Bible Stories for Adults
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
Review of Last Week (Luke 1:1-25)
How does the historian Luke transition from the Old Testament into his story of Jesus?
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?
How did the angel reply when Zechariah couldn't believe what he was seeing and hearing?
What other proof was this couple given that what the angel said was true?
An Arch-Angel's Travel Itinerary (Luke 1:26-27)
When do we hear of this arch-angel Gabriel at work?
Galilee - Northern section of Palestine, Populated by mixture of Jews and Gentiles (Matt 4:15)
Considered by Judean Jews as second-class citizens
How did the chief priests and Pharisees feel about Jesus being a Galilean?
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
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?
Who was Gabriel sent to visit in Nazareth?
Engagements were arranged by parents, often while still children
Couples were betrothed in a ceremony that legally bound them
Girls usually betrothed after puberty (able to have children)
After a betrothal period of up to a year, the man would take his wife home (marriage)
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?
What did Gabriel mean by saying Mary was highly favored?
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?
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?
What does Mary say in her prayer that further shows she felt undeserving?
Is there any reason Mary was singled out over so many others?
The Annunciation (Luke 1:31-33)
What news does Gabriel annunciate (announce) to Mary?
What would be special about this child?
Jesus - Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua - a common Jewish name in those days
What important truth about Jesus do these words to Mary confirm?
What else does Gabriel tell Mary about this child?
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?
Did Mary express similar doubt when she was told she would have a son?
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?
The terms "come upon" and "overshadow" do not refer to sexual activity. Examples are:
What had Gabriel already said about Jesus that he wanted to be sure Mary understood?
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?
What Old Testament story might this statement remind Mary of?
Where do we hear other confirmation of this great power of God?
Mary's Response (Luke 1:38-40)
How faithfully did Mary accept this promise?
What did Mary do after the angel left?
Joseph's Decision (Matthew 1:18-19)
How long did Mary stay with Elizabeth?
What surprised Joseph when he welcomed his betrothed Mary back to Nazareth?
If girl became pregnant during betrothal, the man had three options:
Accept the adultery and proceed with the marriage (compassionate, but unrighteous)
How did Joseph plan to handle Mary's situation?
Publicly divorce the woman and have her stoned to death (Deut 22:13-27)
Quietly divorce the woman (Deut 24:1)
Jesus Kept Legitimate (Matthew 1:20)
How did God change Joseph's mind?
What did the angel tell Joseph that would be special about this child?
Why had God put Joseph in such a predicament?
What did Joseph finally decide to do?
Why didn't Joseph consummate the marriage?
Notes on Matthew and Luke
The four Gospels emphasize different aspects of Jesus:
Matthew - The King of the Jews
Luke recorded the birth events involving Jesus' human mother Mary
Mark - The Servant of God
Luke - The Son of Man
John - The Son of God
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
Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen
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