Teacher Notes

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 = Story of Zechariah and Elizabeth, devout Jewish priestly couple
    What happened toward the ends of the lives of these faithful Jews?
      Luke 1:8, 11, 13 = God sent an angel to tell them they would have a son, John
    Why would God send an angel just to tell an elderly couple they would have a child?
      Luke 1:14-17 = He'd be the messenger who would prepare the people for the Messiah
    How did the angel reply when Zechariah couldn't believe what he was seeing and hearing?
      Luke 1:18-20 = Introduced self as Gabriel sent by God; Made Z deaf & dumb as proof
    What other proof was this couple given that what the angel said was true?
      Luke 1:24 = The old woman Elizabeth became pregnant

An Arch-Angel's Travel Itinerary (Luke 1:26-27)
    When do we hear of this arch-angel Gabriel at work?
      Luke 1:26 = Six months later, God sends him to Nazareth - last mention of Gabriel
    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 = It was proof that Jesus was not the Messiah or even a prophet
    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 = Nothing good could come from Nazareth

    Who was Gabriel sent to visit in Nazareth?
      Luke 1:27 = A teenager named Mary who was betrothed to a man named Joseph
    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 = Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.
    What did Gabriel mean by saying Mary was highly favored?
      Luke 1:42-43 = She was chosen for the job that all Jewish women longed for
    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 = Jesus was full of grace and truth and brought it to us
    Does this mean that us normal humans cannot be filled with God's grace?
      Acts 6:8 = No, but grace comes from God to the saints, not from saints to each other

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 = She was confused why she might be chosen
    What does Mary say in her prayer that further shows she felt undeserving?
      Luke 1:47-49 = God has blessed me despite my humble state
    Is there any reason Mary was singled out over so many others?
      Luke 1:30 = She had found favor with God - He knew her faith & willingness to serve

The Annunciation (Luke 1:31-33)
    What news does Gabriel annunciate (announce) to Mary?
      Luke 1:31 = She would become pregnant and have a son named Jesus
      Jesus - Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua - a common Jewish name in those days
    What would be special about this child?
      Luke 1:32a = Will be great, Son of Most High
    What important truth about Jesus do these words to Mary confirm?
      Isaiah 9:6 = Unto us a child is born (humanity), to us a son [of God] is given (deity)

    What else does Gabriel tell Mary about this child?
      Luke 1:32b-33 = Sit on David's throne, rule over David's house, kingdom never end
    How would a good Jewish girl like Mary understand this?
      2 Samuel 7:16 = He would fulfill God's promise to David (house, kingdom, throne)

Mary's Immediate Reply (Luke 1:34)
    How had Zechariah responded to Gabriel's announcement that he would have a son?
      Luke 1:18 = He couldn't believe it. He asked how he could be sure
    Did Mary express similar doubt when she was told she would have a son?
      Luke 1:34 = No, she believed it but asked how it would happen

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 = Was conceived by the Holy Spirit & born of a virgin
    The terms "come upon" and "overshadow" do not refer to sexual activity. Examples are:
      Genesis 1:2 = The Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters - active in creation
      Exodus 40:35 = The Spirit of God overshadowed the tabernacle in a cloud
      Matthew 17:5 = Same word used for cloud enveloping Jesus at Transfiguration

    What had Gabriel already said about Jesus that he wanted to be sure Mary understood?
      Luke 1:35b = He will be the Son of God
    Why did Gabriel call Jesus the Holy One?
      2 Corinthians 5:21 = Paul said Jesus had no sin so He could be a sin offering for us
      1 Peter 2:22 = Peter said He fulfilled Isaiah's prophesy and committed no sin
      1 John 3:5 = John said that in Him is no sin so He might take away our sins

    Although she didn't ask for it, what proof did Gabriel give Mary for this impossible birth?
      Luke 1:36-37 = Elizabeth's pregnancy shows nothing is impossible with God
    What Old Testament story might this statement remind Mary of?
      Genesis 18:14 = Sarah had Isaac in her old age - Is anything is too hard for the Lord?
    Where do we hear other confirmation of this great power of God?
      Job 42:2 = Job said, You can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.
      Jeremiah 32:17 = Jeremiah said, Nothing is too hard for you.
      Matthew 19:26 = Jesus said, With God all things are possible

Mary's Response (Luke 1:38-40)
    How faithfully did Mary accept this promise? = Handmaid was lowest form of female servant
      Luke 1:38 = Accepted her job as the Lord's servant (handmaid) - willing submission
    What did Mary do after the angel left?
      Luke 1:39-40 = She took Gabriel's suggestion and went to see Elizabeth

Joseph's Decision (Matthew 1:18-19)
    How long did Mary stay with Elizabeth?
      Luke 1:56 = About 3 months, until right before John was born
    What surprised Joseph when he welcomed his betrothed Mary back to Nazareth?
      Matthew 1:18 = She was 3 months pregnant
    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 = Divorce her quietly

Jesus Kept Legitimate (Matthew 1:20)
    How did God change Joseph's mind?
      Matthew 1:20 = Sent an angel who told him son was conceived by the Holy Spirit
    What did the angel tell Joseph that would be special about this child?
      Matthew 1:21 = He will save His people from their sins - Jesus means The Lord saves
    Why had God put Joseph in such a predicament? = Isaiah 7:14
      Matthew 1:22-23 = To fulfill prophesy of a virgin with child - God with us
    What did Joseph finally decide to do?
      Matthew 1:24 = He trusted and obeyed God's instructions and kept Mary as his wife
    Why didn't Joseph consummate the marriage?
      Matthew 1:25 = To keep the virgin birth pure and without question

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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