a little false teaching can do great damage to both individual believers and the church. Jesus was from God, therefore, we need to respond to Jesus as the author of truth.

After Jesus had crossed Galilee with his disciples and had healed a man in Bethsaida, they worked 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? 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 have the conviction that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, then God can use us.

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 and 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. His is the bread of life.
  • Jesus commends Peter’s faith in him and will also commend our faith in him. If we have the conviction that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God then God can use us. (more...)

Today’s Bible Memory Verse:

Matthew 16:15-16 “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.’” (NIV)

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