The last of the prophets were Malachi and he predicted God would send a special messenger before he sent the Messiah. That was the last word of God to the Israelites for 400 years. “See I will send my messenger who will prepare the way before me. The suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant whom you desire will come”. (Malachi 3:1)After the 400 years, an angel came to John the Baptist and predicted his birth. Six months later, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she would be the mother of Jesus and He will be great and will be called the Son of Most High. (Luke 1:32).
Different gospel writers tell different events about the birth of Christ, but here is Luke’s story from God’s word.
Today’s bible study comes from the book of Luke 2:1-20.
Today’s message is the reason for the season of Christmas. The main characters we are looking for here are Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, the angels and of course the baby Jesus.
The governor declared there to be a census where everyone had to go to their own town and register. The census was to get an official population count. (Luke 2:1-3)
Joseph travelled from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea to Bethlehem the town of David. Joseph belonged to the house and line of David of the Old Testament. Joseph was accompanied by Mary who was pledged to be married to him and was pregnant.
While they were there, it came time for Mary to have the baby. She gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger in the barn as there were no guest rooms available at the inn. (Luke 2:4-7)
Out in the fields, the shepherds were tending to their flocks. An angel appeared to them and bright lights shone around them terrifying them. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
Today in the town of David a savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger”.
Suddenly, a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests”. (Luke 2:8-14)
After the angels had left, we can be sure it took them a few minutes to regroup after being terrified. Then they said to one and another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see what this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about”. So, they hurried off and found Mary, Joseph and the baby lying in the manger (Luke 2:15-16)
When the shepherds had seen the baby Jesus, they went off to spread the word about this child. Those that heard about this were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart as the shepherds returned praising God. (Luke 2: 17-20)
Questions to be answered:
- What did we learn about God in this story?
- What do we learn about man/ourselves in this story?
- What did you learn new in this story?
- What should I do differently because of this story?
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