Bible Stories for Adults

The Annunciation

Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-25

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Mary & Elizabeth / The Birth of John (Luke 1:39-80)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      Nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37

Opening Prayer

Review of Last Week (Luke 1:1-25)
    How does the historian Luke transition from the Old Testament into his story of Jesus?
      Luke 1:5-7
    What happened toward the ends of the lives of these faithful Jews?
      Luke 1:8, 11, 13
    Why would God send an angel just to tell an elderly couple they would have a child?
      Luke 1:14-17
    How did the angel reply when Zechariah couldn't believe what he was seeing and hearing?
      Luke 1:18-20
    What other proof was this couple given that what the angel said was true?
      Luke 1:24

An Arch-Angel's Travel Itinerary (Luke 1:26-27)
    When do we hear of this arch-angel Gabriel at work?
      Luke 1:26
    Galilee - Northern section of Palestine, Populated by mixture of Jews and Gentiles (Matt 4:15)
      Considered by Judean Jews as second-class citizens
        Only occasionally able to attend services and ceremonies of the temple
      Could become wealthy from plentiful land (grain, fruit) and sea (fish)
        Galileans considered materialistic for giving up spiritual blessings for material gain
    How did the chief priests and Pharisees feel about Jesus being a Galilean?
      John 7:52
    Nazareth - An insignificant town hidden in a basin in southern Galilee
      Roman garrison nearby brought gentile influence and a bad reputation
    How did other "second class" Galileans feel about Nazareth?
      John 1:46

    Who was Gabriel sent to visit in Nazareth?
      Luke 1:27
    Engagements were arranged by parents, often while still children
      Couples were betrothed in a ceremony that legally bound them
      After a betrothal period of up to a year, the man would take his wife home (marriage)
    Girls usually betrothed after puberty (able to have children)
      Men usually betrothed in mid-twenties (established in trade)

Hail, Mary! (Luke 1:28)
    How did Gabriel greet this teenager that told her she was chosen for a special job?
      Luke 1:28
    What did Gabriel mean by saying Mary was highly favored?
      Luke 1:42-43
    Roman Catholics translate this as "Thou art full of grace" and therefore pray to her
      The text does not imply she would be a source of grace, but rather a recipient of grace
    Who does John say was full of grace?
      John 1:14, 16-17
    Does this mean that us normal humans cannot be filled with God's grace?
      Acts 6:8

Why Me, Lord? (Luke 1:29-30)
    How does Mary's response show that she was chosen by God's grace and not for her grace?
      Luke 1:29
    What does Mary say in her prayer that further shows she felt undeserving?
      Luke 1:47-49
    Is there any reason Mary was singled out over so many others?
      Luke 1:30

The Annunciation (Luke 1:31-33)
    What news does Gabriel annunciate (announce) to Mary?
      Luke 1:31
      Jesus - Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua - a common Jewish name in those days
    What would be special about this child?
      Luke 1:32a
    What important truth about Jesus do these words to Mary confirm?
      Isaiah 9:6

    What else does Gabriel tell Mary about this child?
      Luke 1:32b-33
    How would a good Jewish girl like Mary understand this?
      2 Samuel 7:16

Mary's Immediate Reply (Luke 1:34)
    How had Zechariah responded to Gabriel's announcement that he would have a son?
      Luke 1:18
    Did Mary express similar doubt when she was told she would have a son?
      Luke 1:34

Here's How, Plus Proof (Luke 1:35-37)
    How would Mary become pregnant even though it would be months before Joseph took her in?
      Luke 1:35a
    The terms "come upon" and "overshadow" do not refer to sexual activity. Examples are:
      Genesis 1:2
      Exodus 40:35
      Matthew 17:5

    What had Gabriel already said about Jesus that he wanted to be sure Mary understood?
      Luke 1:35b
    Why did Gabriel call Jesus the Holy One?
      2 Corinthians 5:21
      1 Peter 2:22
      1 John 3:5

    Although she didn't ask for it, what proof did Gabriel give Mary for this impossible birth?
      Luke 1:36-37
    What Old Testament story might this statement remind Mary of?
      Genesis 18:14
    Where do we hear other confirmation of this great power of God?
      Job 42:2
      Jeremiah 32:17
      Matthew 19:26

Mary's Response (Luke 1:38-40)
    How faithfully did Mary accept this promise?
      Luke 1:38
    What did Mary do after the angel left?
      Luke 1:39-40

Joseph's Decision (Matthew 1:18-19)
    How long did Mary stay with Elizabeth?
      Luke 1:56
    What surprised Joseph when he welcomed his betrothed Mary back to Nazareth?
      Matthew 1:18
    If girl became pregnant during betrothal, the man had three options:
      Accept the adultery and proceed with the marriage (compassionate, but unrighteous)
      Publicly divorce the woman and have her stoned to death (Deut 22:13-27)
      Quietly divorce the woman (Deut 24:1)
    How did Joseph plan to handle Mary's situation?
      Matthew 1:19

Jesus Kept Legitimate (Matthew 1:20)
    How did God change Joseph's mind?
      Matthew 1:20
    What did the angel tell Joseph that would be special about this child?
      Matthew 1:21
    Why had God put Joseph in such a predicament?
      Matthew 1:22-23
    What did Joseph finally decide to do?
      Matthew 1:24
    Why didn't Joseph consummate the marriage?
      Matthew 1:25

Notes on Matthew and Luke
    The four Gospels emphasize different aspects of Jesus:
      Matthew - The King of the Jews
      Mark - The Servant of God
      Luke - The Son of Man
      John - The Son of God
    Luke recorded the birth events involving Jesus' human mother Mary
      Luke 3:23-38 records Jesus' genealogy back to the first man, Adam, through Mary's line
    Matthew emphasizes the royal rights of Jesus by presenting His birth through Joseph's view
      Matthew 1:1-17 records Jesus' genealogy back to David and Abraham via Joseph's line

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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