Short Stories and Bible Nuggets (Social Night)

February 9, 2021   /   Palms Baptist Church Bible Study

  • The Stone the Builders Rejected
    1. Psalms 118:22
    2. Matthew 21:42
    3. Acts 4:11

*Calvary was a rock quarry. The reason Jesus was killed feet away from the rich tombs (tomb of Joseph Arimathea) was the limestone rocks. Limestone was a smooth and luxurious rock and King Herod mandated the new wall of Jerusalem be built from limestone. Mount Calvary (about 30 feet high) was the left-over rock from King Herod’s quarry for his wall. The quarry built around the stone that would become Calvary. In other words, “the rock the builders rejected” i.e. Jesus was crucified on the “rocks that the builders rejected” for Jerusalem’s wall.

  • Jesus flipping tables in the temple
    1. Mark 11:15
      1. my house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations‘? But you have made it a robber’s den.”
    2. Jesus uses a classic Rabbinical teaching method called gezerah sheva where you link two passages together by exact word match to make a point. This simple phrase is essentially an entire sermon. He expects that his audience understands the context behind the verses He quotes to understand his implicit sermon.
    3. In Mark 11:15, Jesus links Isaiah 56:6-7 with Jeremiah 7:9-12

*The context of Isaiah 56 states what the temple SHOULD be as applied to the overall mission of Israel to “be a light to the nations.” Jesus was upset they were removing gentiles from the outer-temple courts (the very place set aside for gentile worship to YHWH). The context of Jeremiah 7 is one of absolute corruption among the Jewish authorities (political and religious). Jesus was obviously upset that sellers were trying to turn a profit in the temple, BUT selling goods in the temple was only the symptom of the problem Jesus was attacking. He is really attacking the Jewish authority’s corruption and compromise!

*The use of gezerah sheva intended to combine two contexts as applied to one point. Here, we can inversely apply Jesus’ anger at the temple to the context of Jeremiah 7

  • Jesus’ joke
    1. Mark 5:6-13
      1. “Legion” in Jesus’ day would have been associated to the Roman military legion (consisted of about 3,000-6,000 infantry and 200 cavalry). It means an “army of many”
      2. There was a common saying within Israel when they witnessed a Roman legion marching somewhere. Someone would say, “I wonder where they are marching” to which another would reply, “hopefully off a cliff”

*The demons use the word legion as a ‘shock and awe’ tactic in attempt to scare Jesus and surrounding crowd. They are saying, we are like the Roman military might, we cannot be conquered. Jesus laughs at it and defeats them immediately (just like he can Rome itself). More so, Jesus casts them into unclean pigs (giving both unclean, gentile, and Roman association) but “marches them off a cliff.”

  • Aleph Tav (Et)
    1. Et is the greatest Hebrew mystery to Jewish scholars
    2. The most used word in the Old Testament (Used 9,590 times)
      1. Many believe it to be a Hebrew literary direct-object indicator, but there are over 4,600 use cases where that cannot be the case
      2. Curiously, placed at nearly 300 messianic prophecies in Old Testament
      3. John 1:1-5 could be directly referring to the Aleph-Tav in the Genesis 1:1-3 text
        1. “In the beginning was the word” compared with “In the beginning, Et, God created the heavens and the earth”
        2. “He was the Light of men” compared with “God said, ‘Let there be Et Light”
      4. In revelation, Jesus refers to Himself as the “Alpha and the Omega, the begining and the End.” In Hebrew, that would read “I am the Aleph and the Tav, the beginning and the end.”

*Aleph-Tav seems to be a direct object indicator, but the “object” is Christ! Jesus and John seem to place Christ as the ultimate fulfillment of the greatest Old Testament mystery as the Aleph-Tav

  • The obsession with “Feet”?
    1. Deuteronomy 25:5-10
      1. “Feet” was euphemism for “male genitals” and “shoe” was euphemism for “female genitals” in ancient Mesopotamia
        1. Typical Hebrew word used for feet = “Regel”
        2. Rare Hebrew word also used for feet but used only three times: “Maregeloth”
        3. “Regel” actually represents “appendage”
        4. What kind of “appendage” depends on context
      2. Interesting passages where context could lead to some “interesting” interpretation of events
        1. Exodus 4:25 – Zipporah throws foreskin at Moses’ “feet”
        2. Joshua 10:24 – Joshua tells all the men of Israel to place their “feet” on the necks of the conquered Canaan kings
        3. Ruth 3:4-7 – Ruth uncovers Boaz’s “feet” in the middle of the night to offer herself in to Leviate marriage (very principle here in Deut. 25)
        4. 1 Kings 15:23 – King Asa’s “feet” become diseased
  • Food to the Dogs
    1. Matthew 15:21-28
      1. “food to the dogs” seems harsh, humiliating, and outside the character of Jesus…?
    2. Greek word used for “dog” means “little dog” i.e. a puppy
    3. Calling someone a “dog” was not insulting in Greek culture like it is for us
    4. Many Greek scholars admit the “tone” of this interaction implies a light or playful candor vice a cruel humiliation.
    5. Jesus is speaking to the priority of His mission to the “lost sheep of Israel,” or mission to the Jews first then the gentiles

*Modern Equivalent of this passage: Imagine purchasing land and all the materials to build a house on that land. In the middle of building your new house, your child comes and asks you to build them a tree house. Your response would be, “You want me to build you a tree house before I build our regular house?” Your child responds, “You have the skill, the time management skills, certainly the love, and extra-materials to build us a tree house even though the big house is your priority…”.

  • Healing at the gentile pool
    1. John 5:1-18
      1. Typically, Jesus would use some environmental mechanism to heal. No standard model or formula, but would use something. Here, Jesus simply says “pick up your mat and walk” with no further discussion, lesson, or environmental interaction. Why?
        1. The man was “invalid,” or unclean for 38 years
        2. He was a Jew because he a) after healing he entered the temple praising God b) Jews correct him on Sabbatical law
        3. Because he was a Jew and unclean, he probably never entered the temple
        4. The pool was on the Roman governance property, meaning it was the water supply for the Roman garrison (gentile area)
        5. On top the pool stood a temple to Roman god Aklepios, who was the god of healing. So when the text says “an angel would enter the waters and you could be healed if you’re the first one in,” its referring to the Roman god Aklepios healing the sick
      2. So, we have a sick/crippled/unclean Jew waiting at the pool of Aklepios for healing. This catches Jesus’ eye.
    2. Any interaction with the pool or surroundings on the ground of aklepios would give aklepios the glory, not God. Because no surrounding was used, God received the glory
  • Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s
    1. Mark 12:13-17
      1. Many believe this passage to express Christ’s teaching of submission to authority, but much more was said then simply “pay your taxes.”
      2. Emperor worship was big for the Roman empire in this time. Jews were exempt from worshiping Roman gods, but had to a) pray for the emperor b) don’t undermine Caesar’s authority (and by extension divinity)
    2. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s” was a bold proclamation against the emperor. He publically and boldly separates the emperor from God as Romans worshiped the emperor as a god. Caesar commands your money, God commands your heart (affection, worship, service, etc.)
    3. Jesus asks, “whose image is on the coin?”…therefore, give to whoever’s image is on the coin. But whose image is on your heart?…therefore, give to whoever’s image is on your heart!
  • Prodigal Son
    1. Luke 15:11-32
      1. Culturally, the son in the story carried a lot of shame. The father did not share that shame unless he welcomed/embraced the son back
      2. The man ran to his son. Culturally, men of higher stature or status did not run, they walked. People ran to them. Here, he leaves behind the cultural bounds/expectations and pride to chase after his lost son.


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