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?
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
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
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
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?
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
What would be special about this child?
Jesus - Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua - a common Jewish name in those days
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)
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)
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
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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