- Favoring one child over another is not unjust as long as the other children are not neglected (1-6, 11, 23, 28).
- One of the ways God blesses His people is causing them to enjoy life into an old age (7-8a – “full of years” = years of fruitfulness, satisfaction and peace; a full life of contentment; Pro 16:31; Isa 46:4).
- Being “gathered to [our] people” (i.e. the righteous or the wicked) is what immediately follows our death (8b).
- We are to see that the bodies of our righteous dead are respectfully cared for (incl. honoring their wishes) (9 – “buried him in the cave of Machpelah…There Abraham was buried, with Sarah his wife.”; e.g. Mat 14:12; Mar 15:43-46).
- It is more blessed to produce many spiritual children/descendants than it is many physical children/descendants (11-18 w/26:4).
- Trust in God – or God’s abilities – versus trust in (or possession of) personal abilities is the key to overcoming the obstacles of life (19-21; e.g. Heb 11:17-19).
- Our greatest potential can be in the area where we face the biggest obstacles (19-21).
- Wives are to be cultivating their own relationship w/the Lord separate from their husbands (22-23).
- We are to seek God’s counsel even in matters related to health issues or problems (21-22; Exo 15:26; Deu 28:58-60).
- The unique makeup and righteous interests/inclination of each child sb supported and encouraged versus trying to make them like you (the parent) or all the same (24-27; Pro 22:6).
- Ghetto thinking (decisions made in the short-term w/no thought or regard for what that will cost you in the long-term) forfeits your future (29-34; Pro 19:2; Pro 27:23-27).
- When we obey God’s commands, He blesses even our children (1-6, 12-14, 24; Exo 20:6).
- God’s promise to Abraham is why God’s mercy has been extended to us (as Gentiles) (4 w/Mat 12:18-21; Gal 4:16-29; Eph 2:11-13).
- The sins of the parents are often repeated in their children (6-7; Exo 20:5).
- All sexual activity (including erotic dancing or play w/another) is only permissible in the context of marriage (8-9 – “laughing” = lit. erotic/sexually driven play; See Exo 32:6 and Jud 21:21).
- When God’s favor is upon us, even our enemies/pagans will respect and protect us (10-11, 26-31)
- Being successful at anything that matters requires overcoming and enduring the obstacles and opposition that often stand in the way (15-23, 32).
- Disobedient children make life difficult for their parents (34-35; Pro 17:25).
- God returns evil to those who do evil (Psa 18:25-26; Gal 6:7-10; [Esau] 1-40, [Rebekah] 41-46 = The bible never mentions her seeing Jacob again. Jewish tradition teaches that she died while Jacob was in exile in Haran. She was therefore relegated to living out the rest of her days w/Esau and his pagan wives; [Jacob] 13-27 = His trickery and lying were paid back w/many years of hard labor and getting swindled by a relative of equal deceit [chs. 28-31]).
- Vows made before God (i.e. invoking His blessing or sworn to Him) are irrevocable (37; Num 30:1-2; 1Ki 8:31-32; Ecc 5:4-6; e.g. marriage).
- Jesus (once again) proves He was no ordinary man. This time by predicting not only His death but specifically: 1) when it would take place, 2) how it will take place (1-5), 3) who would betray Him (14-25, 45-50), 4) (and that) He wb resurrected shortly after (32).
- God honors those who spend lots of money on Jesus – which includes Jesus’ people (6-13 w/Mat 10:40, 25:31-46).
- The LT means there is still a Passover, Yom Kippur and Pentecost (the three mandatory feasts of the Jews – Deu 16:16) to be observed (26-29; Num 12:3-8 w/1Co 5:7 w/Joh 1:29; Lev 16 w/Heb 9:11-12, 10:1-18; Joh 14-16 w/Act 2:1-38; Joh 7:37-39).
- By establishing the LT Jesus reveals Himself to be the Lord of the Covenants – or unique member of the Godhead in covenant relationship (i.e. wed to) God’s people (28 w/Jud 1:5; 1Co 10:1-9; 1Pe 3:18-20; Joh 8:56-58).
- Jesus saw singing to God as a good thing (30; Eph 5:19).
- Passion w/o practice, putting in the time or doing the work necessary will make you guilty of a lot of: 1) empty boasting (31-35, 69-74), 2) fickleness (36-46), 3) half-cocked, knee-jerk, non-thinking, over-the-top acts (47-53), 4) bitter crying and regret (75). Hence the reason for Jesus’ request in (Joh 21:15-17 = Put your passion to work).
- Don’t confuse affection w/loyalty (49).
- Jesus did not complain or have a bad attitude about all the injustice and bad things that were happening to Him b/c He fully trusted God w/His life (39, 42, 53-68; 1Pe 2:22-23).
- Better to be dead than live with your betrayal in apostasy (1-5 w/Mat 26:25 = Jesus exposed Judas’ betrayal giving him the opportunity to repent. His choice to proceed sealed his apostasy. Judas’ act was self-inflicted justice).
- Philanthropy and large acts of charity are often an attempt to relieve a guilty conscience unwilling to repent/serve justice (6-10; The Jewish leaders were co-conspirators w/Judas and should have also died per the very Law they recognized in regard to Judas [“blood money” = money used by murderers to pay off judges/victim’s families in order to escape execution– see Num 35:30-31).
- Envy has the power to make people into viscous monsters committing the worst crimes against others (11-23).
- The Jews (not the Romans) are the ones most responsible for killing Jesus (24-25; e.g. movie “The Passion of Christ” – Jews upset b/c it portrayed them as Jesus’ killers).
- To save us from our sins Jesus suffered: 1) terrible torture (26, 35a), 2) horrible humiliation (27-31), 3) embarrassing exploitation (32-36 = fully aware and naked while they watched Him writhe in pain), 4) tenacious taunting (37-44), 5) dark despair (45-50).
- Jesus’ death made full and final payment for sin as proven by: 1) retirement of the holy place/place of atonement (the curtain temple being torn in two – 51 w/Heb 10:19-22), 2) rocks splitting (the earthquake – 51b w/Jer 10:10 = God’s wrath meted out against sin – on Jesus), 3) resurrection of OT saints (52-53).
- There is no middle ground. Learning about Jesus’ death (and the surrounding events) leaves you either : 1) in awe, ready to testify and be associated w/Him (54-61), (OR) 2) in denial, driven to declare Him a fraud (62-66). LIE or LORD and SAVIOR? Which one does your life testify to?