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Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 7 - A KING WHO PROVIDES, PROTECTS, AND SAVES (MATTHEW 14:1--16:12)

INTRODUCTION: OUR LESSON CONTAINS SEVERAL STORIES THAT GIVE US A
GREATER INSIGHT INTO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.  LETS GET INTO IT.

I. JOHN THE BAPTIST
      A. READ MATT. 14:3-11.
      B. AS YOU THINK ABOUT THIS STORY WHAT WERE THE FACTORS THAT LED
HEROD TO EXECUTE JOHN? (LIST)
            1. WHAT GOT JOHN IN PRISON IN THE FIRST PLACE? (HEROD'S ANGER
OVER BEING REBUKED.)
            2. WHAT KIND OF PERSON SAYS, "I'LL GIVE YOU ANYTHING YOU ASK"?
(PRIDE OF AUTHORITY OR POSITION.)
            3. WHAT ABOUT THE DINNER GUESTS AND THE OATHS?
(LIST THAT I THINK: 1. ANGER OVER BEING REBUKED. 2. PRIDE OF POSITION. 3.
PRIDE THAT WAS SO GREAT THAT HE WAS UNWILLING TO LOSE FACE WITH HIS
GUESTS.  THIS PRIDE WAS GREATER THAN HIS FEAR OF THE PEOPLE OR GOD.)

      C. ARE THESE JUST HEROD'S PROBLEMS OR DO WE HAVE THESE PROBLEMS
TOO?
            1. IF SOMEONE REBUKES YOU HOW DO YOU ACT? DO YOU GET ANGRY?
            2. DO YOU EVER FACE A SITUATION WHERE YOU DO NOT DO WHAT
YOU KNOW THAT YOU SHOULD BECAUSE OF YOUR PRIDE?
            3. CAN YOUR DESIRE TO LOOK GOOD TO OTHER MEMBERS OF THE
CHURCH GET YOU IN TROUBLE?  A GENEROUS PLEDGE TO THE CHURCH THAT YOU
CANNOT FULFILL?

II. REBUKE
      A. OUR LESSON SPENDS QUITE A BIT OF SPACE ON THE ISSUE OF REBUKING
OTHERS. WE SAW THAT THIS WAS THE REASON THAT JOHN LANDED IN JAIL. THE
LAST SECTION OF OUR LESSON RECITES THE TIME THAT THE PHARISEES ASKED
JESUS FOR A SIGN.  WHAT DID HE SAY TO THEM? (MATT. 16:4. NO. "A WICKED AND
ADULTEROUS GENERATION LOOKS FOR A MIRACULOUS SIGN, BUT NONE WILL BE
GIVEN IT EXCEPT THE SIGN OF JONAH." 
      B. SHOULD WE TALK TO OTHERS THIS WAY?  IF NOT, WHY DID JESUS AND
JOHN TALK THIS WAY?
      C. I DECIDED THAT I WOULD NOT REVIEW THIS ISSUE, BUT I HEARD ON DR.
D. JAMES KENNEDY'S PROGRAM AN INTERVIEW WITH A FORMER HOMOSEXUAL
WHO TALKED ABOUT HOW IT WAS IN CHURCH.  HE SAID THAT HOMOSEXUALS GO
BACK TO THE HOMOSEXUAL COMMUNITY (FROM THE CHURCH) BECAUSE THEY
ARE ACCEPTED AND RESPECTED THERE.
            1. I HAVE SAID SOME TOUGH THINGS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALS HERE AND
ELSEWHERE.
            2. WHAT WOULD OUR REACTION BE IF SOMEONE SAID THAT THEY
WERE HAVING TROUBLE WITH A HOMOSEXUAL PROBLEM?  WOULD WE SHRINK
BACK?
      D. WHEN DO WE REBUKE AND WHEN DO WE LIFT UP? (IF SOMEONE WANTS
TO CHANGE WE LIFT UP AND HELP.)
            1. WHAT WAS THE ATTITUDE OF HEROD AND THESE PHARISEES? (THEY
WERE NOT LOOKING FOR HELP, THE WERE "TESTING" HIM. 16:1)
      E. I HAVE SAID SOME TOUGH THINGS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY BECAUSE
THERE IS A VERY STRONG ELEMENT IN SOCIETY THAT SAYS THIS KIND OF
BEHAVIOR IS PERFECTLY NORMAL AND SHOULD EVEN BE TAUGHT AS BEING
NORMAL TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE IN SCHOOLS. PEOPLE WHO ADVOCATE SIN NEED
TO BE REBUKED.  THOSE WHO WANT TO TURN AWAY SHOULD BE HELPED.)

III. PETER
      A. READ MATT. 14:25-32.
      B. VERSE 28. WHAT MAKES THIS ANY DIFFERENT FROM MATT. 4:3 "IF YOU ARE
THE SON OF GOD, TELL THESE STONES TO BECOME BREAD?" (PETER WAS NOT
CHALLENGING THE POWER OR AUTHORITY OF JESUS, HE WAS SIMPLY ASKING IF
THIS WAS JESUS.)
      C. WHAT GOT PETER ON THE WATER? AND WHAT GOT HIM IN THE WATER?
            1. WAS IT PRIDE OR PRESUMPTION THAT GOT HIM ON THE WATER? (THE
OTHERS WERE TERRIFIED)
            2. JESUS SAYS THAT DOUBT GOT HIM IN THE WATER.  WOULD HE HAVE
BEEN BETTER OFF TO HAVE STAYED IN THE BOAT IN THE FIRST PLACE?
(I THINK THAT THIS EXPERIENCE BUILT HIS FAITH.  BUT A STORY THAT WE HAD
LAST WEEK AND DIDN'T GET TO SEEMS TO QUALIFY THIS MESSAGE. IN MATT. 12:43-
45 IT TALKS OF AN EVIL SPIRIT LEAVING A MAN, THE MAN HAVING CLEANED HIS
SOUL AND PUT IT IN ORDER, BUT LEFT IT UNOCCUPIED.  THE EVIL SPIRIT RETURNS
AND BRINGS WITH HIM SEVEN OTHER SPIRITS. "AND THE FINAL CONDITION OF
THAT MAN IS WORSE THAN THE FIRST." (V.45B) TAKING THAT FIRST STEP COMMITS
YOU TO HAVING THE H.S. IN YOUR LIFE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.)

IV. CANAANITE WOMAN
      A. READ MATT 15:21-28.
      B. THIS STORY SAYS A GREAT DEAL ABOUT THIS WOMAN.  TELL ME WHAT
SINS SHE OBVIOUSLY DID NOT HAVE. (PRIDE AND DOUBT.)
            1. I LIKE THE SEQUENCE OF THIS STORY.  RIGHT AFTER THE STORY OF
HEROD WHICH SHOWS HIS PRIDE, AND THE STORY OF PETER WHICH SHOWS HIS
DOUBT, WE FIND A STORY OF A WOMAN WHO HAS NEITHER.
      C. PUT YOURSELF IN THE PLACE OF THIS WOMAN. DO YOU THINK THAT SHE
COULD HAVE FELT GUILT BECAUSE HER DAUGHTER WAS DEMON-POSSESSED?
      D. WOULD SHE HAVE FEELINGS OF INFERIORITY BECAUSE OF HER RACE?
      E.  SO WE HAVE SOMEONE WHO MAY BE GUILT RIDDEN AND HAS FEELINGS
OF INFERIORITY.  WHY DID JESUS TALK TO HER THE WAY THAT HE DID?
      F. DO YOU THINK THAT JESUS STILL TREATS PEOPLE THIS WAY?
(I THINK THAT EVERYONE OF THESE STORIES IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE WAY THAT
JESUS REACTS TO OUR NEEDS. JESUS ANSWERED HER PRAYER. BUT SHE HAD A
DIFFICULT TIME. JESUS DID THIS TO TEACH THE DISCIPLES A LESSON.  THE LESSON
THAT I GET FROM THIS IS THAT SOMETIMES THE ANSWER DOES NOT COME IN
QUITE THE WAY WE EXPECTED, BUT JESUS EVENTUALLY MAKES IT RIGHT AND
HELPS OTHERS IN THE PROCESS.)

V. NEXT WEEK: MATT:16-18.